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You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf,  and who also told us of your love in the Spirit (Colossians 1:7-8, NIV).

Evangelism. Just the mention of the word causes some of us to break out into a cold sweat. It conjures up the idea of defending the faith against atheists, or having to know all the answers to the tough questions (what happened to the dinosaurs, anyway?).

Evangelism comes from the Greek word gospel which means “good news.” Simply stated, evangelism is engaging in the process of sharing good news. We’re not told HOW to share the good news, we’re just encouraged to do it.

I have no idea how Epaphras shared the gospel with the Colossians. As a gentile, he didn’t go to the synagogues to preach, like Paul. Most likely, Colossae was his hometown. He knew people, met people, got to know them, listened to their concerns in life, and then when the Spirit provided an opening, he simply shared from his life experience what Jesus had done for him. He gave people hope and told them the truth (see v. 5). That was it. He didn’t have to answer for the pygmies in Australia or explain why bad things happen to good people. He just shared Jesus’ love.

For this, Paul calls him a “dear fellow servant.” As one friend became a Christian, they led another to Jesus, and they led another. This continued until, ultimately, there was a church in Colossae. Heaven became more full, hell more empty.

Maybe, like me, you don’t have the spiritual gift of evangelism. But if we want to be fellow servants of the gospel, we’re nevertheless called to “do the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5).” So let the Spirit lead you. Pray for your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors. Then, when the Lord opens a door for you, take a deep breath and jump in. Tell them the truth. Give them hope. Introduce them to Jesus.

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