God wants us to build His kingdom through intentional evangelism and discipleship, but where do we even begin such an important task? When we look at scripture, there are four key steps to assure the success of evangelism and discipleship in any ministry; including yours:
1. Ignite the Fire: To ignite means to subject to fire or intense heat, to burn, or to set in motion. The domino effect created by the Holy Spirit can be seen in the first chapter of Acts when the early church is promised a special power from God. The Holy Spirit giving us the power of God is the first thing that sets in motion an outcome that gives us the authority to do the work of God. When the power of the Holy Spirit is given to us, the fire of God ignites in us, allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us so evangelism and discipleship can take place. Accepting Jesus as our Savior is how we become Christians, but how we inspire others to do the same is by the Holy Spirit igniting the fire inside of us.
2. Inspire the Heart: For those who have/had teenagers, you understand how difficult it can be to encourage someone to do something. Inspiring the heart is an ongoing process that has us focusing on encouraging others to the faith. Jesus was inspired to get on the cross for the world and we too need to have a similar heart as believers. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The joy being discussed in this segment comes from people becoming Christians and the opportunity for new believers to have eternal life.
3. Inform the Mind: Just as it says in Philippians 2:5, the mind we need to have is the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ will keep us humble, compassionate, and focused on telling people about who Jesus is. As our mind agrees with the plan and purposes of Christ, our actions will do the same, allowing us to walk the steps laid out by our heavenly Father. We must continue to focus on His will daily and have our mind being reminded of what we are called to do.
4. Illuminate the Call: A righteous life bears fruit and it gives life to others. It acts like a tree by receiving nutrients from daily devotions and then exercising these wisdoms so more people can hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. This enlightenment does not only turn the light on for us, but it shines bright enough for others to notice the difference in our lives that will have them wondering who God is. Like the children’s song states, we ought to let “the little light of mine” shine, or illuminate in this situation, so God’s love can be noticed and shared.
These 4 I’s are what Jesus did personally during His ministry. He first was baptized in water and the Spirit of the Lord fell to him like a dove. Then, he inspired the disciples to follow Him by encouraging them to be fishers of men. Thereafter, his miracles and teachings informed every one of His followers, both then and now, on what the call is and how we are to execute it. Lastly, the light He illuminated shined so brightly that even now, thousands of years later, we are being transformed by it. Putting these things into practice is not only what we are supposed to do; they are the exact blueprint of living a life like Christ.