Mark of Effective Evangelism - Time

5th Mark of Effective Evangelism (Mark 1 Mark 2 Mark 3 Mark 4)

Time



One of the most important principles of effective evangelism is time.  It has been said, “If Satan cannot make you bad, he will make you busy.” Busyness is a huge problem in culture. There are many problems with busyness, but let me name two that I think are very important in regards to evangelism.  First, we are too busy with the wrong things.  God wants us to glorify him with our time.  Colossians 4:5-6,

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (emphasis added).
And Ephesians 5:15-16,

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (emphasis added).

We have to make the best use of our time.  We only have such little time in this life so we cannot waste it with being busy with things that distract us from God and His mission. 

Technology has not made us less busy, but has created more busyness with the wrong things.  Too many people are slaves to Facebook, Twitter, Video Games, Pintrest, TV, etc. that they are wasting their best time for things that do not matter.  I am guilty of wasting time on things that do not matter. God wants us to make the best use of our time. The Bible does not say you can’t, but it implies that you shouldn’t.  Simple question, are you making the best use of your time?  If not, change. 

The second problem with busyness is that people think that we should not be busy.  Jesus was busy, Paul was busy, Peter was busy, but they were busy with the right things.  We all have different capacities for our labors.  Our capacities change during different seasons of our life.  A stay-at-home- mom with three little kids has a different capacity that an-empty nester.  A bachelor in their twenties has a different capacity than the seventy year old widow. That being said, we are called to use our gifts for the service of others.  What did Jesus say about the one who did not use their talent,

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matthew 25:24-30).

God does not expect us to work all the time, but he expects us to work most of the time. There is only one Sabbath day during the week.  The question is not how much you are doing, but are you making the best use of your talents with the time you have?

So we must re-prioritize our time and we must spend our time.  Again notice Colossians 4:5-6,

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (emphasis added).

Evangelism is more about speaking to each person. If we are too busy with the wrong things or not busy enough, then we will never get to know anyone. No one can answer an objection to the faith unless they know the objection that a person has to the faith. The most effective evangelism is bringing the whole gospel to the whole person.  People do not like packaged presentations, but answers to their questions.  Most people have never really engaged with their faith, because they have never been confronted in a gracious, thoughtful way. 

It is impossible to know people’s questions and answer them without knowing them.  And if you do not make the best use of your time, you will never know them.  And if you do not plan, you will never have the time. And if you do not have compassion, you will never plan. And if you do not read the Word and pray, you will never have compassion. 


Everything starts with God.  If we spend time with God, the rest will fall into place. We must prioritize Jesus and His mission more than anything else.

Steven Brazzell

Charlotte, NC