So I’m at this meeting, and a video is shown of one of my denomination’s evangelism programs. (I won’t mention which one; it’s really not that important.) Okay, so we should be friendly to people and get to know them as people before we hit ’em with the Gospel (not too literally). No problem. But then we have this strange voice-over which says this: “If you are a Christian, you are COMMANDED [yes, the emphasis is there] to tell other people about Jesus. And the most effective way to do this is small-group ministry.”
So not only is telling people that Jesus died for them a command to be obeyed, there’s one most effective way to do it. Sorry, not buying it.
Telling people what God has done for them in the person of Christ is not an obligation to be fulfilled; it is a promise that God will use us–weak, frail, sinful though we are–to be His voices in this lost world. The most effective way to do that is however the Gospel can best be spoken in your specific situation, not one format descended from heaven. If you want a book on evangelism that is not a step-by-step but a thoroughly Biblical and evangelical (in the original sense) examination, read Robert Kolb’s Speaking the Gospel Today. It is the book on evangelism that I’d been waiting for (it’s been out for about ten years, but I’d never read it; why not!?). Get it here.