Believers can think that evangelism is a daunting task that doesn’t bear much fruit. But sharing our faith with others deepens our fellowship with each other. And though we may not see immediate fruit in evangelism, we do see the fruit of love that grows in our family. This happened for Marsellas Williams and his small group last year in June.

A mission started for this group of guys over a conversation in the neighborhood. Paris Patterson shared a deep desire to start sharing his faith after a mission trip to India and this led to a conversation in the small group.

“It was June 10th of last year at Monday Night Brewery, going through the book of Romans with Paris,” Marsellas said.

We do church in this community and we want people here to taste and see that the Lord is good.

Marsellas williams

Two days later, Paris and Marsellas shared the story with their group. The group was excited to share the gospel together. Brothers immediately started planning, gathering resources and praying about going out into the neighborhood. Though the task felt daunting, going out together strengthened the brother’s desire to share. Many brothers in the group had a unique desire to share in the West End.

“We do church in this community and we want people here to taste and see that the Lord is good,” Marsellas said. “There are a lot of people lost in the West End. Mike (Davis) said it best; there is a particular heart for the lost when they look like you. That’s a burden in our hearts.”

This movement did not start with a motivational speech. A group of brothers began sharing the gospel in the West End because the gospel is too good to keep from others. They recognized that sharing the faith strengthened their brotherhood and unified them. Their unique personal experiences in sharing with others enriched their conversations and reminded them of the privilege of participating in God’s work.

Scott King, Kisean Smith, Jonathan Boynton, Mike Davis, Jonathan Sanders, Terrence Covin, Paris Patterson, Ben Nguyen, and Marsellas Williams joined together to grow in fellowship and share the goodness of God. Some of these brothers had evangelized before, some had not and some had not done it on the streets. But each participated and equally encouraged one another by their boldness and compassion towards our neighbors.

A specific encouragement for Marsellas was seeing how sharing the gospel corporately led to brothers wanting to share their faith in personal relationships.

A specific encouragement for Marsellas was seeing how sharing the gospel corporately led to brothers wanting to share their faith in personal relationships.

“God has put a fire under Kisean,” he said. “He is sharing the gospel at work and with roommates, inviting people to church and walking them through scripture. He would ask us questions about the faith and other beliefs and how to engage in conversation.”

Marsellas knows that evangelism is an ongoing process. The small group has grown in faith, but there is always a temptation to be discouraged when you do not see fruit. Marsellas has not personally seen anybody receive the gospel yet. It can be discouraging when you obey the Lord but do not see the power behind your obedience.

“We do not see the power of God immediately when you share the gospel,” he said. “We plant seeds but we do not know how God will water them.”

People say they know the gospel, but they know a works-based gospel,” he continued. “They know a gospel that says ‘I can earn my way to heaven’ instead of knowing that Jesus earned heaven for us. It can be immensely discouraging.”

Marsellas and his small group remind us that evangelism is not about individual gifting or cultural familiarity. Sharing our faith is a collective effort by a group of folks who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. It’s living in community, committing to prayer, having conversations about our God-given passions and obeying God’s call to tell people about Him.

If you love evangelism, you will love debating. If you love people, you will love their souls.

MARSELLAS WILLIAMS

Marsellas said that gospel fluency is lacking here. But he reminds himself that the same message we hold to is the same message that holds us when we do not see immediate fruit.

“We know that God determines fruit because salvation belongs to the Lord,” he said. “We are just tools in the Master’s hands and whatever happens happens. I do not know what His masterpiece looks like, but I know He is creating one.”

Marsellas and his small group see that evangelism has to flow from a heart that knows of God’s goodness in Christ and that is the only thing that will continue to compel them to proclaim God’s goodness.

Evangelism for these brothers is not a way to shame their opponents, but an opportunity to express their love for Jesus and display that love among neighbors.

“Love people, not evangelism. You have to have a heart for people,” he said. “If you love evangelism, you will love debating. If you love people, you will love their souls.”

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