8 Ways Christians Can Evangelize Their Neighbors and Community

Evangelism starts in our churches and families and extends to transform our neighbors, businesses, and communities for Christ.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) teaches us that the gospel concerns personal salvation and the restoration of all creation.

Jesus’ words “teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (28:19) relate to every aspect of life. Therefore, evangelism, according to the Great Commission, cannot be reduced to your neighbor’s one-time decision to follow Christ. The neighbor also must be taught to follow Jesus in everything.

As Christians, we are sent to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Triune name and teaching them everything God has commanded. Jesus promises that his presence will be with us as we continue the mission to build his kingdom, and that his kingdom extends to every ethnicity, language group, and nation.

The book of Hebrews encourages Christians to hold fast to their profession of faith, endure, and receive their reward. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace to the professing believer, delivering us from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. While salvation is an event in time, a believer’s enduring profession comes from the gift of faith given by God and the work of the Holy Spirit that regenerates us and sanctifies us to carry out the mission that our allegiance to Christ demands. Jesus’ instructions to us in Matthew 28 extend redemption to all areas of life, transforming every sphere of human activity and bringing it under the kingship of Jesus.

We evangelize our neighbors like we smoke brisket: slow, low, bold, and over a long period of time.

So how do we share the good news of Jesus to impact the community where we live? The answer is counter-intuitive to the modern mind that wants to move fast and large. We evangelize our neighbors like we smoke brisket: slow, low, bold, and over a long period of time. Evangelism starts with the church, the family, and individuals, and then extends powerfully into our community, calling sinners to repentance, faith, and kingdom living.

1. Keep the church centered around worshiping God.

The Christian life proceeds from the worship of God to the mission of Christ in the world, resulting in the worship of God where it did not previously exist—whether in your neighbor’s home or in yet-to-be-planted churches. The church, instituted by Jesus and led by qualified elders through the ordinary means of grace, purifies the living body of Christ. Weekly covenant renewal prepares Christians for daily public work outside the assembly.

Unfortunately, many established churches and even new church plants create worship experiences that are simply a navel-gazing cul-de-sac rather than a launch pad for the glorious reign of Jesus. The evangelical church must return to worshiping God rather than promoting a pagan cultural form of dashboard Jesus. Modern worship, even when preaching is “gospel-centered” often elevates emotionalism and decisionism as the compass and final authority. Worship can become so commodified, scaled, and franchised that the modern worshipper becomes nothing more than a consumer headed for the best spiritual dopamine outlet.

According to God’s explicit instructions, worship within local churches renews disciple-makers and sends them into the world every week, giving them the means to sustain Christ’s work through them. Worship itself is the engine of evangelism. The outflow of the formal renewing of the believer’s covenant with God every Lord’s Day determines the culture of a church and the nature of evangelism in the community.

2. Learn to rule yourself well according to God’s commands.

At salvation, the Holy Spirit baptizes the new believer into Christ and into a new way of life shaped by the gospel. Therefore, every believer must continue to learn, i.e. through discipleship, and enact those biblical principles through grace-empowered discipline to love and live by God’s commands. The rule of Christ in a believer’s life that guides them to glorify God extends into every area of their life, so that their profession of faith—the gospel—proceeds from their heart, intellect, mouth, feet, and fingertips.

3. Build your family and home life on Christ first.

Human history begins with the family as a necessary structure for flourishing (Genesis 1-3). Likewise, the redemption story begins in a believing family. Modern evangelism and discipleship often overlook the family structure and truncate the work of the Word in the world. If you’re dropping your kids off at four VBS programs this summer and relying on the church, youth group, or Christian school to teach your children about the Bible, you may want to reevaluate what you are doing in your home. If you ignore the structures God has put into place for worship, discipleship, and evangelism, you’ll be delegating your obedience or abdicating Christ’s commands altogether for a little more “me time”—which results in very little time sharing the gospel with others.

Evangelism begins by establishing the rule of Christ in the home. This starting point requires that parents shoulder the burden of educating their children. The home is the Bible school, the vocational school, the school of finance, the school of music, and the complete education department. If this is overwhelming, remember that Jesus said his burden is easy and light, but he also says it’s difficult, gives grace, and will be with you—and that you don’t have to do it on your own or in your own strength.

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I specialize in helping clients recover from complex betrayal trauma, marital infidelity, and addictions in marital therapy. I know firsthand that modern marriage is in shambles—but you already know that. Our counseling practice could run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People are desperate to live a different way than they are currently living.

As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and as a father and grandfather, I can tell you that the burden of a family is a joy and a blessing. And as a pastor, I see God sanctifying Christian families by the Word every day, and their family life is good news to the world. The ministry of the men in our church engaging in evangelistic street preaching at Planned Parenthood and on a university campus bears the fruit of changed lives. And when men and women who were rebels against God come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, they need to see the gospel embodied in the worship of Christ in all aspects of home life.

4. Build friendships with people who worship well and are building Christ-filled homes.

Hebrews 10–12 teaches us that we need Jesus, our High Priest and King, and that we cannot evangelize alone. We risk difficulty, discouragement, and becoming ineffective. His kingdom is unshakeable, but we are not. Brotherhood and sisterhood are essential. Christian fraternity is one of the ways that Jesus mediates his presence among us. We all have the Spirit and are called to demonstrate and identify in others the qualities that resemble Christ’s nature, including love, humility, compassion, forgiveness, and selflessness—the fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). We encourage one another through worship, fellowship, prayer, discipleship, and by helping and challenging one another.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25), meaning that we must be actively connecting throughout the week in more ways than just the formal programs of the church. We must act like real brothers and sisters that love each other. We share our lives, recreation, food, fun, burdens, and tips for canning vegetables and making pie crusts.

5. Work at your vocation in a way that is distinctly Christian.

There is a distinctly Christian way of doing everything. Dorothy L. Sayers argued that work is a means of earning a living, expressing our God-given talents, and contributing to the world. She believed that work in the arts, sciences, or any other field should reflect God’s nature in creation and redemption. So, when we work, we redeem all aspects of life and bring them under the good news of Jesus’ reign.

Are there ways to be distinctly Christian at work? Yes! Think about the healthcare professions. If you’re a nurse, do you treat your patients with dignity and respect? Do you work in a way that helps embody patient-centered dignifying care that stewards resources well? This is a tall order and may meet with some kind of HR or corporate friction, but it is the straight road Christians in healthcare are called to follow. We could say this about farming, plumbing, retail, and all other areas of vocation. Evangelism begins with integrity, creativity, and stewardship of creation and is not limited to leaning over the cubical wall to share the Roman’s road—but if given the opportunity, don’t hold back.

6. Manage your finances in a way that is obedient to Scripture, generous, and builds long-term wealth.

Have you ever noticed how streaming services emphasize extremes? You are either stuck on a hunk of freezing tundra to survive alone or in a house filled by a hoarder. Sin loves the ditches. The glorious gospel does not require extremes. We are not called to vows of poverty or to self-gratification. We are called to work hard, make money to provide for our families, and be joyfully generous while using our vocation and finances to build wealth that can be leveraged for God’s glory for many generations.

Yes, we should tithe, we should give to missions, and we should pay our bills. However, we must also consider the goose rather than simply the golden egg. Building wealth isn’t just sending missionaries or saving for retirement. It’s about building generous businesses that operate in a way that honors Christ and give jobs in our wicked age to Christian workers who, in turn, support families and ministries. Building business and investing for the next generation ensures that evangelism continues long after you and I are gone.

7. Gather around the dinner table often and invite friends.

We evangelize by being hospitable. The gospel itself is an invitation into the glorious kingdom of God, and that invitation comes with a meal attached: communion. Christians enact the gospel through hospitality first with their families and brothers in Christ and then extend it to their neighbors (Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2). Hospitality embodies the goodness and good news of the gospel.

We have an entire gospel that records Jesus’ journey from table to table in Luke. There is the dinner at the Pharisee’s house in Luke 7, the feeding of 5,000 in Luke 9, the supper at Bethany in Luke 10, a meal with Zacchaeus in Luke 19, and the Last Supper in Luke 22—and others in between. Jesus, who is the good news, demonstrates that he is for his creation by being with his creation, and those events are often around table fellowship. While not a license for over-indulgence, our tables are kingdom weapons against a hell of loneliness and disconnection.

8. In all these activities, engage in conversations on how Jesus is Lord over everything and call your neighbors to repent and follow him.

Christians must speak the gospel. What we observe in the Bible is God speaking. And when God speaks, he informs our reality and pushes away the fog of unbelief. The Great Commission calls us to speak the gospel in every activity and to every person in all circles of our life. The conversations may be different in each context, but all conversations should reflect the same profession: one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.

When Christians speak, we do so as God does. At times it is a full explanation of God’s plan for redemption, and at other times it points to the fantastic design God planned in the roses on the west lawn. My father-in-law, John Frey, a first-generation preacher who raised all his children and nearly all his grandchildren to be missionaries, pastors, and church planters, often would loudly exclaim, “Glory!” He witnessed constantly to the glory of God, whether in a young man’s fresh haircut, or in a flock of turkeys crossing the road, or when unashamedly calling a man to repent of his sin and trust Jesus. Whenever you heard, “Glory!” in the house, you came running to see God’s work in each facet of life.

This kind of evangelism is how Jesus wins the world and puts everything under his feet.

Ray Brandon & Eyoome Kwabea Agbley

Ray Brandon is a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has planted Immanuel Korean Baptist Church and Northbridge Church, in which he now serves as the preaching pastor. Northbridge planted CityGate Church in Portage, Michigan, where Ray's son serves as an elder. Ray is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling, specializing in marriage trauma, infidelity, and sex addiction. He and his wife have four children and two grandchildren. Support Ray's ministry.

Eyoome Kwabea Agbley is a Christian, a member of Northbridge Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, an immigrant to the US, a Bible and theology reader, and a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. She is a missionary who works full-time in a hospital as a Physician's Assistant and shares meals and Christ with others as often as she can.