Modern Christianity has a very formalized method of evangelism. It varies from denomination to denomination and person to person, but the methods are very formal. What I witness is a call to invite Christ into your heart. Is this wrong? No, but I think that it creates a sort of Christian, which may be missing the point of Christianity and may not even be Christian at all.
Consider the words of James, “…be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (v. 1.22). See, many Christians will invite Christ in, but never experience any life change as a result of it. My pastor always says that he doesn’t rejoice so much when someone accepts Christ, but when a year later, they are walking faithfully with Him.
At risk of seeming terribly pragmatic, lets look at the way that Jesus called men into His service. Consider Matthew’s calling, “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him” (Matthew 9.9). When I challenge someone to come to Christ, I do not challenge them to ask Christ into their heart. Rather, I challenge them to commit their lives to the service of Christ.
The initial benefit to this method is that they immediately have in view that there is going to be change necessary. They have to DO things different. There is an additional benefit to this in that this sort of challenge comes with all sorts of questions. “Well, I have committed to following Christ, but what does that mean?” You can challenge them to become involved in church and in Bible studies as well as discipleship. As well, they should be challenged to pray to God and to read their Bibles in order to find out, not just what to do, but how to truly serve.
In this, I am not condemning other methods for evangelism. As I said, I don’t wish to be pragmatic about Jesus’ methodology. What I do desire to see is follow up. Are there people in your congregation, living stagnant lives? Do they think they are saved because they said a prayer and attend church on Sunday? Are they spiritually dead and ignorant of it? Find these people and challenge them to a greater service in Christ Jesus. Just the same, as you fulfill the great commission and draw others to Christ—however you choose to do that—make sure that they are challenged to actually follow Christ, to seek out and to do His will.