The call and ministry of every Christian is to be an evangelist. To not witness is to sin because we know we ought to be doing it (James 4:17). We can’t rely upon our pastor or church to do it because we are the church. It is our call and our responsibility. We are ministers of reconciliation, and we will be judged for our faithfulness in that ministry (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
The ministry starts with a burden for seeing the lost come to Christ. If that doesn’t exist, we must pray for it to become a reality in our hearts. I pray that God would break our hearts for the lost. (Consider prayerfully reading through my devotional entitled, Lord, Break My Heart for the Lost- Word file or pdf file.)
Second, the evangelist must have a testimony that gives him credibility before the unsaved. If he does not live as one revived, no one will care to listen, and the listeners will be kept from some of the light that could have come their way (John 17:21, Hebrews 12:14, Matthew 5:16). If a testimony has been lost, we must ask for forgiveness and begin to shine forth the Light of Christ.
Third, the evangelist must be a person of prayer. He must be pleading with God for opportunities to share the gospel, and he must be interceding on behalf of particular souls. He knows that salvation cannot be manipulated, and he is trusting God to release some of the captives of the devil (see intercessory prayer).
Fourth, the evangelist must know the message of the gospel. He knows that God is holy, that man is a sinner, and that Christ is the sacrifice for sin. He knows that a person must repent of his sins and put his trust in Christ in order to be made righteous before a holy God. He is not afraid to talk about hell and breaking the law of God. He is eager, however, to share about the free gift of the grace of God through Jesus Christ. (For more on the message, see “Salvation.”)
Fifth, he has practiced and rehearsed how to share the gospel. He has some “mental handlebars” of what verses to use and what questions to ask. He understands the message well enough to present it even if he forgets a verse or a question here or there. (see sample witnessing tools)
Sixth, he is armed with gospel tracts, gospels of John, New Testaments, entire Bibles, or some combination thereof. He may have some literature inviting people to attend his church, but his primary agenda is to share the gospel message. (buy tracts, buy Bibles or portions of Bibles)
Seventh, he goes to the lost with the message rather than waiting for them to come to him. He takes the initiative. He begins a conversation with somebody at work about religious matters (see good questions for transitioning a conversation to the gospel). He goes and knocks on doors to share the gospel (this is hard on the messenger but highly effective and worth the effort). He finds public places where he can mingle with crowds and begin conversations with strangers about the gospel (watch Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s DVD series called "The Way of the Master" for examples). He gives out tracts to the store clerk, the mailman, the garbage man, the waitress, the stewardess, the taxi driver, the bank teller, the drive-thru associate, and every other possible reasonable opportunity.
Eighth, he does not try to persuade men to be saved through clever, gimmicky techniques bound up in human wisdom. Neither does he rely upon his abilities as a good talker. If he thinks he is a poor communicator, he doesn’t dwell upon that fact. The evangelist is filled with the Spirit, yielded to God, surrendered to God, and focused upon God. He understands that the power is in the message itself (Romans 1:16, 10:17).
Ninth, he prays again for those with whom he has spoken or for those to whom he has given a tract or Bible. This is to be done lest Satan come and take the seeds away that have been sown (Luke 8:12).
Tenth, the evangelist doesn’t take anything personally. Successes are because God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7), and rejections of the gospel (which are far more common) are merely rejections of Christ (John 15:18). His focus is on sharing the gospel as he has the opportunity (Galatians 6:10).