by Linda Veath Cox

Woman PrayingI couldn’t believe what I heard. A friend, whom I admire for boldly speaking to others about her faith, said she needed to speak more boldly for the Lord. Really? Wow. If she felt this way, where does that leave me, “Reluctant (and insecure) Linda”?

Some people share their faith so easily. Many have the privilege of “leading” someone to the Lord. But then there are quiet people like me. We feel guilty for not speaking out more, not leading people to the Lord. We wonder why we cringe at the word “evangelism.” Or shudder at the thought of how many opportunities to share the Gospel may have passed us by.

Shortly after that conversation with my friend, God used a radio program to provide an “aha” moment of revelation. The speaker said that everybody is called to be a witness but only some people are called to be evangelists. Really? Interesting.

Witness or Evangelist

Immediately I consulted my dictionary and a concordance. A witness is a person who has personal knowledge of something, who makes a statement about what he knows. When we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, we become Christ’s witnesses.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

~ Acts 1:8 NIV

An evangelist preaches the Gospel and seeks to convert people. Only some people are called by the Lord to be evangelists.

It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets,

some to be evangelists …

Ephesians 4:11 NIV

We may not be called to be evangelists, but we are all called as witnesses to share the love of God. That can include overtly telling others about Jesus’ death and resurrection. But we can also share the love of God through the things we do, our actions, our concern for others.


[Paul] planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God

who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters

have one purpose … .For we are God’s fellow workers … .

~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 NIV

Each of us has a role to play in God’s plan. Each of us has the opportunity to help the people we meet draw one step closer to the Lord. That step may be early in their journey to know Him. Or it could be the last step when they finally believe in Jesus as their Savior.

Witness or evangelist? Whatever we are called to be, may we remain willing and thankful as God uses us to share His love and bring honor and glory to Him.