Letter #14: Evangelism is not an Elective

by Jonathan Haefs

Dear Jonathan,

I hope you are finding my letters encouraging and that they are not simply sounding like parental lectures. That is not my goal. I just want to share with you things I wish had been shared with me during my seminary journey.

You are just over the halfway point in this process, and I honestly believe you are growing in many great ways. I do think you are at a great point to pause and reassess why you are doing what you’re doing. Why are you even going to seminary?

Do you remember our early exchanges where we talked about the purpose of seminary? Instead of rehashing all those things, I think I’ll try to restate it all very simply…

You are going to seminary in order that you may better know God and make him known.

I think you are accomplishing the first half of that sentence. In all our exchanges, I can sense your excitement as your relationship with God deepens and widens. However, truly knowing God should always lead to us making him known! So…I hope you understand something that I completely missed during my seminarian years…

EvangelismEvangelism is not an elective!

It is crazy to think that you could actually spend three to four years of your life dedicated to theological studies, but never share anything you’re learning. How could one spend so much time soaking in the riches of who God is and never tell anyone?

I nearly did just that, and I do not want you to fall into the same pit as I did. The gospel by definition is news, and news it meant to be announced…shared! As you come to know God through Christ more and more, your heart should be aching to make him known…to declare the gospel!

Jonathan, it is so important that you find ways to interact with people who do not know Jesus. Make friends who are unbelievers. I’m not asking you to treat people like projects…looking at them as mere potential converts that will give you more stripes on your Christian black belt. No. I’m simply asking you to love people who do not know the love of Christ.

In doing this, sharing your faith will happen more organically, for we naturally talk about which we are passionate. You are passionate about Christ…make him known! Don’t wait for seminary to require this of you or offer a class on it…

Evangelism is not an elective…it is a directive from Jesus!

Grace and Peace,


*To know/understand the premise behind these letters please click here.