'One Business on Earth' | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
March 2015

'One Business on Earth'

By: Ashley Jenkins

Greetings! This month we will look at the Wesley brother’s words. John Wesley (founder of the Methodist Movement) was a famous preacher, profound writer, and the keeper of a detailed journal. While John wrote sermons, his brother, Charles, was known for his poetry and hymns. In these four devotionals, we will hear what these brothers have to say for young adults today.

I must make a confession to you: until a few years ago, I was afraid of Evangelism. Most of this fear stems from an incident a few years ago. While attending college a street preacher approached me while I was on the downtown square and told me I was not a Christian. Why? Because I could not tell him the precise day and time I accepted Jesus in my life. Since I grew up in the church, I grew in my faith slowly, and I could not give this street preacher an exact day and time. Was this truly what Evangelism was supposed to look like?

Since that encounter I’ve been afraid of anything involving Evangelism. This was in spite of the fact that I loved mission. I was in charge of an after-school ministry through my college. I enjoyed working at soup kitchens. I loved baking cookies to pass out to the homeless. But I was petrified of Evangelism. But then, as part of my time in seminary, I attended a class on Evangelism in Africa that reshaped my understanding on Evangelism and gave me hope that I could be an Evangelist in my own way.

In a letter to a person in the Methodist Society, John Wesley said, “You have one business on earth—to save souls. Give yourself wholly to this.” John Wesley was wholly committed to this, and he wanted all Methodists to be, as well. Evangelism, Wesley taught, isn’t a one-time action but a way of living one’s entire life around helping others experience God.

Think about those people in your life who need Jesus. The neighbor in your apartment? Or a childhood friend that no longer attends Church? Or perhaps a coworker? Being an evangelist in to those people does not involve yelling or shaming others like the street preacher did. Rather, it looks like living a Christ-led life. It’s a life of planting small seeds that will, hopefully, yield big fruit. It involves, helping others out when they are in a bind. It means inviting someone to Christmas Eve, Easter, or perhaps to a mission project at your church. Planting these small seeds allows God to work in each of our lives. God needs each one of us to help spread the gospel not in big flashy moments, but our everyday actions.

Discussion Questions: What does it mean to live a life of Evangelism? Are you afraid at what this means like I was? Who needs Jesus?