Before I start explaining my thoughts, I want to say this loud and clear: I’m not against evangelism. I love seeing people who are good at sharing the Gospel sharing it with those they come into contact with. It’s truly an art.
I don’t, however, believe that everyone needs to do that. This is a distinction of Dave’s and I’ve found it immensely useful. There’s a difference between evangelism and witnessing. Evangelism encompasses acts done with the specific intention of converting people (in this case, to Christianity). Witnessing, on the other hand, is a lifestyle. It is the living of a distinctly Christian life. It is being genuine and authentic to one’s belief in Christ through his or her lifestyle, the choices they make, etc. Hopefully, people will notice this. Sometimes, they don’t. I’m not sure I would, if I were not a Christian and my friends were, but I can be dense like that sometimes. Living the life of a witness also means being willing to share about Christ when it is appropriate in the context of the rest of a daily life lived for him.
All Christians are called to be witnesses. Evangelism is a specific task (for lack of a better word) that some witnessing Christians are called to live out on top of that. Others have the specific tasks of pastoring, writing, speaking, keeping accounts, doing taxes, nursing, etc.
I know that this is, so far, text-light. I’m not quoting a lot of scripture or anything else. Most of that is because I don’t have these things memorized and I don’t have them readily available on the computer and in the location where I’m doing most of my writing. So if there’s a specific point that you’d like to see where I’m coming from in the text, let me know and I’ll dig it up.