1.1 Background of the Study
The primary task of Christians in the world is to go into the world in order to preach the Goodnews to all creatures, a command which was given by Jesus Christ. (Mark 16: 15-16). In relation to evangelism in Africa and the entire world, it seems likely that many Christians have neglected their roles in the society. It seems that the attention of many Christians is now directed towards fulfilling their own will to the detriment of the Gospel.
There is no denying the fact that by reading the “signs of the times” the Christian Church in Africa and the developing world develops its unique self-understanding in response to the challenges posed by Africa’s Socio-economic, political and cultural context. Whether we construe the character of this response as “message” or as “mission,” the crucial point lies in the fact that the Church’s relevance and credibility depend on how effectively it addresses the prevailing social context in Africa and the entire developing world. The Church in Africa has the option of either preaching a Gospel which responds to the structural challenges of a continent which to many is marginalized or the African Christians will find themselves sinking with the unfulfilled hopes of Africans. If the Church in Africa neglects this African context, certainly she stands the chance of risking the loss of the Church’s relevance and credibility. (Orobabor 2000: 160-168).
In the midst of the present level of development in Africa and the entire world, there is the urgent need for evangelism and re-evangelisation of people with a view to bringing forth a Church that is growing at a reasonable speed. Here, we assert that apart from the non-Christians being brought to the true knowledge of God through Jesus Christ, professed Christians need to be re-focussed to their calling as evangelizers.
In this work therefore, we have examined such issues as the definition of evangelism, Jesus the visible sign of the world, the works of the Apostles, the spread of the Goodnews, Evangelism and the Church, who sends?, the challenges facing evangelisation, and the implication of evangelism on Church growth. It is envisaged that this work will stimulate further research as far as the issue of evangelism and Church growth is concerned.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In these days of rapidly changing and highly advanced civilizations, people seem to enjoy affluence and happiness but inwardly they have lots of troubles and are struggling with distress. The explosive population surge has made the earth crowded. It is a tragedy that 75% of the world’s population is non-Christian and people wander around and feel left out even among a crowd. What is more deplorable is that it is not easy to maintain intimate and meaningful relationships with others. Therefore, a sudden encounter with a stranger makes one fear because he might be a threat to his own life and dignity.