Thursday, April 30, 2015

How Do Christians Grow In A Local Church-Part 5: Evangelism

Christians freak out over the word evangelism. It is probably the unhealthy teaching they might have heard over evangelism. They probably heard they must lead someone to Jesus for them to be successful. They might have also heard that they must present the gospel in a certain way if not then it is not evangelism.

Other have even used excuses not to evangelize such it is the pastor's/church staff/elder's job to reach the lost. Some churches have a pastor of evangelism which some members might think that is his only job. Other might say I am not qualified which is not true. You may not be equipped because your church leaders are not doing what they need to do to give you what you need to know about evangelism as well as the encouragement to declare the gospel. Perhaps one of the biggest excuses for not evangelize is Christians want their lives to be a witness using the quote, "Preach the gospel all times. When necessary, use words."

Evangelism is one way a church can grow, not just numerically but spiritually as well for the believer. Mark Dever, in 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, wrote:

When we begin to understand more of what the Bible teaches about evangelism, we will begin to trust God in helping us to spread the Good News. We will feel more like obeying Him as we realize that is not our duty to convert anyone but simply to faithfully tell the news. There is wonderful freedom in that. I don't have to feel that I have to answer every person's question. I just have to tell them the truth about Jesus, and love them, and pray for them. I'm called simply to be faithful in the message, and that brings a wonderful freedom.

If you feel you unqualified to evangelize the gospel, that is not true. You are qualified because you have the greatest news of all to declare. When your favorite team wins, you want to celebrate and let everyone know why you are happy. The Gospel is about God saving sinners through the finished work of Jesus and He has given us new desires. That is wonderful news that must be declared.

If you think you failed because you did not lead someone to Jesus, remember it is not your job to convert. Conversion is God's job. If you don't know the answer to the question, be honest and say I don't know. I remember a story of one guy coming to Christ because the pastor just didn't know the answer to the question he was asking. Why? Because the pastor was not trying to make one up.

Evangelism is a task that should be a joy for all Christians. When one is saved that means the Lord has added a number to the church. We grow spiritually because, like Dever said, we trust in God to do the work of conversion in the heart of the person we are telling the Gospel to.

Recommended Reading:

Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus by Mack Stiles

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever

Marks of the Messenger by Mack Stiles

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