Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Steps to being an Evangelistic Church

These are just the first of many Steps to Effective Church Evangelism.
There may be more, let’s find out!

1. Prayer - Matt 9:38, Act 1:14, 13:3
Which is sillier? Stockcar driver with no gas, or Messenger with no message, Speaker with no audience. All are equally foolish but The first one is the church with no prayer. No fuel or power to move out. Not having a message or an audience will be addressed later.
Does your church pray for the lost?
Does a church who doesn’t pray for the lost have a focus on reaching the lost?
What does NOT praying for the lost say about a church?
What can we pray for? Individuals, boldness, labourers, access to lost people, _______, _________, what else?

2. Outreach & Evangelism Should be considered The Major Work of the church, by the church. Matt 28:19, Act 13:4-5, 1 Cor 1:17, Lu 19:10
This does not supplant the purpose for which we were created. God is seeking worshipers. And now His church should be about the business of seeking the lost to bring them, worshiping, to Christ.
Why is the church supposed to be evangelistic?
What is the church made up of? Believers. What are they called to do? Make disciples. Do your ministers, teachers, etc. encourage evangelism?
Do your church ministries have an evangelism focus?
Does your church budget reflect this importance?

3. Build Bridges to the Lost. Jn 4:7-10, Act 17:17-19, Act 9:36, Mat 9:10
What is the best pathway to a person’s heart?
A) Politics B) Religion C) Sports D) Friendship
How can we build Bridges and Pathways as a church? Certainly Jesus in Samaria did not have the time to build a lifelong friendship with the woman who came out and met Him. But He took a friendly approach, acknowledged her as an individual with needs and sought to meet those needs.
The church too can show itself friendly to the community. The members can show themselves as having genuine Christian love for others.

4. Seek the Right Outcome. Matt 13:19-23, Jn 3:7
It used to be that young preachers were encouraged to “Preach for decisions!” Is an earthly decision a heavenly work? A person can decide they'd rather go to heaven than hell. Seems logical. Does that mean a Spiritual work has been done? Of course not. That decision is no different than choosing a steak over an old tire for supper. But a heart convicted of sin and rebellion by the Spirit of God, and the person motivated to cry to God for mercy is a work of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes the “Sinner’s Prayer” is a hindrance to Salvation. After sharing this with my church last Sunday, a member told me about 24 hours later that she had that same problem. She had prayed a sinner's prayer as a child and all through life struggled to live the life she thought a Christian should live. One day, after reading the book of Romans she began to understand that she did not have the Lord in her life and she gave her life completely over to Christ.
When ministers take someone who is curious about salvation and lay the sinner's prayer before them and tell them this is the way of salvation. Then all the person has to do is repeat words and get the assurance "from man" that they are saved. Once satisfied concerning hell they proceed without caution.
True Salvation is a work of God not of Man. If you sell someone on the idea of salvation, you just sold them out to Hell.
True Salvation is Spirit-Work not salesmanship.
The outcome we want is the heart trusting Christ unto salvation. I am going to stop using the set sinner's prayer and tell people that their sins have separated them from God. They are headed for a Hell created for the devil and his angels, but Jesus died on the cross so that all who put trust in Him for salvation, and call upon Him to save them shall be saved.
They ought to be able to work out to do from there don't you think?

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