Before we can or will change something in our lives or the lives of others there must be an expectation, either by us or by someone else. Otherwise, how would we know a task, behavior or attitude needs to be changed?
For this reason it’s important that everyone in your Church be encouraged to be involved in evangelism at some level but in most cases that will require change. Nearly all true believers recognize that others outside of Christ need to have the Gospel clearly explained to them. But, who and when and how?
What do we mean by “all groups”? Would this include the Ladies Bible Study or AWANA or other youth ministries? How about choir? The answer comes down to which of these groups wouldn’t you want to see the Gospel shared with?
But, not only should the Gospel be shared within these groups but each group should be encouraged, is “expected” too strong a word in this case, to share outside the group as well. We usually see that in most of life what isn’t expected isn’t accomplished. Each of these groups and the individuals in them have unique, even God appointed opportunities to speak to others about salvation.
But, what would/should they share with others? Does your Church have a concerted effort to train and equip those in your congregation to tell others about the Gospel?
- Do people in your Church know what the Gospel is? Are you sure? Have you asked?
- Do they have a clear understanding of how Christ effected salvation?
- Could they articulate it clearly, lovingly? What He did, why He did it and how?
- Do they have materials available to support their faithfulness?
- Do they have prayer and emotional support needed to be effective?
When people in your Church do see others put their faith in Christ what happens next? Do they know how to disciple these new believers? Can they confirm them in their new life? Do they know Scripture verses that demonstrate authoritatively God’s promises? They will need to know more than John 3:16 although that’s always a good place to start.
But, there are fundamental promises God makes to all of us who are saved. Does the individual who shared with someone who received eternal life do they have a “process”, a Biblical set of do’s and don’ts to help them be effective?
We know, from experience, in smaller Churches, the pastor is expected to “do it all”. The list is too long to list here but you probably know what we’re saying. But, we believe there is no more important task to fulfilling the Great Commission or relevant responsibility to helping your people be effective and joyful than to:
- Give them the encouragement and tools they need to share the Gospel when the opportunity presents itself or they can create the opportunity
- Prayerfully engage family and friends in their desire to tell others the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Finally, ask yourself, “how many people right now in our Church could share their faith, prayerfully, clearly and lovingly with someone who doesn’t know Christ”?
That answer may be more of a guide to what our Churches need to do to experience the joys and challenges to living up to our responsibilities to the Great Commission than anything we can say here.
Here’s to hoping your Church has the vision and tools to help others find Christ or is at least moving in that direction.
Soli Deo Gloria!