Summary: Part three of this series looking into why people love this place. This message deals with our model for evangelism.
“I Love this Place” part 3
Brian A. Moon
I have a question for you all tonight… it is a little tricky so be careful in how you answer. How can you tell when something is on fire? The answer is not smoke, it is not heat, it is not light, the answer is because it burns. Fire consumes and ignites other material and in fact, any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. My point is this, tonight we continue our series called “I Love this Place” that has been looking into why people can’t help but say “Wow, I love to come here” and so far we have looked at our purpose for this group, and our strategy, but it all comes down to this… Are we going to burn? Are we going to continue to be on fire because we reach out to others and invite them to come to know the greatest news in the world, the news that God loves them and forgives them, Or are we going to be extinguished because we never shared God’s message with our friends and family? A fire that does not burn is a contradiction; it has to spread and expand if it is going to live. That is why tonight we are going to look at another value we hold high here, so that we don’t get one, two, or five years down the road and say, “Remember when, remember the good times…” The value that we are going to look at is this:
Lost people matter to God, and therefore they should matter to me, and they should matter to you.
(Say that with me…)
This is called “Evangelism” and around here the way we do it is through relationships! In other words we believe that the best way to reach other people is through life on life, friendship based influence. When asking people how they came to Christ, how they became a Christ Follower, the overwhelming majority will say, “Because someone I knew was a Christian and they made a huge impact on my life” It is not through big evangelism crusades or by watching some Christian TV special, but it through relationships! And this is no surprise because some of Jesus last words to his disciples were their “marching orders” so to speak.
Jesus said, “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism… Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19 – 20 Msg
Jesus says here’s the deal… “I want you to go and communicate the good news that I have given you and lead people to faith in me. Then I want you to make disciples out of those people, I want you to teach them so that they can grow up spiritually.” Then Jesus unveils the way to do this, through the newly created church, or through the believers who meet together and fellowship. That is what we are, we are group of believers in Christ who meet together and hang out, and a group of people that depends on each other and looks out for each other, This is the way Jesus said the good news about God’s love would be brought to the entire world. Why? Because human beings need other humans, we are relational creatures that like to be apart of a group that loves and cares for them, like a family, or a church. And our mission, the mission given to the church is to be about the business of turning irreligious, far from God people into fully-dependant followers of Jesus Christ.