When I talk about sharing the gospel every week I typically get resistance from senior pastors across the country. I hear excuses like:
“Well the church is for the Christians and not the unchurched.”
“I don’t want my people to get bored with hearing the gospel every week.”
“We have too many elements in our church services already to add another one.”
But I think that behind these lame excuses lurk the real reasons. Reasons like:
We are intimidated by the thought of having to risk the embarrassment of nobody responding to our gospel messages week after week.
We are worried that the congregation will complain if we give the gospel week after week after week.
Some of us may not feel confident in knowing how to share our faith effectively and giving people an opportunity to respond.
So why should you give the gospel every week? I’m going to give you three compelling reasons, starting with the least. First of all, when you give the gospel every week you inadvertently equip your congregation to evangelize. One of the reasons that more Christians don’t share Jesus is because they don’t know how. When they hear you explain the simple gospel week after week they are trained to share the gospel themselves.
I’ll never forget Rich Sullivan. He is a UPS truck driver and was a member of Grace Church when I was pastoring. One day he told me how he was sharing the gospel with a friend of his. I asked him where he had learned to give the gospel. His response surprised and encouraged me. He said, “Greg, I’ve been hearing you give the gospel week after week after week in our church services. How could I not know how to give the gospel after attending this church for years?”
The second reason you should give the gospel every week is because you create what I like to call “psychological agreement” with your congregation. When members of your church know that sharing the message of Jesus is a non-negotiable for you, they are much more likely to bring their unchurched friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives.
On March 12th, 1989 I made a promise in our inaugural church service that every week the gospel would be clearly presented in our weekend church services. I challenged the congregation to bring their unreached friends. They gladly complied. Since we started Grace Church there have been maybe two Sundays where nobody came to Christ.
When you commit to taking a few extra minutes to give the gospel every week you are giving your church members a big reason to invite their friends. Many of your church members may not feel ready to share their faith yet but they all can invite someone out to church.
The final and biggest reason to give the gospel every week is that it honors Jesus. When we give the gospel we are bringing glory to Christ in a very real way. If you think about it the whole of Scripture centers around the person and work of Jesus. The Old Testament points to Him, the gospels unveil Him, the epistles explain Him and the book of Revelation exalts Him. If the whole of Scripture centers around Christ and His cross then shouldn’t it be the “punchline” to every one of our sermons? Every subject we touch on makes more sense in the shadow of the cross. Maybe that’s why Spurgeon, when asked about his preaching style, said,
“I take my text and make a beeline for the cross.”
If you want to see Jesus honored, your congregation equipped and your community reached take a cue from Spurgeon and make a beeline for the cross.