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EVANGELISM IS JUST THE BEGINNING

Many feel that the mission of the church is to merely be witnesses to a lost world. It is true that we are to bear witness of the risen Christ and His transforming power. We are told in Acts 1:8 that we are to be His witnesses to the ends of the world. Again we are told in Mark 16 to preach the Gospel to every creature. At the 1968 World Congress on Evangelism, John W.R. Stott said, "The Church engages in evangelism today, not because it wants to or because it chooses to or because it likes to, but because it has been told to. Evangelistic inactivity is disobedience. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material." "Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms; just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction." (Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 162)

While the preaching of the Gospel is our responsibility, evangelism in and of itself is not the complete mandate of the Great Commission. Evangelism is just the beginning of the commission given to each and every individual member of the Body of Christ.

(From a sermon by Gerald Flury, "Disciple and Discipler" 6/29/2009)

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