Summary: Different ways of accomplishing ministry.
A NEW WAY OF DOING MINISTRY
“Behold I will do a new thing . . . ”(Isaiah 43:19). I know this first is a reference to the coming Millennium, but God has always been doing new things in ministry. Today, I want to remind you of the new things that God has done in the past, then challenge you concerning some new methods for the future.
B. NEW THINGS AT PENTECOST.
1. GOD GAVE THE STREETS TO THE NEW CHURCH.
In the Old Testament, God resided in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple. God’s presence in the Shekinah-glory cloud sat on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. God’s people came to a building, a sanctuary to worship Him. But on the Day of Pentecost, God moved into the streets. There was witnessing in the streets, preaching in the streets, baptizing in public places, plus teaching, fellowship, and testifying. God sent His new church into the streets for ministry.
In the past God has given the streets to Christians, i.e., John Wesley preached in the open, Southern Baptists went door-to-door in soul-winning, and Independent Baptists went door-to-door, filling Sunday school buses. Let’s never give up our ministry in the streets.
2. GOD GAVE SMALL GROUPS TO THE NEW CHURCH.
In the early Church, Christians met in homes for prayer. I think also they were teaching and collecting offerings in these small groups. When they were “breaking bread from house-to-house” (Acts 2:46), these were probably house churches where they worshipped the Lord with communion.
Also, the churches in history used small groups. John Wesley came with new methods and they called him a Methodist. He organized the Methodists into classes, small groups that met in homes. Later the Southern Baptists became authorities in the use of small groups, putting people into small Sunday school classes. And today, Yonggi Cho of the Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea, has over 70,000 cells that meet primarily in homes on Friday evening; these cells give strength to a church of 750,000 people.
3. NEW COMMISSION GIVEN TO THE NEW CHURCH.
Jesus gave the Great Commission which had new elements of ministry.
• Go into all the world, not just the Holy Land.
• Make disciples of all nations, not just focus on the Nation of Israel.
• Preach the Gospel to everyone, not just to Jews.
No one can deny that the impact of a new message transformed the disciples and they went everywhere, preaching until they “turned the world upside down.”
Is the Great Commission still our commission? Let me point out to you:
• The Great Commission has not been changed.
• The Great Commission has not been enhanced.
• The Great Commission has not been deluded.
• The Great Commission has not been fulfilled.
C. NEW METHODS IN OUR LIFETIME.
We have used the radio in our generation as a new tool of evangelism. Such stations as HJCB (Heralding Jesus Christ Beyond) and Trans World Radio have broadcasted the Gospel to the world.
Two of the original radio evangelists to own a radio station were J. Frank Norris of the First Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas, and Aimee Semple McPherson of Los Angeles, California.