Summary: We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we a
Core Values: Evangelism – The Great Commission – Mark 16:14-18
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
We are in our series on Core Values. Core Values are the DNA that define who we are, what we are in infancy and in greatness. What God has called us to be. They are not just creeds on plaque or notes in book somewhere. They are the essence of who we are, if you were to describe our church in 12 words, the core values would be it. The core values we’re going to be speaking of for the next few months are establishing a foundation for New Mercy Community Church – Prayer, Holy Spirit, Evangelism, Equipping, Relationships, Love, Family, Sound Doctrine, Character, Excellence, Worship, and Missions. Today we’re going to talk about the core value of evangelism.
How many of you have heard of Coca-Cola? Coca-cola is one product that has far outgrown its humble beginnings. In 1886, Dr. John Pemberton first introduced Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. The pharmacist concocted a caramel-colored syrup in a three-legged brass kettle in his backyard. He first "distributed" Coca-Cola by carrying it in a jug down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy.
After nearly 120 years, surveys show that 97% of the world has heard of coca-cola. All due to the fact that the company made a commitment years ago that every one on the planet would have a taste of their soft drink.
We should stand up and take note here! 97% of the world has heard of this sugar and water concoction while 1.7 billion people world-wide have no access to the good news of Jesus Christ! It is estimated that 17 million people die every year without having heard the name of Jesus!
In his book The Purpose-Driven Church, Rick Warren reports on a survey that found 89% of church members believe the church’s purpose is to “take care of my needs and those of my family.” Only 11% said, “The purpose of the church is to win the world for Jesus Christ.”
According to George Barna, in his book called, “Evangelism That Works,” most churches have only a small group of people who have a passion for evangelism. Barna asks a probing question to churches like ours: “Is evangelism deemed the highest priority of the church?”
He concludes by saying, “If not, the organization is not truly a church but is simply a group of people intrigued by religion.”
Brothers and sisters, let’s admit something this morning. Evangelism is not easy. In fact, for many of us, it’s downright scary. Evangelism is one of the highest values in the church – and one of the least practiced. Studies show that most believers don’t have many – if any – friendships with non-Christians. We may talk a good game, but our actions speak louder than our words. Do we really care about lost people? Do we sincerely believe that knowing Christ is the best way to live and the only way to die?
Some of you know that I got strep throat this past week. I tried to keep my germs away from others in the family. I wouldn’t want anyone to get what I had. By its very nature and purpose, the church ought to be a contagious place that is “infecting” more and more outsiders with the Christian faith. There ought to be an epidemic of people trusting in Christ. Why isn’t that happening?
In his book called, “Building a Contagious Church,” Mark Mittelberg points out that the evangelism value in every church tends to head south over time. He calls it the “second law of spiritual dynamics,” in which Christians, if left to themselves, move toward self-centeredness. If we’re serious about telling others the gospel, then we must fight this gravitational pull inward.
We live in a world full of turmoil, where terrorism, earthquakes, devastations and many other terrible things are gripping our world. There is fear, there is doubt and there is lawlessness. Yet in spite of all these: God needs men or women who are willing to go the distance, to pass the difficulties they are facing by faith in His Powerful Name. Going on the highways and byways, to go in the valleys and reaching to the needs of the people.