Summary: This sermon gives three reasons evangelism and church growth are important.
Evangelism – It’s What We Do!
The Importance of Outreach
The Martins move into my neighborhood every spring. They show up about the middle of March and spend the summer with me. I enjoy having them around.
They make a long trip you know? They fly in from South America. Spend the summer up here and fly back South before winter hits. They have been doing this for centuries. They come north for one reason – to build a family. Of course what I am talking about are Purple Martins. The Purple Martins are a bird that will fly thousands of miles each year to ensure the health and growth of the family unit. To the Martins – the health and growth of the next generation is a matter of life or death of the species. Ensuring the health and growth of the church is a matter of life and death also.
To ensure the health and growth of this church, a couple years ago our church came up with a purpose statement. Do you remember what it is?
OUR PURPOSE STATEMENT
Love GOD, Love PEOPLE.
Our Purpose Statement comes from the Great Commandment which says:
’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39 (NKJV)
Our purpose statement answers the question: Why are we here? We are here to love God and to love People. Our vision statement explains how we are to show our love to both God and to people. Do you remember what our vision statement is?
OUR VISION STATEMENT
BRING them in, BUILD them up, TRAIN them up, SEND them out.
As we bring people into the fellowship, as we build people up through discipleship, as we train people to use their gifts, talents and personality in service to God through ministry and as we send people to witness to non-Christians we express our love for God and for people. We become “doers” of the Word and not just hearers.
Our Vision Statement comes from the Great Commission which says:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
Within the Great Commandment and the Great Commission you find the five functions of the church.
Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry and Evangelism.
As we fulfill these five functions, we express our love for God and our love for people.
CLEARER by Worship
CLOSEER by Fellowship
PURER by Discipleship
STRONGER by Ministry
LARGER by Outreach
My vision for this church is for the people of God to gather weekly for corporate worship, to get to know each other better through fellowship of small groups, become more like Christ through Bible study, prayer, tithing and having a personal quite time, to use our gifts and talents to help each other and those around us through ministry, and to reach out to others with love, acceptance and forgiveness through evangelism.
Today I want to focus in on the importance of outreach. Outreach is vital for the health and growth of the church.
In a recent surrey of church members 89% of them said that the number one purpose of the church 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.” But Jesus Himself gave us the Great Commandment and the Great Commission to motivate the church to outreach. We must reach out to the world around us if we are going to remain healthy and grow. We must help people understand the saving power of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We must proclaim the transforming power of Jesus. If we don’t we become self centered and maintenance minded. We will stop growing and eventually die. So today I want to give three reasons:
WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT OUTREACH?
1. Because God LOVES PEOPLE
“The Lord...is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
God never wants to see anyone die. God never wants anyone to go to Hell. It was never God’s intention for that to happen. The scripture tells us that Hell was created for the Devil and his angles – it was not created for man. (Matthew 25:41) In fact God loves people and wants to see everyone saved. That’s the good news!
But I have to give you some bad news. If you do nothing you are destined to go to Hell. We live in a world were people sin. We are surrounded by it every day. Our friends sins, our families sin and we sin – and the Bible says that sinners will not be accepted into Heaven. In Romans 3:23 we find: