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Summary: The sermon reminds us of the importance of every member actively participating in the evangelistic purpose of the church.

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Membership Covenant

I Will Share the Responsibility of Our Church

Matthew 28:18-20

January 11, 2004

Intro:

A. [Pastor will sing, “People Need the Lord” (Greg Nelson/Phil McHugh, 1983 River Oaks Music Co., BMI)]

B. This will be the second in our series of sermons on our new membership covenant.

1. I started last week with: “I will save the unity of our church.”

a. In that sermon I stressed the importance of every member making every effort to protect the unity of our church.

b. We have a strong unity here and we need to do everything we can to protect it.

c. I gave three Biblical ways of making those efforts.

2. Today we come to the second statement in our membership covenant…

a. “I will share the responsibility of my church.”

b. So you may be asking, “What is the responsibility of the church that I should share?”

C. Well, I’m glad you asked!

1. Jesus’ last words before going to heaven were a very clear enunciation of our purpose and responsibility.

2. Mathew 28:18-20 records, "Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’"

3. Jesus said our responsibility is four-fold.

a. Go—He said we are to go into all nations, starting in our own back yard.

b. Make disciples—That is, teach them how to be saved.

c. Baptize—By immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

d. Teach—After they are saved and baptized, teach them how to live for Christ.

e. "Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’"

f. That’s our four-fold purpose as a church: Go, make disciples, baptize, and teach.

D. Now let me ask you, is that the church’s responsibility or is it the preacher’s?

1. The answer is that it is the shared responsibility of Pastors, Elders, Deacons and the members of the church.

2. It is everyone’s responsibility.

3. None of us are called to make disciples and baptize by ourselves; none of us are called to do all of the work ourselves.

4. We share the responsibility.

5. It is the responsibility of each of us to help our church grow.

E. Therefore our membership covenant calls on each of us to share the responsibility of our church in the following three ways; first…

I. …by praying for its growth

2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NIV), Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

A. Now I want to make it clear that not everyone has the gift of evangelism.

1. Ephesians 4:11, "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,"

2. Not everyone has the gift of evangelism—the God given ability to lead someone to Christ and are therefore very good at it.

3. In fact the Church Growth institute of Lynchburg, VA says that only about 10% of all Christians have that ability.

4. Everyone has different abilities (which the Bible calls “gifts”) that are given to us by the Holy Spirit.

5. All of us are good at different things.

6. Everyone has at least one Holy Spirit gift or ability that is to be used in service to God.

7. Some are gifted by the Holy Spirit to be prophets, some evangelists, some to be pastors, some to be teachers—and there are at least 19 different ability/gifts listed in Ephesians 4, Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12.

8. But only a few have the gift of leading people to Christ—the gift of evangelism.

9. That’s what Paul is saying in Ephesians 4:11, "It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,"

10. You may not have the gift of evangelism, but that does not mean that you don’t have any part in evangelism.

11. Of course, if you have the gift of evangelism, you should be learning how to use that gift to help spread the gospel.

2. But even if you don’t have that gift, there are still some things that you can do to help.

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