Summary: Purpose #5 EVANGELISM — 40 Days of Purpose (addapted from Rick Warren) See in Word format at


Purpose #5 EVANGELISM — 40 Days of Purpose

Colossians 4:5

Adapted from Outline by Rick Warren—Saddleback Church


What is the largest living organism in the world? How about the blue whale weighing in at 120 tons and over 80 feet long? Or perhaps it may be a giant sequoia standing over 300 feet tall with a trunk measuring 30 feet in diameter? Maybe we should consider the aspen tree. While the aspen rarely grows more than 100 feet tall and it’s trunk is no more than a foot wide, the aspen has a hidden secret. A single tree does not stand alone. Each aspen is interconnected to the others through it’s root system. The aspen’s preferred method of growth is by sending new shoots of the old roots. In this way a single plant may actually cover hundreds of acres growing from a single interconnected root system. While a single tree, or stem may only live 100 years the roots may be thousands of years old.

Perhaps you have already thought of the connection between the aspen and the church. Through our 40 days of purpose we have learned that those of us within the church belong to each other. As the body of Christ we share the same interconnectedness as the aspen. We are collectively joined to Christ, and He makes us all one. However, I want you to think with me about the way the aspen grows. The root system sends out new growth, unseen and unnoticed until a new tree breaks through the ground and begins to grow. That’s a picture of how the church as a whole and our church is growing.

Unnoticed by many, the church prays for family and friends to find Christ as their personal savior. Unseen by the church as a whole, individuals will talk with people at work or school about their personal relationship with Christ; you and I invite family and friends to attend church with us. Eventually something happens in the lives of people around us and they decide to open their lives to the love of Christ. They come to church and make a commitment to the Lord. The church is growing, but growth comes through individuals praying and sharing their faith one on one—unseen and unnoticed by the church as a whole, but nevertheless the key to the growth of the church!

Today we continue with our 40 days of purpose; my how quickly the 40 days are passing—today is day #36, and our spiritual journey is rushing towards a close. While the 40 days will come to an end this week, we still have a lifetime to put into practice the things we have learned over the last several weeks. It’s not enough to just know our purpose for life; we need to live it!

What is our purpose? It all begins with the understanding that God loves us. What on earth am I here for? I’m here because God loves me and wants to spend eternity with me. This life is preparation for living with God forever in heaven.

So what does God want me to do to get ready for eternity? #1 WORSHIP; #2 FELLOWSHIP; #3 DICIPLESHIP; #4 MINISTRY. Have you noticed how these purposes build upon each other? As we learn to fulfill each purpose of life it prepares us to live out the next purpose. It’s difficult to do ministry if you haven’t learned fellowship. Once we’ve got the first four, we’re ready for #5—a purpose that is impossible without the other 4 in our lives and is the only purpose we can do here on earth.

Colossians 4:5 (NIV)

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Purpose #5 shows us that God does not want us to just think about ourselves. God wants us to make the most of every opportunity. Use your head and think about it; God loves people outside the church! God could have taken us immediately to heaven once we became a Christian, but He left us in this world to interact with people who are not apart of the church for a reason!

John 17:18 (MsgB)

In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.

Underline the phrase “in the world.” Jesus had a mission to complete “in the world,” and likewise we also have been given a mission “in the world.” God has given each of us an assignment, a job to do. This is not “mission impossible;” if it were NONE OF US WOULD BE HERE TODAY! We are a part of the church—God’s family—because someone fulfilled their mission. God uses people to reach people.

John 20:21 (NIV)

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