Summary: Stop putting so much effort in trying to win back former church attenders and go after the people no other churches want.
A. This evening I want us to think outside the box:
1. That is, outside of the box that is the 4 walls of this church.
2. Perhaps even outside the box of our preconceived notions of what evangelism is all about.
B. I want to start with asking Sister Van Brocklyn to come and share some recent experiences that she had.
II. Sister Van Brocklyn’s Testimony
A. She testifies to being “stuck” in 3 airports waiting for flights and God give her opportunity to minister to those who are hurting and need someone to care about them.
III. Be Like Jesus
A. In light of Sister Van Brocklyn’s testimony I have a question that I’d like you to ponder.
B. Are we called to be like Jesus?
1. 1 John 2:1-6 (NIV) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
C. In John 13 Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and when He was done He explained why He had done it.
1. In that explanation He said in:
2. John 13:15 (NIV) I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
3. I believe that this applies to more than foot-washing.
4. I believe it means we should follow Jesus’ example in every area of our lives — including who and how to evangelize the lost.
D. Now I would be the first in line to say that I fail to follow Jesus as I ought to.
E. I fail to follow Him in His example in:
3. Self under the control of the Holy Spirit
5. Right motivations (the supreme motivation being to do the Father’s will)
F. I fall far short in so many areas.
G. If you would be honest you would have to agree that you fall short as well.
H. James said in James 3:2 (NIV) We all stumble in many ways. …
I. But tonight I want us to think about how we might fail to follow Jesus in His example of evangelism.
1. That is, taking the Gospel, the good news, to those who are ignorant of it.
J. Oh, but pastor, that’s how I do it.
1. I follow Jesus’ pattern of evangelism.
2. Maybe so, but indulge me — allow me to challenge your thinking about this area.
K. How might we fail to follow the pattern of Jesus?
1. I think we focus on the wrong people.
IV. Reaching People
A. Read Text
B. I submit that we spend far too much time reaching out to “healthy” “righteous” people.
1. The Pharisees and Sadducees of our day.
C. Jesus said quite clearly in
1. Matthew 5:20 (NIV) … I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
D. The Pharisees and Sadducees were very righteous people:
1. They went to church.
2. They paid their tithes
3. They were good Bible-thumping, Law-observing, street-praying, sinner-avoidant people.
E. You couldn’t ask for anything better could you?
F. The problem was that their righteousness was self-righteousness.
1. They were so self-righteous that Jesus couldn’t save them.
2. Not wouldn’t, couldn’t.
G. David Langerfeld writing in the THE DAILY ENCOURAGER tells the story of a man taking a trip on an old wooden sailing ship.
1. He was out on the deck one day and saw one of the crew-members climbing the ropes, going up to the crow’s nest.
2. When he was about half way up, the ship pitched to one side and he was thrown overboard.
3. When he hit the water, he began to scream for help, and flail his arms wildly, as he struggled to survive.
4. The traveler watched as a sailor walked over to the rail of the ship, and calmly observed the man in the water.
5. After a short while the man in the water tired, and began to sink.
6. Immediately the sailor standing by the rail jumped overboard, and rescued the drowning victim.