Sermons

Summary: Study of principles of evangelism developed by Gene Getz.

Seven key principles for of NT evangelism.

Matt.4:19

Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

- New King James Version.

Clear from Scripture: that first disciples were recruited to evangelize. So are we but how?

Developed from Gene Getz. (1984). "Sharpening the Focus of the Church." Wheaton Ill.: Victor.

Dr. Getz is a full-time pastor since 1973. He left full-time teaching at seminary to be a pastor and sees himself as a church planter at the grassroots level. He has lots to teach us about evangelism... let’s look at what he has developed as he helps and equips us in looking through the Word.

1. CREATE A BASIS FOR EVANGELISM:

Every local body of believers is responsible to saturate its community with love and to demonstrate a unity and oneness that provide the basis for verbal communication; to demonstrate a Christian lifestyle in all human relationships, so as to create a basis on which to discuss the life-changing Christ. Getz (p.70) noted that “when Jesus Christ was on earth, people saw and heard Him. His miracles and lifestyle became the means by which people could evaluate His claims (John 20:20-31). But when He returned to heaven , His body, the church, became the visible means by which people could evaluate the message of Christ. (Read again John 13:13-35; 17:19-23.)”

How do you apply this principle?

Do we create warm loving atmosphere when church gets together like a “large, comfortable living room” or we communicate indifference?

Could we perhaps form “hospitality team” - trained and encouraged to meet new people?

2. CORPORATE EVANGELISM IS BASIC:

Corporate evangelism is basic to personal evangelism.

Other good resources - Building a Contagious Church by Mark Mittleberg, Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren, The Body by Charles Colson, The Habits of Highly Effective Churches by George Barna.

Getz (p.71) wrote that in the NT, “the functioning body of Christ set the stage for individual witness.

This is why Jesus said, ‘Love one another’ so that ‘all men will know that you are My disciples’ (John 13:34)… and why Peter exhorted believers to keep their ‘behavior excellent among the Gentiles’ (1 Peter

2:12)… It is difficult to witness in isolation… God’s general plan is that community evangelism be carried out in the context of dynamic Christianity and vigorous ‘body life.’ ” Then all the church will be

involved together in “drawing the net” for Christ. This, Getz suggested, prevents glamorizing the

extroverted individual as the “most spiritual.”This removes lone-ranger mentality or appraoch to evangelism. The local church can make a powerful impact on a pagan community this way.

"I know from experience how hard it is to do effective evangelism outside the context of a contagious church" - Mark Mittleberg

Sometimes, it seems easier to lead folks to Christ than to get them to church, as noted by Mittleberg.

How do you apply this principle?

a) “most traditional forms do not provide the best opportunities” because as church grows “body life”

becomes difficult to maintain.

“unsaved people who need to see the body functioning in love and unity will not enter a church building. However many will come to a meeting in a home.”

3. EVANGELIZE IN LOVE:

When possible, presenting the Gospel to the unsaved is to take place against the backdrop of a loving and unified body of Christians. Getz (p,72) insisted, “The Scriptures do not suggest that non-Christians should be excluded from the ‘church gathered.’ Rather, the Bible teaches that unbelievers should be exposed to the church gathered as an orderly and unified body.”

In 1 Cor.14:23-25 it ought to be noted that the unbeliever will be “convicted by all” and will be ‘called to account by all” (14:24). Getz further remarked, “Here is a clear cut reference to ‘body evangelism’.

It was the whole church functioning that was to be used by the Holy Spirit to win this person to Christ.Note that he would not come to Christ because of a special evangelistic message preached from the

pulpit by a pastor, geared to the unsaved in the audience. Rather, he would be impressed by the believers themselves, their behavior, and the process of mutual edification.”

How do you apply this principle?

4. AIM FOR ADULTS/FAMILIES:

The primary target for evangelism should be adults and consequently, whole households. Getz (p.73) noted, that the NT do not show any examples of “child evangelism” as we see today , “that is, to win children to Christ out in the community apart from the family setting. But don’t misunderstand…” see his reasoning from the Scriptures (read p.73-76).

5. IDENTIFY MISSIONARIES:

The church is responsible to identify those who have a desire to carry the Good News in a special way into the community and beyond the immediate community -even to “the remotest part of the earth.” This is illustrated by the church of Antioch when they set apart Barnabas and Saul and commissioned them for evangelistic ministry in Acts 13:1-2. In this way, they take seriously the notion that the Spirit has gifted individuals for specific tasks.

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