Summary: We struggle so much about this thing we call EVANGELISM but when we look at what Jesus actually calls us to do, it relieves us of our fear and allows us to do what He wants... share Him!
Date Written: April 8, 2010
Date Preached: April 11, 2010
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Evangelism 101 -- A Course in Obedience!
Sermon Title: Simple Evangelism
Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 [HCSB]
19 For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law--though I myself am not under the law--to win those under the law. 21 To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law--not being outside God's law, but under the law of Christ--to win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some. 23 Now I do all this because of the gospel, that I may become a partner in its benefits. 24 Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Howard Hendricks said, "In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering."
The Southern Baptist Convention will meet this summer in Orlando, FL and what is on the minds of all pastors and many of the laity for our denomination is what is coming out of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report.
Last year our convention voted to appoint a task force and that task force was going to look at the way we were doing missions and evangelism... however, the mission has shifted away from an overall view on mission and evangelism to an overall review of the entire SBC structure and how reorganization can enhance our mission efforts...
I am ALL for better and more efficient ways of doing things, but I simply do NOT believe that this task force is focused on the right things! I am not alone in this viewpoint, and I will be in Orlando this summer and I will do all I can to have this focus changed to what is needed!
This week I spoke with Dr. Chuck Kelley, our president of NOBTS, and he said this when I asked him about this GCR report. "This report is like rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic, while the water pours into the hold! They are shooting at the wrong target!"
The 'ship' that Dr. Kelley referring to as sinking is the loss of membership and the decline in baptisms over the past 20 years that WE in the SBC have endured.
Dr. Kelley compared what this task force is doing with what he believes the right direction is by using an unusual comparison. He said, "It's like the difference between the chicken and how you like your eggs cooked...If the chicken is not healthy, it doesn't really matter how you like your egg cooked!"
I have discussed this with many pastors here in the local area and many have expressed the same concern to me as well. I personally believe that if believers do NOT do something radical, this great convention we know as the Southern Baptist Convention... a convention that proclaims boldly that we are all about missions and saving souls... I am afraid we will sink into oblivion and become irrelevant in the eyes of society and our nation... and the world!
But preacher, what is it that we can do... We must begin to understand and accept the evangelistic calling God has placed on our lives!
In my discussion with Dr. Kelley this week he told me that, "We [the church] cannot sustain the mission efforts we currently have much less enlarge them unless we focus on the revitalization of our churches!" So when you hear the term church revitalization it means that we need healthy churches!
This is because healthy churches are churches that are living out the Great Commission and are seeing people come to Christ and seeing people nurtured and disciple to spiritual maturity!
Healthy churches are congregations with healthy believers... they have members doing what God has called them to do, and serving where God has called them to serve and they understand their role in the Kingdom!
Healthy churches are more about knowing God, seeing Christ exalted, and people come to Christ and grow in Christ! Healthy churches are not all about the numbers on Sunday morning... but they are about growing the Kingdom one new believer at a time!