Summary: This is the 7th sermon in a series of 8 on discipleship. This sermon talks about the importance of evangelism in discipleship.
Some of the text in this sermon comes from "Out of the Saltshaker" by Rebecca Pippert.
Over the past six weeks we’ve talked about several different characteristics of disciples. We’ve learned the importance of submission in discipleship. We’ve learned the necessity of prayer and study in our lives as disciples. We discussed reasons why we must make ourselves slaves to righteousness in our walk as disciples. And last week we talked about the importance of servanthood in discipleship.
If you will remember back in the beginning of June I said that my hope through this series was that you would not only be enlightened and learn something new, but that most importantly you would be transformed through this study on discipleship. I hope that each of you are striving to make these discipleship characteristics a daily part of your life. If you aren’t, I want to encourage you not to give up and become discouraged, stay with the fight. If you are, outstanding, I hope that you will keep it up. But we have yet to talk about the key to discipleship.
If you are doing all of these things in your life, but you aren’t involved in evangelism, then you are falling short of what God has called you to do. Now if you have never tried actively evangelizing or maybe you have but you haven’t led someone to Christ, please know that you are not alone. A recent church study revealed that 95% of evangelical Christians admitted that they had never led anyone to the Lord. I don’t want anyone to feel like you’re a bad Christian if you’ve never evangelized, but I also want everyone to know that God is working in a partnership with us and he not only wants us to go make disciples, he needs us to because he’s given that job to us! A disciple of God is constantly witnessing and is always prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks him about his faith. 1st Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Evangelism is the key to disciplemaking and must be the cutting edge of any lasting ministry. Evangelism brings new life into a ministry. Whether it is here at the Wesley Foundation or in your local church, people must be added to each ministry because they came to know Christ and sought a church home. If we aren’t bringing new people into the faith, our churches and our ministries will slowly die out. If we aren’t bringing people into a relationship with Jesus, then we aren’t being fruitful for the kingdom of God. We must go forth from here as fishers of men making disciples and the key to doing so is through that big scary word, evangelism!
There are several reasons why we are scared of evangelism and why that word carries a bad connotation with it. For one we worry too much about how many people we offend. There is a myth that says all evangelists are obnoxious and pushy. Think about this though, if you are sensitive enough to realize that you could offend someone in your evangelizing, then offending other people probably isn’t your problem. God hasn’t called us to spend our time worrying about how we might offend someone, instead he calls us to be bold and to step out and witness for him.