Summary: To encourage a full proclimation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the Church by preaching and then by the church in the streets by personal testimony.
THE PREEMINENCE OF PREACHING WITHIN THE CHURCH
A. In 1996 Thom Rainer published a book entitled Effective Evangelistic Churches
1. Surveys were sent out to 1400 Southern Baptist Churches which were considered “Evangelistic” this meant
a. They had at least 26 baptisms in the past year
b. And had at least a 20:1 Resident membership to baptism ratio.
c. Surveys were received back from 700 churches, of which 576 were usable.
2. The survey was 10 pages long and consisted of questions in 8 areas
a. Evangelistic methods
b. Evangelistic Attitude
c. Worship Style
d. Type of Congregation
e. Theological beliefs (God, Scripture, Sin and Salvation)
f. Preaching style
g. Other Helpful Information: things like church age, retention rate, pastor tenure, etc
h. A catch all, for anything not covered that a church thought was relevant to their evangelistic outreach.
3. Among the many surprises that arose out of the mix were
a. No particular music style predominated
b. Size of church was not a large factor (392 of the 576 were between 100 & 499 average attendance; 220 were in the 100-299 category)
- Churches in the 100-299 had the best baptism ratio
c. And according to the survey the top three items that were most influential to a good evangelistic effort were
1) Number 3 – A good Sunday School Ministry
2) Number 2 – A good Prayer Ministry
3) And Number 1 – the Preaching Ministry – and that being expositional
4. Even in the midst of all the “Worship” wars Preaching was the main focus in evangelistic churches within the walls!
B. The Preeminence of Preaching is seen from the very beginning
1. It began on the very day of Pentecost
2. Having been filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter who had denied the Lord three times, stood up and preached the first Christian message
3. And in this message I picked 3 major aspects of good biblical preaching – good evangelistic preaching
a. Foundation – the Word of God
b. Focus – Jesus Christ
c. Fruition – Converts
C. And believe it or not these are the same aspects of good individual soul winning as well!
As we think about the preeminence of Preaching within the church, as well as good individual proclamation, we should know the
I. FOUNDATION – THE WORD OF GOD, Acts 2:17-21, 25-28, & 34-35
A. A Prerequisite We Need To Understand
1. In order for good evangelistic preaching or witnessing to take place the individual who is speaking must be saved – having the Holy Spirit dwelling within.
2. This was seen last week as we looked at Acts 2:1-14
3. We must remember that it is the Holy Spirit that is going to give us the right words to speak and it is He who will work in the unbeliever’s heart.
4. The messenger must be filled with the Spirit, that is, he must be totally surrendered to God and His will and be led by the Spirit.
5. With that said, we need to know our foundation for the presentation of the gospel
B. The foundation for Proclaiming the Gospel is God’s Word!
1. Three times in this short message Peter quotes major parts of the Old Testament, first