Last weekend, a group of 19 men from our church traveled to Emporia, KS for the Ironmen Summit (theme – “Men on a Mission”) at Flint Hills Bible Church. And then the 4 elders at our church attended the Shepherd’s Summit the night before (theme – “Evangelism”). Below are 5 takeaways or truths from the Summit(s) that provoked me to deeper thought.
- The sovereignty of God is not a theological truth that should work against evangelism, but for it. A high view of God’s sovereignty should lead to fervent, urgent evangelism. God’s sovereignty over salvation means that we can know that those whom God chose will be saved. Thus, to evangelize is to find those elect. His sovereignty is a reminder that evangelism works. It is not a waste of time.
- In your personal evangelism, begin with God, and linger there until the non-Christian sees their need for Him. People need to see a much bigger God. They need to taste His majesty; they need to see His righteousness. When man sees He cannot meet God’s holy standard, he has no where else to go but to ask for help – help from the only One who is righteous.
- When thinking about corporate evangelism, elevate relationships over events. It is tempting for a church to think they are doing evangelism just by inviting non-Christian to a church event or service or by supporting a missionary. Evangelism is a proclamation; it is using actual words. Evangelism is not the way some claim – “if necessary, use words.” It is words. A church is evangelistic if its people are actually speaking the Gospel and not assuming if someone is present, they will hear the Gospel.
- People in your church will likely have competing evangelistic visions and methods of what the church is supposed to be. Preach and pursue clarity as a church. Some churches prefer Evangelism Explosion; others prefer the Navigators; others prefer Way of the Master; others prefer Grace Evangelism. And when a church grows numerically, it inherits differing ideas of which method should be preferred in sharing the Gospel. The church leadership is wise to allow a variety of biblical methods and encourage people to worry less about methodology and more about getting the Gospel truths correct.
- We don’t evangelize because we fear man. Fear is not a bad motivator, but it is the fear of God that must motivate us fear God. The fear of God produces obedience and evangelism is an act of obedience.