A Local Mission
To make the Church a local mission it must contain missionaries. A missionary mindset must be developed by the members of the Church. This means Christians must see themselves as a missionary where they are. A Christian should see their community, work place, family and everything else as a mission field. The missionary assigned to this field is you. However, in the church today there are few who ever dare to share their faith. Why is this and how can this be changed?
Compassion for the Lost
For someone to overcome their fear in sharing the gospel to others they must first believe it themselves. The church today is full of pseudo Christians who have made a minor commitment to God. “You save me and I’ll come to church…most of the time.” But Christ asked for a total commitment.
New International Version (NIV)
A lack of commitment is also produced by a lack of belief in the reality of hell and the severity of sin. Do you remember the story about Lazarus and the rich man? (SeeLuke 16:19-31" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%20Luke%2016:19-31&version=NIV" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" > Luke 16:19-31) It was not until he saw the reality of hell that he literally became a flaming evangelist who desperately wanted the gospel preached to his five brothers (Verse 28). But for him it was too late. We must develop a compassion for those who are perishing within the body of Christ or no one will feel the need to reach others with the gospel.
Understanding of Personal Responsibility
The responsibility of evangelism is each our own. We have all been called to be fishers of men. It is not the pastor’s role nor is it relegated to evangelists. Each one of us is equipped with the knowledge of the good news and the ability to share it.
Equipping the Saints for the Work of Evangelism
I have worked many years in construction as a superintendent. During that time I have seen many good men working under me each with the knowledge and ability to do their job. However, without the right tools and training they are not as effective as they could be. The same principal is true with Christians. They have the ability and knowledge but may not be as effective as they could be without discipleship in the area of evangelism. Providing them with training is crucial. Here are a couple ways to do this that I recommend.
Classroom Evangelism Training
I have found doing a basic training course once or twice a year is important to develop a fully equip body of Christians ready to work the harvest. One that I have used with regularity is the Way of the Master Basic Training Course. This is an eight week course but I have adapted it very easily to a 12 week course in a 45 minute Sunday morning time slot. What I have found that this particular course has that many do not is it provides biblical principles to apply to any situation and not just methods.
Seminars with in the Field Practice
Another great way to equip the church is to bring in a group to show how to evangelize. One such group that I am involved in is called Hearts For The Lost. HFTL will come into your church for free and provide a seminar which teaches the biblical principles of evangelism and then will take you out into the field to put principal into practice. What is great about an event like this is it can jump start your evangelistic efforts and provide a mean for other to be disciple in a practical way.
Pray for your church and that God will raise workers for His harvest. Prayer must surround all the issues discussed. Without prayer and perseverance you will be wasting your time. Growing a church to be missionaries where they live is a work of God and not of man.
New International Version (NIV)
38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Photo Credit: Chris Yarzab via flickr