“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Romans 10:14
The beginning of this new year we’re committed to take nothing for granted. We will enthusiastically go over the blessed basics of Bible reading and prayer. It’s crazy how we think that there must be something more advanced, some secret power, or hidden knowledge where once we decipher it, then we’ll see God really move. Jesus, the Master, was a man of Scripture and prayer. Through a life of prayer he was on mission, wielding the Sword of the Spirit in quoting Scripture, stating often, “It is written”, to refute and repel the Devil. By the Word and prayer he showed us how to effectively war against darkness and rescue lost souls.
We all have loved ones, neighbours, co-workers, and friends, who need salvation. Faithful time in God’s Word and prayer will compel us to desire that they too taste and see that God is good. Yet, how do we practically go about doing this? A passion for evangelism has diminished in our churches. One reason, I think, is that we’re not comfortable with a direct approach. Few are. Unless, however, someone first broached with us our need of salvation, you and I would have remained lost in darkness. I think it’s important not to be antiquated, irrelevant, and stuck in a 1900s time warp, when it comes to doing ministry in the 21st century. At the same time, as attractional as we hope our music, visuals, and digital media may be, it still comes down to all of us being able to verbally share and offer the gospel. There still needs to be an actual presentation and invitation.
Dr. Ed Stetzer, who spoke this past summer at our Oasis, in a recent blog said, “Over the years, evangelism was generally defined by its tools. For example, the best known might be Evangelism Explosion and it’s famous question, ‘If you were to die today, do you know if you’d go to heaven or hell?’ Or, maybe the Bridge illustration. Or, the Roman Road. Or, Gospel Bracelets. Yet, and there is the point, most people I know are more likely to roll their eyes at the tools, rather than use them. But, they don’t have an evangelistic alternative—all they have is an evangelistic angst. And, angst does not help. The tools may seem outdated, unhelpful, or cheesy to you, but the Roman Road is probably more effective than rolling your eyes.”
His comments reminded me of reading D.L. Moody’s response to a critic of his evangelism methods when he said, “I like my way of doing evangelism better than your way of not doing evangelism.” Funny, when I later went from Stetzer’s email to his actual blog and read the rest of his article, he too quoted Moody!
Another great evangelistic ministry God has used over the years is Alpha. Our Alpha team is gearing up to start the course on Tuesday, January 19th at 6:30pm here at NMBC. Dear, lost souls are desperately needing to hear your invitation. Who will you invite? There’s no better way to fight the post-holiday blues and winter doldrums then to joyously be on mission with Jesus!
Thanks for meandering along with me,