OceanSide church of Christ
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CHURCH GROWTH through EVANGELISM
Victor M. Eskew
A. To become effective soul-winners, we must:
1. Have strong convictions that are rooted deep in our hearts.
2. Make a conscious decision to dedicate ourselves to the task of evangelism.
B. When these two things are in place, we are now ready to actually evangelize others. This is what we refer to as “the work” of church growth.
1. It is work because it involves effort and labor.
2. It is work because the Bible likens it unto the sowing of seed.
3. It must be work because there are so few who are willing to engage in it.
C. Right here is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to church growth.
I. EVANGELISM DEFINED
A. There are three English words that are associated with a Greek word revolving around evangelism.
1. One involves the message.
a. Literally: the good news.
b. Our English New Testament translates the word as “gospel.”
c. Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2. The next word involves the messenger.
a. Literally: the declarer of good news
b. Our New Testament translates the word as “evangelist” (II Tim. 4:5; Acts 21:8).
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
3. The third word involves the action of the messenger.
a. Literally: the announcement of good news
b. Acts 13:32; Rom. 10:15
And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.
II. EVANGELISM IS LABOR INTENSIVE
A. Paul told Timothy to do the work of an evangelist (II Tim. 4:5).
B. It involves the actions of “go,” “preach/teach,” and “baptize” (Matt. 28:19).
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
C. It is likened unto three types of labor.
a. Matthew 13:3, 34
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field.
b. Paul picked upon this concept in I Corinthians 3:6-8.
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
2. Building (I Cor. 3:9-10)
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how be buildeth there upon.
a. I Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession among many witnesses.
b. II Timothy 2:3
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
D. There are at least seven labors of evangelism.
1. The labor of prayer (Rom. 10:1; Col. 4:12; James 5:16)
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. In prayer there is a struggle, a fervent labor, on behalf of another. The only prayer that avails is the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man.
2. The labor of study (Eccl. 12:12)
…and much study (intense mental application) is a weariness of the flesh.
3. The labor of teaching (II Tim. 4:5)
…do the work of an evangelist…
4. The work of answering (I Pet.3:15)
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to given an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
5. The labor of concern (II Cor. 11:28)
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
6. The labor of follow-up (Acts 14:21-22)
And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
7. The labor of rejection and persecution (John 15:20)
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
III. THE ACTUAL WORK
A. Getting the study
1. Just ask someone to study with you.
2. Ask questions of other people.
a. What do you think about God?
b. What do you think happens after death?
c. Ask questions about the other person’s beliefs.
3. Give them tracts and articles to read.
B. Conduct the study.
1. Open Bible Study
2. Jule Miller Film strips
3. Fishers of Men course
4. Create your own study
IV. THE ZEAL TO LABOR
A. A desire to do evangelism can be artificially manufactured for a time.
1. We hear a sermon that inspires us to evangelize.
2. We have someone ask questions that get us interested in perhaps conducting a study.
3. We go with someone else on a Bible study.
B. True missionary zeal needs to have a power source that is plugged into the grace of God.
1. I Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
2. Grace involves the “help” that God has provided to man.
a. Man was lost; God rescued him.
b. Man was in sin; God forgave him.
c. Man was dead; God gave him life.
d. Man was condemned; God justified him.
e. Man had no hope; God have him the hope of heaven.
3. This grace is a motivator, an energy source. Paul said: …but I labored more abundantly than they all.
A. Doing the work of evangelism is hard, lonely, and discouraging.
B. Let’s always keep in mind our purposes for evangelizing.
1. To bring glory to God (Rom. 16:26-27)
2. To save lost souls (Mark 16:15-16)
3. To bear fruit (Ps. 126:5-6; Rom. 1:13)
4. To build the church (I Cor. 3:9-15)
5. To enhance our reward (I Thess. 2:19-20)
C. I Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord…And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.