By John Weaver
March 1, 2018
‘E-van'ge-lism’: the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness. To evangelize was the last commandment that Jesus gave before his departure. Go ye into all the world, and teach them to observe all the things that Jesus had taught over the last three years.
I have felt that evangelizing is a weak area with many Anabaptist-type churches. Yes, there are individuals who are active in local ministries, thank God. And many support foreign missions. But to be active in local outreach has never been very strong.
I want to introduce to you a writing that brings out very clearly the results of not reaching out in ministry ... Written by a brother by the name of Jim Newsom who has a ministry called "Outward Focused Ministry". (what a great name). Jim was basically a delinquent, petty criminal, dishonorably discharged from the armed services, and finally given a 30-year prison sentence for second degree murder. On July 26, 1972, Jim gave his life to the Lord Jesus and his life was changed forever. He started a church in prison. He reached out and never quit. He was released after serving eight years and continues in various ministries. A few years ago, he spoke at a sister church of ours in the area. He is an amazing brother whose zeal for reaching out is commendable
As I stated, he gave me a paper that tells us in just a few words what happens if the church does not focus on reaching the lost. I pray that we, our people, the church would follow his example, and Christ's command and look outward. Not inward. See if you can identify.
If you don't become a reconciler of the lost, you will become an evaluator of the saved. There is something inherent on our new nature that wants to see people get right with God, and if we don't direct it at the lost, we will direct it to the saved.
Then instead of pursuing sinners, we will spend our time policing the saints. All of us have been called to be fishers of men, but when those who are called to fish, don't fish, they fight.
When energy that was meant to be used outside the church is used inside the church, the result is explosive. Instead of casting nets, we cast stones. Instead of becoming teachers of the lost, we become critics of the saved. Instead of extending helping hands, we point accusing fingers. Instead of helping the hurting, we hurt the helpers, and sadly the lost go unreached, the poor go unfed, and the confused go uncounseled.
But when those who are called to fish, fish; they flourish, souls are reached, lives are changed, and the world is impacted.
— John Weavercomments powered by Disqus« Back to Articles