The Lifeblood of the Church is Evangelism

The Lifeblood of the Church is Evangelism is a post explaining how essential evangelism is in the life of Christ’s church.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

This verse is foundational to our understanding of what the church is, and what we are to be doing “as the church.”

“Church” is an ongoing progress

In other words, Christ’s view of the church is that His Church is always growing. It is a progress or procedure that constantly has to grow, that church is never “finished and done” until Jesus returns in the clouds to remove the church.

So the basic application of this fact is that those who are “in the church” and especially those running local churches have to be constantly involved with evangelism. We must at once identify that “growing the church” is different from evangelism. Ministries are not “evangelistic” if the gospel is not presented as the primary aim of the activity. You cannot “tack on an invitation” to just anything you are doing and call it evangelism.

Many pastors target already saved people that are going to other churches or that are not going to any church, and they try to get these people into their church. This is not “it.” This is not the goal or way churches should be looking at things.

Churches need to heavily target the unsaved, and present the gospel to them, and then try to get those who are interested or who have made a decision for Jesus Christ as their Savior, to get those people into their churches.

Romans 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

While there is nothing wrong with saved people changing their church family to your church family, the efforts of the church need to be focused on the unsaved. They should be the burden of the church’s energy. At the same time, we need to meditate on Christ’s parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30). At any given point in time, there are a number of unsaved people in any church that identify as saved when they really are not. Evangelism messages need to make a large part of the yearly mixture of sermons. The problem here is that the preacher needs to so present the gospel that it is extremely clear, yet each evangelistic sermon needs to be different, because if these unsaved people hear the same presentation more than once or twice, they immediately turn their minds “off” as to the message.

Evangelism is difficult

I see two points here, 1) getting people to really understand what the gospel is, how to be saved, how salvation is not a work or works, etc. 2) getting people to be sincere in their hearts when they accept the gospel and believe. Firstly, let me just observe, that BOTH of the above points are emotional, and requires the evangelist to be fully engaged in an emotional way to CONVINCE the hearer of the gospel. Christ exhorted us to “compel them to come”, so this is completely biblical.

Secondly, let me say that people in general have a hard time understanding the gospel. They live their lives avoiding difficult concepts like philosophy, and they reduce everything in their lives to the most simple equation of the difficult thing. If they need to confess Christ and receive Him, they reduce that to standing in front of the congregation and saying they received Christ (which they do as a work not as a heartfelt conviction), and then they want to get baptized so that they can claim that the baptism experience proves that they are saved. None of this is true salvation. True salvation is believing and receiving. But to separate the two, believing and receiving from talking and getting wet, is a very difficult thing to do. It takes time, and a lot of foundational teaching before the person understands.

Some “philosophers” like to debate the difficulties of philosophy. They are the hardest people to convince, because their egotistical minds are a barrier to believing. Debate is not being saved.

Church Leaders need to view their congregation as always changing

The fact of the matter is that every church needs workers. These workers most probably need to be younger people, single adults and/or young couples. While they are more occupied than any other people, they also have more energy than most other groups in the church. It is rare when a church has an older person that is still very active and dedicated to the work, especially evangelism. They should cherish such a worker.

If we understand this point, every single person in the church is getting older. Some are not saved, but many are struggling with their Christian lives. Some go through divorce and basically become useless to the Lord as their lives get bogged down with their own problems. A few people get into addictions. Some just have serious problems because of sin.

But the fact of the matter is that a church needs “new blood” in order to survive. This new blood needs to be in the form of converts to Christianity (people who get saved), not transfers from one church to another.  Older people become restricted on sacrificial giving because once they retire, they are on a limited income, and usually they are not financially able to give more on a constant basis. But beyond the economic point, we need new blood to vitalize the ministries of the church.

The Command to Evangelize

2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

The Bible is very clear that EVERY CHRISTIAN is under the obligation to witness for his Savior. We all have to do it.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Is evangelism not part of the whole counsel of God? If it is, then why aren’t churches involved in teaching their people how to witness? As if it were not enough of a good reason to make those who claim to be saved but are not to review their own spiritual state, this is how God has designed the church to function.

See also

The Lifeblood of the Church is Evangelism