Evangelism: The Starting Point

Barrett DukeAll Enews

Jesus expected His church to be on the go. His commission to His followers was to “go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). Greek scholars tell us that this sentence isn’t actually a command but an expectation. Literally, Jesus said, “As you are going, make disciples.” The command isn’t on the going part but on the making disciples part. We are commanded to make disciples, but we are expected to be on the go.

Before we camp too long on the command to make disciples and lose our focus on the going part of what Jesus said, we need to keep in mind that we cannot make disciples unless people are being saved. Evangelism is the starting point for disciple-making. We cannot disciple lost people, and we have no one to make into disciples unless people are being saved.

The early church understood this. They were constantly on the go with the gospel. The Apostle Paul and his companions traveled from one end of the Roman empire to the other pleading with people to place their faith in Jesus. He even wrote to the church at Rome at one point and said:

“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’” Romans 10:13-15

The early church had to bring the gospel to the people in order for them to be saved. It’s no different today. Do you want more people in your worship service? Tell people about Jesus. Do you want more people in your discipleship ministry? Tell people about Jesus. Do you want to see more people baptized? Tell people about Jesus. Evangelism is the starting point for everything we want the church to accomplish in peoples’ lives

Of course, we all know that evangelism is also the hardest thing we have to do as God’s people. There are many reasons for that. But none of those reasons are adequate in the Lord’s eyes. Jesus didn’t give us a hall pass from His commission. He even told His followers that it would be hard. Here it is:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20

This animosity is not going to change. Our message is that people are lost and without God unless they repent and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It’s just not an easy message to receive. But it’s the message every person must hear if they are to have any chance of finding peace with God.

We have this message, and we must share it. Jesus expects it of us, and the world–our neighbors, friends, and family, needs to hear it.

You have the opportunity right now to be trained to share your faith in an effective, non-confrontational way. We’re offering online training so people can have the confidence and preparation they need to share their faith. The people doing this training are nationally recognized leaders in training people to share their faith and mobilizing them to share.

As part of this training, you’ll also have the opportunity to put what you learn to work. Right now, you can register to be a part of sharing the gospel in Helena and helping our Helena churches reach more people. After Refresh, we’ll meet on Saturday, October 6, to go out in teams and invite people to our Helena churches and to share the good news of Jesus.

Go to mtsbc.org today and register to be a part of Crossover Helena. Eternity hangs in the balance for everyone. We have the key to their eternities. Join us on October 6 and help share this great message of salvation. It’s one day for you. It may be eternity for someone else. I look forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions, just call us at 406-252-7537.

About the Author

Barrett Duke

Barrett Duke is the Executive Director and Treasurer for the Montana Southern Baptist Convention.