This is the second in a series of 11 posts on Missionary Principles.
In this post, I will be concentrating on keeping our mission work evangelistic. This means, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the saving of souls.
Dr. Smith highlights that though social reforms are good such as the building of schools, hospitals and other helpful institutions, they cannot be our primary focus.
Our primary focus is to preach the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul stated emphatically:
1 Corinthians 9:16b
Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
Paul made it his central aim to preach the Gospel. Whatever he did had one goal – the saving of souls. That must be our goal too.
It is a trend this day to engage in social work to help the less fortunate. In fact, many non-profit secular organisations are involved and can do a much better job than the church. This is about improving people’s lives. Unfortunately, the church has followed the same mentality of doing social outreach works without sharing the Gospel.
I’m not saying that social outreach efforts are wrong. In fact, I’m thankful for them as they open a bridge from church to community. But there must come a point in time where the Gospel is preached. Secular organisations do not share that viewpoint and some forbid religious themes in the name of tolerance and respect.
If the church doesn’t preach the Gospel, who will?
If the mission team doesn’t preach the Gospel, who will?
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
For people to be saved, they must hear the Gospel preached. It is so easy to be bogged down in social work whether local or overseas and forget the real reason why we are there. Mission trips can be diluted into mere social work with little eternal impact.
We have to share the Gospel.
Knowing this, let me suggest a few steps you can take:
1. Keep the Gospel in the forefront of all you do
Social work is merely a means to an end, not an end in itself. The Gospel is the end. The problem is when we expect gamblers, drunkards and child abusers to change without giving them the Gospel first. That’s impossible! When they are saved by God’s mighty power, then they will change.
2. Organise evangelistic rallies
One of the best ways to spread the Gospel is to organise evangelistic rallies and services. Preach the Gospel and give an invitation for people to come forward to accept Jesus. This may pose a difficulty in certain restricted countries so it depends.
3. Know how to share the Gospel
I’m alarmed that many church-goers do not know how to share their faith. They leave it to the pastor to do it. This is terribly ineffective. A pastor is limited in terms of time and energy. And most of his contacts are Christians. Imagine if every church member is equipped with the skills to share the Gospel to their own circle of contacts. There would be an exponential increase in the Gospel being preached!
Do you know how to share the Gospel? If not, here are some useful resources (click on the links):
- One-verse evangelism by Navigators
- Steps to Peace with God by Billy Graham
- Wordless Word by CEF
- Roman Road to Salvation
- Evangelism Equipping (Course)
- 4 Spiritual Laws by Cru