“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
This passage is called the “Great Commission.” I believe it is the Christian’s job description, out mission, our focus, and our life.
I think it would do us well to reevaluate what kinds of things we view as “missions” or “evangelism.” To be honest, from the pages of the New Testament, I see that just about every single thing in the life of a Christian is about two things: 1) giving glory to God, and 2) reaching out to others with the message of Jesus. So what constitutes reaching out? To be honest, there’s no “one way” or “one size fits all” approach to reaching people for Jesus. It can be as complex as a city-wide gospel meeting, or as simple as just talking to your next door neighbor. All things that bring us closer to people and enabling us to share the gospel with them—those are the things we should be doing.
The church, in the 1st century had a HUGE community presence. Look at this:
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. (45) Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (46) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, (47) praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44-47).
So the first century church knew something about community…but they weren’t content just hanging out with each other. It says that the gave to everyone as needed , spent their days meeting together, breaking bread, and living joyfully. As a result, the had good favor with men, and God added to their numbers daily. What does that mean? I think it means that because Christians were doing good, helping, loving on people, and showing them Jesus Christ in action, then the world was moved to follow Jesus Christ.
So how does this translate into 2010? Well, statistics show that the church doesn’t to too well in the area of evangelism lately. Flavil Yeakley, in his report in 2007, stated that 80% of our young people leave the church every single year. That makes me upset. I hope it does you, as well. Why is that? Well, I don’t have the answers…never claim to, but I do have some suggestions. I think too often we let the culture dictate when and where we can share Jesus. We ask questions like “does this directly affect the church or Christians? If not, we usually disregard the idea completely…and as a result, we’ve adopted a policy of “isolationism”, if you will. We want people to come to us, to our events, to our services on our time. At this point, we have to be brutally honest—that approach simply does not work in the current culture. Now I understand that it still does happen because there are always exceptions to the rule, but over the last twenty years, those exceptions are becoming few and far between.
So what’s the solution? I have no idea. But I look at Acts, chapter two, Matthew 28:18-20, and First Corinthians 9:19-22, I have to say that we are God’s messengers in this world and we should take that message everywhere we go. Why let the world tell us when it is and when it’s not appropriate to share the Gospel? Isn’t our God the God who creates the culture by His holiness and righteousness? Then why aren’t we out there turning the world on it’s head, at everything we can be at, doing good to all people, and glorifying God in the process? We should be involved with community service, building relationships with everyone we can, so that God may give us the opportunity to share the beautiful, incredible, and timeless message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel means “Good News.” When we get good news about the Bengals or the Reds, we tell everyone about it instantly…but why don’t we have the same attitude about the greatest news ever: That Jesus Christ was the once-for-all sacrifice for our sins and if we follow Him and come to Him in the way He asks us, we can be forgiven and granted Eternal life! Let’s work on being “mission-minded Christians.” Too many souls hang in the balance. Just something to think about.