A Healthy Church Reaches Out
By Rev. John B. Sorensen
Evangelism Explosion International
As believers, we are often tempted to get comfortable. We belong to a church and have Christian friends. We give our time and finances to support the ministry. We may even feel that our faith is increasing as we read the Bible, pray, and worship God. While all these practices are beneficial, if we aren’t careful, we can become disconnected and inwardly focused. Our spiritual growth isn’t complete until we share it with others.
Jesus, Himself, set the example for us. Reaching out was His primary purpose in ministry. And everywhere He went, people gathered. They were drawn to Him – His words and His healing touch. The time Jesus spent in prayer and worship didn’t just fill Him spiritually. It prepared Him to go out into the world and minister to the needs of the people, pointing them to the Heavenly Father.
He made His calling clear. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Before He left the earth, Jesus told us that our purpose was the same – to go and make disciples of all people.
As a church, we can only be truly healthy if we are fulfilling our God-given purpose. He didn’t call us to be comfortable, to sit on the sidelines and watch others share His Good News. He called us to go and tell others about the free gift of eternal life, so that they too may be saved.
If outreach is so vital, why does it not tend to be out our priority? Churches today are pulled in many different directions. Pastors often serve as teachers, disciples, counselors, leaders, administrators, and so much more. Contrary to what many believers may think, they are not the primary ones responsible for evangelism. We are. It is our responsibility to share Christ with our families, our neighbors, and the people we meet in our communities.
Church-wide outreaches are great, and I encourage them, but evangelism becomes more wide-spread when believers leave the church building and disperse into their neighborhoods, taking the Gospel with them wherever they go. The message of eternal life can be shared in line at the grocery store, while waiting for clothes to dry at the laundry mat, or with a next-door neighbor.
Many Christians stop short of sharing their faith because of fear. They don’t want to be rejected. They don’t know what to say. Or, they don’t know how to even start the conversation. But the good news is that these things can be taught. We have found that when people learn how to begin Gospel conversations, answer difficult questions, and share Jesus effectively, they are often excited to share their faith!
When Christians start spreading the best news of all, people’s lives are changed for eternity. The church grows. Our faith is strengthened. Other believers are encouraged to take a step out in faith and share the gift of eternal life with someone they know who needs hope.
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 50 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org, or follow John on Twitter, @jbsoresen.
You can read more good news from John Sorensen HERE.