The Church evangelizes the lost primarily through the preaching of the Word (see part 1). The church also evangelizes the lost by equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). The work of the ministry includes the exercising of each one's gifts within the body, but it also includes the hard work of sowing the seed. Everyone should participate in evangelizing the lost, even the elders (2 Timothy 4:5).
Although there is nothing wrong with a banquet or a program, these activities tend to relieve people of their responsibility to sow the seed of the Gospel to the lost. Jesus tells us in the parable of the Great Supper, to go into the highways and byways and compel people to come (Luke 14:15-24). The reality is, we would prefer to serve in a kitchen than cast the seed of the Gospel to the lost.
The parable of the soil teaches us that many will reject the Gospel. In fact, three of the four soils produced no fruit. I interpret that to mean that those people did not turn to Christ as their Savior and Lord. They sprouted, but they never demonstrated continued faith. Don't let this discourage you. Your responsibility is to sow the seed. God produces the faith.
How should the church evangelize the community? How would you answer this question? I am not asking how individuals evangelize the community, but rather, how does the church (corporately) evangelize?
The church relies on the world's methods of marketing to evangelize. The church is guilty of using small groups, VBS, and other programs to evangelize the lost. I am not arguing whether these methods are effective, but rather, are they biblical. If Paul lived today would he utilize small groups to evangelizer the community?
Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 that the church's primary method of evangelism is preaching. Does this method seem foolish to you? Paul thought it would. He says that the preaching of the cross is foolishness. And, in fact, God chose the foolish things to confound the wise. Paul doesn't argue that preaching the cross is effective, or that it makes marketing sense; he argues that it is foolish.
But wasn't Paul a gifted speaker? No, he wasn't. In chapter 2 he argues that he came with weakness and fear. So why did God choose to use preaching the cross as the primary method of evangelism for the church? Paul sums up his answer in 1 Corinthians 2:5:
"So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power."
That's it! God chose to use preaching as the primary method of evangelism for the church today and for all time so that our faith rests on God's power.
Pastor Dan Benitez
A proclaimer of the glories of God.