Although worship is a high priority for the church, evangelism is at the heartbeat of its ministry. If the church fails to make evangelism a top priority, the church will not grow. We can’t rely on transfer growth or visitors just showing up at our door. No, the church must share the life-changing message of the gospel with family, friends, co-workers and the community. The Apostle Paul understood the importance of evangelism and dedicated his life to sharing the message. Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). First, the Apostle Paul realized that he and his friends needed prayer for sharing the gospel. Prayer is the cornerstone of evangelism and the lifeline for ministry in general. Second, Paul’s heart desire was for the gospel to spread across the country, just like a runner in a race. Not only does this metaphor convey an athletic term, but points to the gospel being alive. Third, Paul wanted the gospel to have an effect on those who heard the message. The words “be honored” refer to not only respecting the message but believing the in Christ. Fourth, Paul prayed for the protection of those who shared the gospel. In Paul’s day, Christians were often flogged, tortured, imprisoned, harassed and thrown to the lions. So, he prays for protection from “wicked” and “evil” men. It’s over 2,000 years later and nothing has changed. The world is not a friendly place for Christians. But, armed with the gospel and the power of Christ, the church boldly moves the gospel beyond the church walls to a culture that desperately needs the good news from God.
In Christ, Pastor Mike