This week I wish to begin a conversation with you on evangelism. For starters, it may be a good idea to provide a definition and explain what evangelism is all about. Webster defines evangelism as: the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ.
I like better how the Webster Dictionary defines the word evangelize. The definition here is: to preach the gospel. Why I like this better is because the English word is based on the Greek euangelion which translated means “good news” or “gospel”. And whereas it is assigned for pastors to preach the Gospel, it is expected of all of us to share, give witness, and testify to the Good News of the salvation Jesus Christ won for the human race.
You might say we all need to be gospeled. Even baptized believers need to continue to be gospeled. And we in turn need to gospel others.
It is this Good News itself, sometimes called the Word of Christ, sometimes the Word of God, that brings salvation to us, and enables us to receive the gift by faith. The Apostle Paul writes, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Ro 10:17).
Evangelizing is at heart of what the Church does. It is the continuation of our Lord Jesus’ mission to rescue and reclaim a world lost to sin. It is His work! And this work after Jesus’ Ascension and outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, is now continued through Christ’s body, the members of which are baptized believers.
The reason I did not like Webster’s first definition is that it makes the work ours – that we are to do the winning or reviving of commitments to Christ. Frankly, it is Christ’s work! But that does not absolve us from being involved, nor of lots of dedication and work. But our job is to share and care, testify, point to, and support pastors to preach. Of this I will have more to say…
Since You Asked…
Are announcements necessary? And should they be included as a part of the liturgy?
Not all announcements are necessary! Nor should they be allowed to disrupt the rhythmic flow of the service. It is likewise important that announcements be kept to a minimum. But certain announcements are important. Information that will enhance participation in the worship, information pertaining to further Christian service, and information for regarding further opportunities for spiritual edification are such announcements of importance, and they are worthwhile to promote publicly to the assembly. We have chosen the beginning of the worship service as the most helpful and least disruptive placement for announcements.