The word evangelize means “to proclaim the good news of God” to others. Some view the preaching of the Cross of Christ as pressing one’s views upon others. Even Christians sometimes are reluctant to work with others, for fear of strong retaliation. Therefore, it seems, evangelism is no longer the top priority for many congregations. In fact, in some places, it simply has ceased to exist.
When the Lord distributed gifts to the church, He specifically gave some to be proclaimers of good news of salvation (Eph. 4:11-16). Evangelism was always the first priority for the first century church (Acts:6:1-4). These early disciples were so dedicated to spreading the Word, (Acts 4:12-20) they could not be subdued by the religious leadership of their time. Fact of the matter is, without Christ, souls are lost (Eph. 2:12). Jesus came to earth to “…seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The Word of God tells us Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
For sinners, who die without ever knowing and obeying the saving power of the gospel, (Romans 1:16), His death on the cross has no relevance. Many, who have never heard the everlasting gospel of Jesus, are not only growing older and passing from this present life, they are dying without any hope of eternal life.
Brethren, the church’s growth demands preaching and teaching the truth of God’s Word. There have been many thoughts and studies regarding growing the Church. The outcome of most of these efforts seems to confirm, that the Church is the family of God (1 Tim. 3:15). The family of God grows, not by seeking to entertain others with worldly ideas, but by proclaiming the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church will grow when hearers who believe, repent, confess the name of Jesus as the Son of God and are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:) (Galatians 3:25-27). Then, and only then, Jesus adds them to His church (Acts 2:47). As obedient one’s are added to the church, it is the responsibility of the church to continue to feed them the Word of God so they will remain faithful until death (Revelation 2:10).
What could possibly grow a local called out group faster than seeing people being born into it on a regular basis (Acts 2:47)? There’s nothing more refreshing than to see people turning from the world to Jesus. At a time when local groups are closing daily, evangelism is still the only remedy for church growth.
The following question begs for an answer from every Disciple of Christ: Whose business is the work of evangelism? Every member of the church must be involved in bringing souls to Christ. It is the business of every disciple of Christ. Working together, the church can make a difference in our communities, our nation, and the world (Matthew 28:18-20).