We have the absolute promise that the church will continue. Jesus plainly declared, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Thus, we have the advantage of operating from the knowledge that we are on the winning side.
Even so, you and I both know of churches that have not continued for Christ—churches who have left off aggressively reaching the world with the gospel and dwindled to nothing or have tried to “reinvent” the church and lost their distinction and effectiveness.
So what is the difference between a local church that continues and a church that doesn’t? What helps a church remain true to its founding doctrine and biblical in its methods?
In a morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at five commitments of continuing churches.
Our theme was Continue from 2 Timothy 3:14, and the emphasis was on continuing with a heart for God and in the work of God with renewed passion and commitment to Christ. I’ve been praying for the conference guests and for each pastor and church represented that the Lord will use the truths and helps from the conference to bear fruit that remains in their churches and communities.
For the past several years, we have placed as much of the conference as we can online for two groups of people—those who could not attend the conference and those who could.
I’d like to highlight the online resources available to you and suggest a few ways you might use them. (more…)
Over the past thirty years of ministry here in Lancaster, we have attempted to reach our community for Christ in many ways—including billboards, television ads, promoted Facebook posts, radio programs, community newsletters, gospel-centered acts of community service, and more. And we’ve seen fruit through these methods.
But of the hundreds of people saved and baptized in our church over the past twelve months (or any twelve month period), the single greatest tool for reaching them for Christ has been simple—a personal witness.
Whether it be through door-to-door soulwinning, a coworker, or a follow-up visit, fruit comes when people personally take the gospel to the lost.
I love the testimonies in this video because they underscore the value of personally sharing the gospel.
(If you can’t see this video in your email or RSS reader, you can watch it here.)
Think again of those three stories, and ask yourself what if?(more…)
If there is one thing that is clear in the New Testament, it is that the gospel doesn’t end with receiving it. It is a truth to pass on to others.
From the woman at the well who immediately “left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:28–29) to the Thessalonicans who told everyone they came in contact with about Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:8), it’s clear that spreading the gospel is the normal response to receiving the gospel.
Many spiritual leaders who lead others to faith in Christ stop a little too soon—they miss involving a new Christian in the Great Commission as well.
Our responsibility does not end with leading a person to Christ and seeing them baptized and on their way in spiritual growth. We are to teach them to likewise share the gospel and lead others to Christ.
What can you do to obey the Great Commission by engaging new Christians in it? (more…)