In our recent YPS editorials I have been focusing on evangelism. As local assemblies we need to constantly refocus on this key issue. In this edition we are going to think about how a local church could get the message of the gospel out and about. In addition to this, Jeremy Singer continues to guide us through the Acts of the Apostles, Paul Robinson from Manchester challenges us about the influence of friends in our lives, and Michael Buckeridge makes us think. I am praying that all of this will stimulate you to walk and work for the glory and pleasure of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we continue to look at the need to spread the good news of salvation, let’s think of some ways this can be achieved. Please bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive. You may have other methods of reaching out with the gospel that have not crossed my mind, but the Lord has opened up for you. Some of the suggestions I give may not be possible in conjunction with an established local assembly. For instance, an outreach at football matches could simply work with you going to the area where a match is taking place and giving out leaflets, or preaching to the crowds. In the example I give in this article the outreach is linked to an assembly, as the assembly premises are located close to a football stadium.
The second point I would like to make is this. The instruction given to Christians about spreading the message is threefold:
We do not have biblical guidelines about where we can preach, to whom we can preach, or the situations in which we can preach. To listen to some preachers you would think we had detailed rules about when and where we can preach the gospel. All we have is specific and clear instructions that state we must go, we must go to all peoples in all places, and we must preach scripture. The maxim ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ must underpin all of our outreach and preaching, Rom. 10. 17.
Always seek the Lord’s guidance and direction before starting any work. This is not an excuse to be lazy or visionless, but a reminder that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it’, Ps. 127. 1. A careful reading and study of the book of Acts, and Romans chapter 15, will give some examples of visionary planning to spread the gospel, aligned to a sensitive awareness that the Lord will open or close doors as He sees fit.
I will finish with a list of suggestions. If you want more details behind the suggestions please email me at [email protected] and I will send the full article to you.