The elders have decided to use The Gospel Minutes as a part of our local evangelistic outreach. The plan will go like this: First, we will select a number of households in the community and have The Gospel Minutes sent to them for two or three months. Second, toward the end of that period we will contact those who have been receiving it to see if they have been reading it and would like to continue. Third, those who are not interested will be dropped and those who are interested will be put on a more permanent mailing list. Fourth, we will then continue to make contact from time to time with those who have shown an interest. Fifth, we will then begin the whole process over again.
What is your part in this work? First, you may have the name and address of someone who is not a member of the church that you would like to receive The Gospel Minutes. Then, at the end of the two or three month period you would be expected to contact them to see if they are reading it and would like to continue. This then would be a permanent contact for you. You may want to discuss some of the important articles in different issues. Second, since many of those who will be on our mailing list will be unknown to us, we will need volunteers to contact them. If you would feel comfortable doing this, let the elders know.
Be sure to include this new work in your prayers.
The church at Thessalonica got off to a rocky start. The two missionaries, Paul and Silas, who first preached in their city had to flee by night because of persecution. Later Paul wrote to them and mentioned their “having received the word in much affliction.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6) And again, “Ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen.” (1 Thessalonians 2:14)
But even though the Thessalonians suffered persecution for their faith, they still sounded forth the word of the Lord. Paul wrote, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to Godward is spread abroad, so that we need not to speak any thing.” (1 Thessalonians 1:8)
We enjoy much greater religious freedom in our country so that we need not fear persecution. That being the case, it should be much easier for us to sound out the word of the Lord in our community. Let’s imitate the church at Thessalonica in spreading the gospel message.
Christians are always at war but it’s not carnal warfare. Rather it is a battle for the minds and hearts of men. Paul put it this way: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) While there have been those who have waged war in the name of Christ, there is no jihad in pure Christianity. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
Paul names two things that we are to seek to accomplish in this spiritual war. First, he writes, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” That is, we expose and defeat all false teachings of men. Second, Paul adds, “And bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” That is, capture the minds and hearts of men with the truth of God so that they will become obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
How are we to accomplish this? As we have opportunity, speak to others about the truth. Use tracts. Enroll friends in our Bible Correspondence Course. Not everyone will do the same thing, but each of us should have his own plan for reaching others.
In Antioch of Pisidia when the Jews, after hearing the gospel message, began to speak against the things spoken by him, Paul said to them, “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it far from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 14:46) Perhaps we can learn a lesson here about evangelism. And that is, when one group of people rejects the gospel, maybe it is time to turn to another.
The restoration movement which is a part of our heritage was from the beginning an effort to call religious people out of denominational error. And for many of us this has also been our approach to evangelism. And this we should continue. But we might learn a valuable lesson from Paul. Paul turned from those who should have been most receptive to the gospel (the Jews) to those further away (the Gentiles).
While we are well versed in the Bible and know how to confront religious error, it seems to me that we have not learned how to reach out to the un-churched. Certainly, among those not religiously attached at all, “the fields are ripe unto harvest.”
The latest edition of House to House has been mailed to a 1000+ homes in our community. This paper is a part of our evangelist outreach to the community. If you would like a copy, you will find one in the rack with the weekly bulletin.
So far we have had two individuals to respond. I was able to have a couple of Bible studies with one of them and a lengthy telephone conversation with the other.
There are several things that we should keep in mind about this outreach effort. First, the success of any type of mail-out is not usually immediate but cumulative, that is, the longer we continue it the greater the results should be. Second, no matter what the results are – we have carried out our responsibility to get the message out.
Continue to pray for the success of this work.
The paper House to House/Heart to Heart arrived this week. If you would like a copy, there are some in the rack behind the bulletins. After you have read it, perhaps you could share it with a friend.
This little paper is part of our effort to reach the community with the gospel. This issue will be mailed to 1000+ of our neighbors. Each issue will contain a lead front page article as well as other instructive information. Also, each issue will offer a Bible Correspondence Course and other interesting material. Pray that this outreach effort will reach the right people.
Also, in an effort to reach people with the truth, we are planning to bring in a young man to work with us for a few days. This young man, Chad, has been very successful in mission work both overseas and in the states. We are hoping to be able to arrange for him to come and help us.
If you have any good ideas about how we might be more effective in evangelism, please let the elders know.
Some look forward to gospel meetings and attend every service. Others seem not to care and make little effort to attend. Perhaps the difference is a failure to appreciate the benefits of attending and why we should try to attend every service of our meeting.
- To SUPPORT the GREATEST and MOST IMPORTANT
MESSAGE ever given
The Word is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and able to produce faith (Romans 10:17)
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16)
Jesus wants all to hear the message (Mark 16:15-16)
Isn’t God’s Word worthy of our support?
- To RECEIVE a great message
To exhort one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25) and revive those who have lost their first love (Rev. 2:4-5)
Aren’t we all in need of edification and uplifting?
- To DEMONSTRATE our PRIORITIES
The kingdom of God comes first (Matthew 6:33)
We are concerned for the lost and have compassion for them (Matthew 9:35-38)
We support and want to encourage our brethren (Rom. 15:1-2)
What could take higher priority than the message and will of our gracious and mighty Lord?
Our presence shows that we desire to receive the great message Jesus has to offer. What does our absence show? We hope to see you there!
Have you ever seen the publication called
“House to House/Heart to Heart?” It is a
paper to be used as an outreach to communities throughout the USA. It contains articles on important religious and moral truths. Also, there is in each edition a selection of pamphlets offered, as well as free Bible Correspondence Courses.
The elders have decided that as a part of our outreach program we will have this paper sent by
direct mail to the residents of our community. It
is published every other month and will begin in our community with the May/June edition. Also
we will receive a bundle of the papers so that each of us can take one for ourselves and some to share with others.
Any request for pamphlets or Bible courses will be handled by us, so this means we will probably need some volunteers. Be sure to remember this good work in your prayers.
One practice that distinguishes us from other churches is the fact that we do not use an instrument of music in our worship services. Often times in a discussion of this point King David’s use of the harp is brought up. How should we answer?
Question: Didn’t David play the harp?
Answer: He sure did – God authorized it under the Old Testament system
(2 Chronicles 29:25). But we follow Christ and His apostles – not King David.
Jesus claimed all authority for Himself and authorized the apostles to be His official spokesmen under the New Testament system. (Matthew 28:18-20) The New Testament is clear – We sing. (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) In the Old Testament there is frequent mention of the use of musical instruments in worship, but in the New Testament it is not mentioned even once. Rather in the New Testament it is the “fruit of our lips” that we offer as praise to God.
There must have been a large crowd gathered in the
Areopagus in the city of Athens that day about two thousand years ago when the apostle Paul spoke of the one true God – creator and ruler of all. Luke records the people’s reaction at these words: “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again on this matter.” (Acts 17:32) Paul, then leaving the crowd, focused his attention on those who showed an interest. Some believed and two individuals in particular are named: Dionysius and Damaris.
There is an important lesson for us to learn from Paul about evangelism. Paul first threw the message out broadly, determined those who were interested, then focused his
efforts on them. This was Paul’s method not only in Athens but in each city he visited. We should do the same. Each of us should spread the gospel message as widely as we can, then noting those who indicate an interest, focus our
energies on teaching them.