Jesus declared, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt 12:30). Are we gathering with Christ or are we against Him? The mission of the church is to make disciples — followers of Christ (Matt 28:19–20). The church’s purpose is to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). Developing and maturing disciples will multiply disciples. Through the New Testament, disciples made other disciples through groups of disciples who grow and mature in Christ and thus inevitably reach out as lights to others. Christians multiplied together.
Opening Doors for Evangelism
Paul requested Christians to pray to open the doors of evangelism (Col 4:2–6). The first church grew as they were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers, and that influenced their community having gained favor with all the people (Acts 2:42–47; cf. Matt 5:16). Today, Christians cannot compromise the truth of God’s word, and yet the faith must be open and become evident to all.
The first churches met together in accessible locations and proclaimed the gospel where people could listen publicly in the temple portico, a synagogue, or a school, and from house to house (Acts 5:42; 20:20; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19). Jesus taught in houses, in synagogues, in fields, on the road, and on mountain sides. Today, churches may need to move from their buildings to schools and market places. The gathering of Christians must be accessible to the unchurched, doubters, and unbelievers. Fellowship must exist after the assembly for studies, groups, meals, and prayers together.
Sharing Blessings of the Faith
God blesses everyone in Christ with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3–14). People have problems, and those problems and failed solutions attest humanity’s broken state without Christ. All were dead in trespasses and sins without Christ (Eph 2:1). Christians must increase awareness of Christ as the solution to the brokenness of one another and of our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. Become aware of what friends express to us as broken — their lives, marriages, purpose, and hope. Christians proclaim change and transformation through Christ — repentance for a new life (Luke 24:46–48; Acts 2:38; Rom 6:4–5).
Here are some points to sharing one’s faith:
- Be an example, a shining light (Matt 5:16). Pray with unbelievers in their distress (Acts 27). Love your enemies. Do good, bless, & pray for them (Luke 6:27–28).
- Talk about your faith has helped and change your life in specific ways (Acts 22; 26). Ask others about their beliefs to open doors to tell others how you became a Christian. First learn to talk to other Christians; second talk to weak Christians; and third speak to unbelievers.
- Seek ways to spread the Truth. Share how your life has changed is the easiest, most practical, and biblical. Participate in community forums (Acts 2–4; 13; 17). Post the Truth in public places & the internet. Give away tracts & other writings. Plant and water and God gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6–8).
Preach the Gospel — Jesus’s Resurrection
Evangelism is not merely teaching baptism and the church. The church began because the apostles taught and defended the Gospel that is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:14–36; 1 Cor 15:1–11). Christ’s disciples proclaim the gospel. The resurrection of Jesus is the easiest point to start of thoroughly present the gospel in the most convincing and biblical approach. The one evangelizing is less likely to get off course when teaching the blessings of Jesus’s resurrection.
The resurrection of Jesus establishes the purpose of His death, His sacrifice, deity, authority, sinless life, infallibility, and His words in a very natural way. Prophecies of the Messiah include His resurrection (Ps 16; 22; Isa 53). The empty tomb and the experiences of various eyewitnesses seeing Jesus’s resurrection that changed them are infallible proofs of the faith (Acts 2; 13; 1 Cor 15:5–19). Jesus’s resurrection is essential to the gospel as Christians teach the confession of faith, baptism, a new faithful life, eternal life, and the church (Rom 6:3–6; 8:23–24; 10:9–10; 1 Cor 13:20–23).
Emphasize the change that comes through Christ via His resurrection. The resurrection of Christ converted Paul who was an enemy of the church, doubters among the disciples like Thomas, and unbelievers like Jesus’s brothers. Baptism partakes of the reality of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom 6:4–5; Col 2:12–13). When teaching baptism, connect baptism to Jesus’s resurrection. Baptism is essential to proclaiming Jesus (Matt 28:19–20; Acts 2:38; 8:35–38).
The gospel spread and multiplied in groups. Personal one-on-one evangelism is rare in the Scriptures, and the case of the Samaritan woman demonstrated how she led many to follow Christ (John 4:7–30; Acts 8:26–40). Most of time, the gospel spread to groups of people like families in homes including Cornelius, Lydia, and the Philippian jailer (Acts 10; 16). Households were converted to Christ (Acts 18:1–8). The church did more than add one by one, but they multiplied as the word multiplied (Acts 6:7; 9:31; 12:34).
Jesus chose the twelve (Luke 6:13; 22:28–30). Furthermore, Paul also trained Silas, Timothy, Titus, Luke, and many others (Acts 20:3–4; 2 Tim 2:2). This is an environment for making disciples (Matt 28:18–20). The first churches met together, often in their homes, and devoted themselves “to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42–47; cf. 20:20; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19). Group Bible studies were opportunities to teach Jesus Christ (Acts 5:42; 10). These meetings allowed them to address the needs of the congregation (Acts 6:1–7; 12:12).
Teach Disciples to Observe All of Jesus’s Commands
The gospel is not the church of Christ. The gospel started the church of Christ. The church is a product of Jesus’s resurrection. As Jesus instructed His disciples, first make the disciples by baptizing them and then teach them to observe all things that Jesus commanded (Matt 28:19–20). Because of various churches today, there is a great need to teach the essential characteristics of the church of Christ including:
- Jesus is the Founder, the Head, & the Owner of the church (Matt 16:18; Acts 20:28; Eph 1:22–23).
- The Lord adds those baptized to the church (Acts 2:41, 47; 1 Cor 12:13).
- The church loves one another & all (John 13:35; Gal 6:10), and yet the church exposes evil (Eph 5:11).
- Elders are pastors who oversee and manage the congregation (Titus 1:5; 1 Pet 5:1–3).
- The church assembles on the first day of the week when Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 20:7).
- The church partakes of the Lord’s Supper in the assembly (1 Cor 11:17–34).
- The church assembles to learn, pray, sing, & give to collection (1 Cor 14; 16:1–2).
- The church proclaims the gospel (Matt 12:30; 28:19–20; Eph 3:10–11; 1 Pet 2:9).
Jesus is the answer the to the world’s problems. Christians must tell friends and family how Christ has changed and continues to change one’s life. Christians must proclaim Jesus’s resurrection to proclaim how the gospel saves. Disciples multiply when disciples multiply disciples. After baptism, then teach all things that Jesus commanded.