“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”
As an evangelist I am constantly asking myself how to equip the saints for the work of service in such a way that they will be able to maintain such service in my absence? Particularly in the area of evangelism.
One way is certainly evangelistic fellowship. The scriptures teach us that the fellowship of the saints is important in keeping us active in the work of the Lord, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24,25.
Our gatherings as the church, formally and informally, are to be a source of stimulating one another in the work of the Lord, a part of which is sharing the saving message of Jesus with others. How do we stimulate one another to do perosonal work? Talk about it with each other! Preach and teach on it to learn it and then discuss what the Lord has done with us in it from one meeting time to the next.
Here at Anaheim this is proving to be effective. Since January 2014 there has been much emphasis given to personal work. Both methodology and experience. Brethren here are saying that the regular discussion about evangelism, as much as anything, is what is motivating them to do more personally.
Honestly, I am very evangelistic by nature and I still find it somewhat “uncomfortable” and “difficult” to encourage conversation among saints to include evangelism or any direct spiritual reference. I love conversation about what the Lord is doing in brethren’s lives, but it is quite easy to meet with the saints and leave having only conversed about secular things. I find that it takes intentional effort to discuss spiritual activities with one another. Evangelism is no exception. Actually, evangelism may the the major exception in another way. When spriritual topic is broached in fellowship, my experience is that it most rarely includes discussion about conversations brethren have had with outsiders about the Lord or efforts brethren have been involved in to try and introduce people to a more accurate knowledge of God. I don’t mean to be negative, I just find this true in my experience.
What do you most often talk about with your brethren – personal spiritual concerns, what the Lord has been working with you on the previous week, areas of your faith your are trying to grow in, what you’ve been reading or studying in the scritptures, your personal application of the latest sermon, the weather, sports, politics, vehichles, traveling, people you are working with to lead to Christ?
Hopefully your experience in fellowship is different than mine and much spiritual conversation readilly occures. If so, keep it up so that those of us to whom this does not come easily or naturally for can see examples to learn from.
Part of my hope as an evangelist in equipping the saints to continue the work of evangelistic service in my abscence is to help us create a habit of talking about how the Lord is using us to affect the salvation of souls around us in our fellowship with one another. The other part of my hope is convicting us of God’s will for us to be his instruments in such work.
Brethren, seek the help of evangelists in being equipped to do the work of the Lord in their abscence.