Sunday School: Evangelism (Pt.3: Connecting Church with a Culture of Evangelism)
Key Thought: “THE LOCAL CHURCH IS THE GOSPEL MADE VISIBLE”
What the Church Is
A local church is a gathering of baptized, born-again Christians who covenant together in love to meet regularly under the authority of the Scriptures and the leadership of the elders to worship God, be a visible image of the gospel, and, ultimately, to give God glory (John 3:1–8; 13:34–35; Acts 2:41; 14:23; Eph. 3:10; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; Heb. 10:24–25).
What the Church Does
A church must do only a few things to be a church: the people regularly gather in gospel love to hear the Word preached, sing, pray, give, and practice the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Members, those who have covenanted together, lovingly care for one another (1 Cor. 12:12–26), even through the practice of church discipline (Matt. 18:15–17).
The Mission of the Church
The church is God’s strategic plan for evangelism with one overarching mission: to go to all peoples to make disciples, teaching them to obey everything Christ has commanded—including forming new churches (Matt. 28:18–20).
A HEALTHY CHURCH
There are all too many ways in which Christians can ignore basic foundations of a healthy church:
• Motivational speeches can be given rather than the preaching of God’s Word. If preaching is about good thoughts for the day or living a moral—or worse, prosperous—life, and not about the Bible, people will not understand God and his ways.
• Conversion can become hazy, undefined, and subjective, which means people who are not Christians are taught that they are. And so non-Christians become members. When that happens, the church cannot practice biblical evangelism.
• Membership can be seen as optional. However I can’t love people—beyond a romanticized theoretical love—if I don’t know who they are. I must commit myself to them and they to me.
• Non-believers can be given positions of leadership in a church.
• Hard stuff can go undone. Too often we fail to love people we don’t like. Or we fail to practice church discipline with those we do.
PERSONAL PRIORITIES, CHURCH PRIORITIES, AND SHOE BOXES
HOW A HEALTHY CULTURE OF EVANGELISM CONNECTS WITH A HEALTHY CHURCH
More in Sunday School: Evangelism
February 10, 2019Sunday School: Evangelism (Pt.6: Actually Sharing Our Faith)
February 3, 2019Sunday School: Evangelism (Pt.5: Intentional Evangelists in a Culture of Evangelism)
January 27, 2019Sunday School: Evangelism (Pt.4: Connecting Church with a Culture of Evangelism II)