Evangelism, by definition, refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those same beliefs; the future growth of the church depends on this. Currently, the United States is considered to be the third largest mission field in the world and no nation in the world is more ethnically diverse. Right now, we are writing the pages of what the twenty-first century church would have looked like had there been a twenty-ninth chapter in Acts.
The true mission of the church is “so that the world may believe.” This is accomplished by living out the gospel in our daily lives and in our relationships with others. Jesus is the perfect model for our ministry because He loved the individual before He tried to save them and one of the reasons for the early church’s great success was out of their love and service.
Another important aspect of fulfilling the Great Commission is discipleship. Paul learned this lesson early in his ministry after newly planted churches began to falter without the presence of a mentor. We are to proclaim the good news while training people to be true followers of Jesus and His principles.
In 1953, the Assembly of God missionaries began to change their methodology. In addition to their goal of evangelism, they added a humanitarian goal. By doing so, they were able to aid the sick, hungry, and homeless. With this new initiative, they were not only able to meet physical needs; they were also able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people they had developed relationships with.
We must continually look for areas in which God can use us to reach the lost while mentoring the newly redeemed. Knowing scriptures or facts is not as important as loving the person and sharing what the Lord personally means to you. Matthew 5:16 tells us, “Let you light shine before me, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” I love how Gary McGee puts it: “What God has done and is doing should fill us with gratitude and awe and should move us to deep prayer and faith in understanding God’s vision for us in this new century.” I encourage you to take a step of faith and tell someone what God means to you and always, act justly, love mercifully, and walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)