As we have been considering the concept of evangelism this past year, I now move to discuss evangelism in the worship service. We have seen how as a church; we should be evangelistically relational in our community. We have seen how we should be developing a culture of evangelism within the church. We have discussed the need to be able to carry on a gospel conversation of appropriate depth. We have discussed event evangelism as was observed recently at our Kool Beanz outreach, and we will see in this article how we should be communicating the gospel in our regular worship services.
The Scriptures are clear that when we meet together on Sundays, it is predominantly the church that meets together. The concept of “church” means the assembly or those who are called out. Basically, Christians are those who assemble together and meet on a regular basis for maturity, growth, fellowship, encouragement, and becoming better disciples of Christ. In other words, the primary focus of sermon preparation, song preparation, and general worship service preparation concerns the building up of the body of Christ, which means Christians. (Eph 4:11-13) Now, in any given service, we should expect that unsaved or lost individuals will be among us. In fact, we encourage our congregation to invite their lost friends and associates, and we pray that God will bring the unsaved. Paul infers this concept in the fourteenth chapter of First Corinthians. (1 Cor 14:24) Therefore, we should be sensitive to the presence of the lost in any of our services and their need for salvation. We can even have services that are directed toward the lost, with an evangelistic emphasis, as we have observed prior to our Chili fellowship in April.
During the worship service on any given Sunday, we can be making allusions to the gospel and the hope we have in Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection. This can take place during songs that speak of God’s love and grace, testimonies that are given in between songs, prayers that show gratitude for the provision of God’s gift through Christ, and especially through the gospel presentation at the end of the sermon.
One principle that is strategic to implement, is that every single passage in the Bible can be taken back to the cross. The cross and the redemption that Jesus purchased for our deliverance from sin and the hope of eternal life is the central theme of the Scriptures. So if our sermon is on marriage, we can use the concept of marriage to point to Christ’s sacrificial love for His bride, the Church, and end the sermon on a gospel presentation. If we focus on the concept of vengeance, we can end on the point of God’s justice and the sacrifice of Jesus to appease the just wrath of God as relates to our sin. This is another way that we transition into the gospel presentation. If we speak on the subject of money, we recall Jesus’ words that one cannot serve two masters, and we describe the futility of money in comparison to the heavenly riches for those who are “in Christ.” Afterwards, we once again end on the gospel note. Every passage can be taken back to the cross where a clear gospel presentation can be made. Further, we also have an invitation or a hymn of response to allow the lost an opportunity to respond to the gospel message that has just been presented. And even if a lost person chooses not to respond at that time, the Holy Spirit can use the message preached to work on the heart of an individual wherever he or she may go. This is one reason that we always try to follow up with first time visitors to our church, pursuing the opportunity to speak concerning “spiritual things” and talk more about the gospel. Therefore, let us be sensitive to the lost who enter our worship service. Let us make them feel welcome and loved. Finally, let us make sure they leave having been exposed to a clear presentation of the gospel message.
Until next time, this is Pastor Daniel writing, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”