By Not Known
This week we continue our survey of key ministy areas by looking at missions and
evangelism – otherwise called ‘outreach’.
Outreach should be a ‘key performance indicator’ for every church. The reason
for this lies in the missionary heart of God. He promises blessings to all peoples
on earth and desires that all are saved (Gen 12:3, 1 Tim 2:3). His end-game is for
people from all humanity to come into his presence singing praise to to God who
saves (Is 2:1-5; Rev 7:9-10). This end-game is why Jesus came (Mat 1:21, 1 Tim
Put simply, all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32). But
people can’t call on a God whose message they have never heard. Nor can they
hear unless someone tells them (Rom 10:9-15).
And this is where our works of outreach intersect with God’s missionary heart
Consider this text: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
We are to be witnesses. In deeds and words we are to show and tell the gospel of
God’s mercy in Jesus. This is to be supported with prayer for our effective
witness and for God to bring people to faith (Col 4:4). But note that it is God who
saves. We are responsible to be faithful and energetic witnesses, but we are not
responsible for the result.
Our witness is to Jesus. We always need care lest the message is diluted or
diverted. Jesus is God’s message to us and Jesus is the message that saves (1 Cor
We are to be witnesses locally and to the ends of the earth. Our concern for
global mission should not obscure our responsibility for local outreach through
personal outreach and church-based outreach activities.
We are to be witnesses with the goal of making disciples for Jesus (Mat 28:19-20)
This means moving beyond getting ‘decisions’ for Christ, and also teaching
converts all that Jesus taught and calling them to obedience.
And we are to do all this untils the end of the age (Mat 28:20). Missions is
unfinished business until Jesus returns.