Friday, February 2, 2007

Is the vision for personal evangelism starting to grow at Trinity?

On Wednesday night, I came up to the church to meet with our three WTS Texas seminary students for ministry training. There was a baby shower and choir rehearsal down the hall. Two women stopped me to say how wonderful and worshipful they thought Jeff's memorial service was on Tuesday. One said that there were lots of non-Christians there that she and her husband know from other walks of life. Then she said something that sent a jolt of pure joy through my heart! She said, "My husband and I are going to start following up with those people we know and put out some feelers with them to see if there is any interest in the gospel." Wow! This is exactly what I've been trying to encourage the congregation to do!!! Two weeks ago I preached on Jonah 1 and spoke about how the Lord had more compassion for the lost than did his prophet. Then the next Sunday Jim Bland, Coordinator to the PCA's Mission to North America, came and gave us two sermons on reaching the lost. Last Sunday we studied Romans 8:28 together in light of all the deaths recently in the church. But this Sunday I'll return again to Jonah 2 and continue the theme of turning our compassion for the lost into passion for evangelism. Evangelism cannot be done by a church program. It must be done in the every-day lives of ALL the members of a church. It must be in the DNA of the church. In the culture of the church. The feeling must be that "either we go find the lost and bring them in or else we die". Somehow we have to all gain the sense that reaching the lost with the good news is not a luxury ministry or a side effort or something only for the professional minister or the uniquely gifted. It must become an every member ministry. It must be richly personal. When that woman said that to me, I thought to myself, "Maybe it's really starting to catch on." I hope so. No, I pray so. And Lord give me the mercy and courage to lead by example in my own personal life.

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