1st-Century Secrets of Church Growth - Outreach
Text: Acts 8.4
Thesis: To stress that every Christian has an obligation to share the gospel. If this is
observed, then the church will grow.
(1) “Church Growth” is a hot topic today in religious circles.
(2) Over the next few weeks, we will look at some “secrets” of church growth that are found in the Bible.
(3) The first “secret” is found in outreach.
I. The Why of outreach:
A. Charles Spurgeon defined evangelism as “one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread.”
B. People are lost and Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
C. Evangelism is a priority of Jesus and His church (Luke 19:10; Matt. 28:19-20).
II. The Who of outreach:
A. Every member is a minister!
1. The members of the early church “went everywhere” teaching Jesus (Acts 8:4).
2. They, like Peter and John, “never stopped teaching and proclaiming” Jesus (Acts 5:42).
B. The American Church Growth Institute surveyed several people about why they went to church and here are the results:
2-3 % - attracted by some church program
3-4 % - attracted by the Bible school
5-8 % - simply walked in off the street
9-10 % - came through the invitation of ministers
70-80 % - came through friends and loved ones
C. According to Christianity Today, the top 3 reasons why people do not practice the great commission are:
(1) A feeling that I am not able to do evangelism as well as the professional
(2) I’m too timid
(3) I fear how people will respond
III. The What of outreach:
A. We are to teach the “gospel,” which is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
B. We talk about Christ and Him crucified (cf. 1 Cor. 2:2).
C. We must utilize various approaches and methods as we teach the gospel (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-23).
(1) Henry Crocker wrote a poem entitled “Evangelize!”
Give us a watchword for the hour,
A thrilling word, a word of power;
A battle-cry, a flaming breath,
That calls to conquest or to death;
A word to rouse the church from rest,
To heed her Master’s high behest,
The call is given: Ye host arise,
Our watchword is evangelize!
To dying men, a fallen race,
Make known the gift of gospel grace;
The world that now in darkness lies,
O Church of Christ, evangelize!
(2) We will carry the torch of evangelism?