Evangelism’s Two-fold Purpose…It’s Actually Happening!

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Over the past few months I have been writing about our new evangelistic push at Northwest we are calling Church Steps. One of the things that has become clear is that evangelism has two purposes. One is the stated purpose of evangelism itself – reaching lost people. The second is the product of the process in the inner-life of those doing the outreach and the spiritual development it brings to the believer who is interested and engaged in the well-being of the lost. Over the last few months we have started telling the congregation this two-fold purpose. We don’t just want to it to happen. We want the congregation to know that we plan for it to happen like this and are explicitly encouraging them to be engaged in this outreach for these reasons.

I recently ran across a great quote from Will Willimon on this. This quote was the last sentence in the previous post. He sums it up so well like this, “Evangelism has a way of making Christians out of those who are already in the church.” (Intrusive Word, 106). I read this quote to our outreach class tonight and everyone smiled. They smiled because they could personally see this happening in their own lives. I asked them, why are you smiling? The resounding answer was that as they had been reaching out, calling, writing, and having conversations with visitors and the lost over the six weeks since we launched out outreach class they had noticed the change in themselves. This resonated with them not because they intellectually knew it to be true but because they had tasted it themselves! Now that is good stuff! God is at work. Kingdom things are happening. Praise God!

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