(Evangelist Trevor Dickerson)
Wanting to see your church grow?
Every Christian wants to see their church congregation grow. I would hope that every Christian wants to see more than that – not only to see numerical growth, but people coming to know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord – which is real Church growth!
We live in a society that is always wanting the ‘instant’ or ‘immediate’. We have become impatient, always wanting everything now!
When we look at the Bible and listen to the teaching of Jesus, he passes on to us some important lessons – one of which is that God works on a different time scale to us. He often takes the ‘long view’; he is patient, in no hurry.
We may have been lured into expecting instant results where evangelism is concerned – instead of learning from Jesus.
Community Outreach can be illustrated by the parable of the Farmer (A Christian).
The Christians first task is to prepare the soil. This is done by prayer, then by calling at homes and introducing ourselves, where we are from, introducing the Church to the local community. Then the Christian goes into the community, sowing seeds of the gospel by word of mouth, actions, illustration and literature.
At the right time, as led by God’s Spirit the church member then goes back and waters the seeds that have been sown – through listening, learning and passing on relevant information about the need for repentance, forgiveness and faith in Jesus Christ. This helps to cultivate relationships. Perhaps this watering is needed more than once; perhaps it’s spread over many years!
When we do things God’s way, we should expect to see God at work in us and through us, touching people’s lives and bringing a conviction of sin, leading to conversion. But this is God’s work, not ours – all we have to do is our part.
Outreach UK’s evangelist’s have been involved in this type of Community Outreach for over 135 years. Does it bring instant results? Sometimes! Is it obedient to Jesus calling to His Church to ‘go’ with the gospel? Yes! Does it help grow the Church? Yes!
A Testimony. On the first visit to this home there was a short conversation and a gospel tract left – 3 minutes in all. Only 18 years later it was found to have led to the conversion of two people. The visitor thought nothing has happened – but God was at work, he brought the fruit. The visitor did his bit, God did his! All the glory to God!
Perhaps there are people around your Church building who are just waiting for someone to call and let them know the Good News about Jesus Christ? I can guarantee God prepares such people for us to meet!! Jesus came to seek and save the lost – we are also called to ‘seek’ and share the gospel with the lost.
My Prayer. ‘Lord lead me to the person you want me to speak to about you today’
If you or your church would like help, support or training to engage in Community Outreach – please get in touch with us at Outreach UK. www.outreachuk.com 0300123 1990
Trevor Dickerson (Evangelist)
A few years back Trevor led a seminar day in Manchester; it was a great opportunity to learn more about this vital but often neglected ministry. It would be ideal for a few local churches to gather for such an event.