There are hurting people out in the world. Physical needs, emotional hurts, and loneliness are just some of the ills that infect our sinful world. In this busy world, we often don’t see life’s litter on the side of the road. Neighbors artfully disguise their problems and hungrily look for the world to ease their symptoms rather than treat the disease.
In the biblical call for Christians to be salt and light, a sacrifice must be made to stop and help those in need. But is that all? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we are provided a stunning example to display the love of Christ. And I believe it goes well beyond providing for physical needs.
Christians move from good to great when they boldly step out in faith to proclaim the reason for their service. It is because of what Christ has already done for us.
The gospel is the Good News of what Jesus Christ has already done for us. Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again on our behalf. It is the power of the Holy Spirit working through the message of the gospel that creates faith in an unbeliever’s heart.
The saving work of the Holy Spirit can only work through the message of the gospel and not the law. However, the law does have a place in evangelism. When done with the attitude of love and proper discernment, the message of the law prepares hearts to receive the gospel message that Christ has done it all!
How can Christians deliver this message?
Organizations establish brands to help identify themselves to the world. People see the mark or image and immediately think of that organization. Brands stick with people. When they see it enough times, they are able to associate that particular identity with a person, organization, or mission.
A person’s brand can be their identity. A chosen image declares to the world who we are or what we want to be identified with.
For an example, take a walk around your neighborhood. Look around and you will see a person’s identity. There is a flagpole with an American flag waving gently in the breeze. At one house, a person can see a white and blue flag underneath the U.S. flag. That home owner is proud of being an American and of his Greek heritage. Another home has an NFL or college football team banner. There are bumper stickers on cars parked in the driveway. Yard signs will identify political preferences. Images are even tattooed on a person’s skin to identify themselves apart from the rest of the world.
Brands are important. They communicate to the world your identity, purpose, or who you belong to.
An image for those who are set apart by Christ – who are redeemed by his blood – is the cross. It is a symbol for something far greater. It points to a message. The transforming words of the gospel is brand for whom a believer finds their identity and proclaim its power.
“I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.” (Psalm 138:1)
It was a beautiful neighborhood.
Nice cars were parked in the driveway. Trimmed bushes, manicured lawns, and every entryway to the front door provided a unique display of decorate wall hangings, pottery, wind chimes, or floral wreaths. The families in this neighborhood were successful.
And I was going to knock on their door to introduce them to Jesus Christ through the power of His Word.
I confess that I was a little wary. I admit that I was a little intimidated entering nice neighborhoods with beautiful homes to proclaim the gospel. I know that I am bringing a message of foolishness. It felt like being an ambassador from a small army coming up to a strong castle with fortified walls. I was not coming to ask for help, but offering them terms of surrender. Nobody likes to be laughed at. And for families that appear to have everything, I am representing an offer that has little value.
How do I conquer these fears?
Signs of an economic resurgence can be heard when earth movers shake the ground, saw blades are whining, and hammers are pounding. When these sights and sounds are seen and heard only a few miles away from a congregation, opportunities will abound to be proactive and reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the case with the pastor and the leadership team at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Westminster, CO.
They decided to be a proactive and begin reaching out to the new residents of a burgeoning community with the idea of launching a satellite congregation. Praise and Proclaim Ministries was invited to come and help train members on how to share the gospel of Jesus Christ — and provide a well-organized and meaningful opportunity to put their training into action.
And we were not disappointed.
On Saturday, September 17th, twenty members from Shepherd of the Valley stepped out of their comfort zones to apply our methodology and approach to go door-to-door and proclaim the gospel. The Lord opened the doors and our teams boldly and confidently planted the seeds of the gospel 114 times.
The campaign was especially blessed when two ladies from the congregation uncovered a wonderful opportunity that came from a remarkable visit at the door.