Is there no greater joy than being a member of a congregation that is actively sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in their community? Like-minded, passionate, and committed – it becomes a privilege to be associated with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have a heart-felt desire to fulfill the Great Commission.
The truth is that many Christians who have a zeal to reach the lost often feel isolated and alone in their own congregation. And this even includes pastors.
At Praise and Proclaim Ministries, it is our prayer and privilege to help provide Christians with an opportunity to be what they have always desired to be – proclaimers of the gospel! And when that happens – the Holy Spirit captures an infectious zeal that spreads throughout the congregation.
We call this building outreach momentum.
A few months ago, Praise and Proclaim Ministries launched a multi-church outreach campaign in Houston, Texas. (Praise and Proclaim Ministries launches campaign in Houston) Members at local congregations teamed with visiting teens from across the U.S. to participate in a door-to-door campaign to proclaim the gospel. Hundreds of gospel seeds were planted.
It’s amazing to see what happens when a congregation steps out in faith to share their faith – specifically, to verbally proclaim the gospel with an unbelieving member in their community. Their efforts helped spark outreach momentum.
A good example is Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Several weeks after the campaign, I received a phone call from the pastor to give me an update on how the Lord is blessing the campaign.
A few weeks after the campaign was over, a lady visited their church. She grew up Catholic. Her husband of 6 years was unwilling to go through the formalities the Catholic Church required so she was not able to go to Communion. After hearing about that she asked herself, “Really?” She then decided to do a Google search for churches in the area and came upon the website at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, www.popcopperfield.org .
On the main page of the website, she saw a beautiful-looking postcard with a compelling message, “Finding Freedom.” The postcard asked if people were struggling to find freedom from a broken past, guilt, or worry. This message touched her heart. The following weekend, she came to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and visited with Pastor Semro. The spiritual answers that talked about justification and what God has already done for her in Christ Jesus was the message she needed to here. She is now enrolled in the Faith Foundations class.
And she was not alone.
The previous Sunday after Easter, a lady walked through the doors at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church to attend the Bible study and worship service. Her former pastor in New Orleans had been at a Prince of Peace Lutheran church for his first call. When she first moved to Houston she chose to attend a nearby Lutheran church, but was dissatisfied. Then she figured out that all the Lutheran churches she had been a member of had been small congregations. So she decided to come to Prince of Peace Lutheran church. After attending worship and Bible study, she is now enrolled in the Faith Foundations class.
On Easter Sunday, a couple and their three children came to be a part of the celebration service. The husband was a cousin of a member at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. They came back the following Sunday without their cousin. Pastor Semro asked, “Are you here to see your cousin?” “No,” they replied. “We would like to visit with you.” They are preparing for Faith Foundations Class and baptism for their children.
There is something about outreach momentum that is hard to grasp. When a congregation starts to take steps of faith to verbally proclaim their faith, they provide a welcoming environment for visitors. The Lord has a way of sending people through the side door and providing unexpected fruit for their efforts.
Step out in faith to proclaim your faith and the Lord can use you to be that spark to help build outreach momentum at your church.
What more does the evangelist need? We have a risen, ruling Christ who hears our prayers (Hebrews 4:15-16), who gives us a message that cannot fail (Isaiah 55:10-11), and who promises his personal presence wherever we go with the gospel (Ephesians 1:20-23). (David Valleskey)
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