Last week, Pastor Clive Chin reminded us about the importance of prayer in the Pastoral Message. A small group started to gather for prayer for the worship service before the service started. Pastor Edward Goh in his sermon challenged us to live with a sense of urgency because the Lord’s return is near though we do not know when.
Through them, I was jostled about how we fared in evangelism as a church. We have indeed become complacent.
Reaching the unbelieving can be uncomfortable. In an age of political correctness in our multi-cultural and multi-religious society, we worry about offending people. Often we agonise over saying something wrong, or being insensitive or making unhelpful comments that lead others away from the Gospel. Sure, we do not want to share Christ carelessly or apart from the Spirit’s leading. Yet, we mustn’t avoid evangelism with excuses.
There’s no perfect way to share the Gospel but there’re certainly plenty of opportunities to plant seeds for the Gospel. Even though we may not be “trained,” we can be trained. Even though we may lack outgoing personalities, we can pray. Even though we may stutter in our speech, we can support those who are actively involved.
There are three things we need in ORPC to make us an obedient church with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Nurture a culture of evangelism. Gospel Sundays may not happen regularly and may not even be our only strategy for evangelism but do we even view it as possible opportunities? What we need is a personal interest and passion to make every opportunity a personal accountability. We need to take it on ourselves to encourage and then to take an active part in it. These possibilities must be things that happen naturally, flowing out of a love for Christ and a desire to build his kingdom in this world.
Be part of the stories and share them. Evangelism is all about changed lives. It is about how the Gospel touches us and how the Spirit of God changes us from inside out. It is about responding to God by faith and then living that faith out in practical everyday life. These are stories and each of us has a story to tell. Yet these stories are not meant to remain hidden but are to be weaved together to encourage and inspire.
Pray for the harvest. As we read the Gospel (Matthew 9:38), Jesus specifically told His disciples to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” Prayer is a critical connection in the process of preaching the Good News. We are merely servants and tools of the Lord’s grand strategy. As we pray, we not only ask the Lord to prepare the grounds (hearts of the people) but also to send labourers into the harvest. We are his labourers, we are called to pray. Be watchful, stay awake and be ready to be sent for the hearts of the unbelieving are already ready for the harvest.