As a pastor in the buckle of the “Bible belt” I have encountered a road block in local missions. That hindrance would be the fact that everyone we encounter already “goes to church.” Well, that’s what they say, but with further inquiries it is easy to see that this is simply not the reality. Our missions strategy has, for quite sometime, consisted of inviting people to church. I must be honest and say that it has failed miserably. This is due to the false security the people in our community embrace so firmly. Somewhere along the way, people have come to think church is for children and the elderly and the time period in-between is set aside for other things. Even during this gap period the person feels like he or she is a part of a local church that he either attended as a child or that his family currently attends. The question then arises, what is the next option? The answer to that is as old as the church itself, Gospel proclamation. Here are some important aspects of Gospel proclamation and presentation.
1. Use Words!
While it is important to live out a life that proclaims the Gospel, actions are not enough. It is popular to say that we should share the gospel with our deeds. This is true to a degree. However, if we stop at giving out food and water to the deprived, mowing lawns for the elderly, or having a block party for the neighborhood, than we are only contributing to the problem. These things are good and necessary, but only when they occur alongside a verbal gospel presentation.
2. It Works!
The thing about the proclamation of the Gospel is that it is quite effective. Romans tells us that the Gospel has the power unto salvation. If the message of the Gospel is so powerful, and it works so well, than let us go and proclaim it. The Gospel is the only solution, we cannot add anything to it or take anything away from it to make it work any better. In doing these things we will only take away from the Gospel, which needs no amending.
3. Don’t Wait!
Not everyone will receive the Gospel message in the same way. Much like Jesus describes in the parable of the sower. However, we have an issue of life and death on our hands. If God chooses to save through the proclamation of His good news, than who are we to put it off. We ought to present the Gospel with tact and in good timing, but we simply cannot wait until tomorrow to do it.