During this past quarter on Wednesday nights, I have had the immense opportunity to teach a course on personal evangelism in my office. The class has been one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had in ministry to date. The incredible roster of genuine evangelistically minded and hearted people has been an inspiration to me. At the beginning of the quarter, I challenged each student to select three individuals that they had an influence with whether that be a co-worker, friend, neighbor, or family member… (PERSONAL Evangelism). Throughout the quarter, we have been not only learning how to but have been successful at finding different ways to reach out to them, speak to them, encourage them, and have even won some of them to Christ.
There have been numerous “success stories” every single week, and an impact made on our contact’s lives, and on our lives as well. Three souls have been added to the Kingdom of God. There are multiple on-going Bible studies in place, and a sense of commitment and dedication to taking on the purpose of our Lord to seek and save the lost. These have been some of the results of the class. While these are truly astounding things to watch unfold, the part I am grateful about most is the willingness of every student in the class to accept the fact that it is not our job to bring the increase. Instead, our God-given role and job is to simply… PROCLAIM.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.” True “success” when it comes to evangelism and our efforts to bring souls to Christ is not measured by how many times we may have to squeeze into those extremely undersized baptistery waders. The true “success” comes when we step out of our comfort zones to plant and water the seed of the Gospel. That is why Christ’s main emphasis in the Great Commission is not on baptism, but is on preaching, teaching, and making disciples.
All of the pressure, all of the anxiety, all of the convicting and converting is not on US. That is the blessing of proclaiming. The blessing has been afforded to us that we simply are only tasked with telling others about our relationship with Christ and telling them how they can have one as well. It was Paul who said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers…” 1 Corinthians 3:6-9a.
That has been what has made this class so special. Each individual has accepted their role and have made concerted efforts to accomplish that role. In doing so, each student will receive their own reward for their labor as a fellow worker with God Himself. Not only have they accepted that role for this quarter, each student has planned and made a promise within themselves to CONTINUE in it. Paul also said in 2 Timothy 3:14, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.” Our work is not complete.
I write this not to pat the backs of those who have taken part in this class, but to exalt, to praise, and to glorify our God who has done exceedingly and abundantly above all that we have asked or thought according to the power that has worked through us! I also write this to let you know that YOU too can take part in such a class. Starting Wednesday, December 5th, we are beginning a whole new quarter with a whole new class roster, with a whole new list of contacts, and Lord willing… a whole new list of successes! If you are interested in taking part in this opportunity for not only personal growth, but to the growth of the Kingdom, please let me know! May God continue to bless us with continued growth both spiritually and numerically in His Kingdom! To God be the glory, great things He has done!
– Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism