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1.1 Background to the Study

The preaching of the gospel is a call to all believers by God to carry out the great mandate given to everyone by Jesus Christ as in the book of Matthew 28:19-22. Evangelism brings about revival, but there is no true revival that does not result in evangelism. This is because revival brings about the reawakening of Christians who have grown cold and the awakening of dead souls (evangelism).It is a sad but common thing for churches to grow lukewarm in their zeal for bringing the unsaved to Jesus Christ. The church at Laodicea was already lukewarm before the death of its apostolic founders (Revelation 3). It should not be surprised if a church is in a state of spiritual decline, but we also should not be lethargic about it. It is required as a Church to take its mission and evangelism serious for the expansion of God’s kingdom.

The Church needs to make the people understand that evangelism is a serious matter. It can be done in many ways. One is by preaching on evangelism and using it in its applications. If the church focuses on this, the people will usually follow suit. Another way is when the pastor makes the church understand the seriousness of evangelism by requiring that the workers be involved in evangelism. The workers set the tone for the whole church. They set the tone for what new converts will eventually become. If the church does not require that the workers be examples of what he preaches from the Word of God, he is undercutting the preaching. Another way the church can impress the people with the importance of evangelism is by emphasizing it frequently, during announcements, etc. Another is by demonstrating before the congregation that evangelism is at least as important as the many other programs and activities the church pursues.

The church must evaluate the existing evangelistic activities with the goal of making them more fruitful. Even many churches that are not very aggressive about soul winning usually have some traditional evangelistic programs, such as Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and a youth ministry. These are good places to start in evaluating and reworking a church’s ministry. The church needs to ask himself how these can be made more fruitful.  A Vacation Bible School, for example, can simply be a part of the church’s traditional program, something that is carried out without much enthusiasm and without much fruit. Many churches participate in summer camp, and they can be extremely fruitful for evangelism if the church has the necessary vision and zeal. But again, too often the church invests a great deal of money and time into a summer camp with very little attention given to making it evangelistically fruitful. To achieve this, the church must target unbelievers in the environment and encourage them to attend camp, even if that means paying their way. The church must stop thinking only about its own young people, meaning the young people who are members of the church, and have an outward vision toward the needs of the vast number of unsaved children and young people who are in the community and who will not have an opportunity to hear the gospel and grow in Christ unless the church somehow reaches out to them. Their parents are unsaved, and they certainly cannot be expected to care about the spiritual welfare of their children. Another example of this is with special evangelistic or revival services. It is not uncommon for churches to have these and yet to do little or nothing in preparation for them, apart from choosing the speaker and preparing for the meals. A spiritually filled revival service coupled with earnest prayers and accompanied by much visitation in the community to invite the unbelievers will be much more fruitful and acceptable in God’s sight than one that is simply conducted as a tradition.

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