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Missions 101

Fundamentals and Evangelism

Jan. 4, 2012By: Ben StaffordAuthor Bio

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19 ESV)

It was God's very first command to man in the garden, Jesus first words to his disciples, and his last words while on earth - Multiply.  To be a disciple of Jesus and child of God is to be a discipler of others.  If one has heard the good news, believed and followed then one ought to be proclaiming the news to others.  Since this our calling - to be "fishers of men" we must know how to be most effective in it.

To be effective in evangelism, we ought to: 

  • Be a true born again Christian with a life marked by holiness, humility, love and passion.
  • Know what we believe and an ability to articulate the Gospel.
  • Be Filled with the Holy Spirit.; knowledgeable of the Word; especially given to prayer.
  • When opportunity comes—speak boldly; step out and tell forth the Gospel.

These are not special keys to success, or a shortcut.  They are simply the call of Jesus for his followers.  And we know that one may plant, others may water, and others may reap.  Our role is simply to submit ourselves to God in humility, treasuring his word, obeying him, and proclaiming the good news.  Do some proclaim out of rivalry and conceit? Sure (Phil 1:18).  That is not the question though. The question for us not about others but us.  Do I proclaim out of rivalry and conceit?  In either case, as Paul says, at least Christ is proclaimed. And for that we should rejoice.  

You  may be considering a vocational call to ministry, or simply doing more in your personal life to proclaim Jesus.  Ask yourself, and ask others to probe - how are your fundamentals?  Are you living a life marked by love, holiness, and humility? 

And remember, God isn't looking for perfect people.  You can work your whole life becoming more Christlike, we all should.  The work is done.  Simply examine if these define the general desires, habits, and progress of your life.

***

This is post four in a series started here.

Post five in this series will examine the motives for evangelism

Ben Stafford is the Director of Short-Term Ministries, overseeing the logistics and vision of all the short-term trips as well as representing TLI to students, teachers, and other organizations. Before joining TLI, Ben was the Director of Programs at the Foundation for Economic Education where he oversaw the educational events geared towards high school and college students. His work primarily involved strategic planning, managing, and measuring the department’s resources and results, bringing the programs department to a new level. Previously, he worked as a research intern for two summers at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He still teaches students of all ages about business and economics on the side.

Ben graduated in 2008 from Hillsdale College with a degree with Economics. He enjoys real food, barefoot runs, playing classical guitar, climbing mountains, and international travel. More than all these, he echoes the sentiment of Jonathan Edwards in that God’s purpose for his life is that he have a passion for God’s glory and that he has a passion for his joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion.

He currently resides in Atlanta, GA where he is actively involved with the saints at Perimeter Church.

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