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Missions 101

Motives for Evangelism

Jan. 11, 2012By: Ben StaffordAuthor Bio

Before you read the below, ask yourself: 

-What are or have been your motives for evangelism?  

-What would you like them to be?   

-What do you think were the motives of the early church for evangelism?

Now lets look at the early church.  

1. The Plain Command of Christ (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:8).  We looked at this in the second post in the series.  Jesus commanded us to disciple the nations. That alone should make this a high priority in our lives.

2. The Loving Sacrifice of the Lord for His Elect People (Acts 20:28).  Our God's blood was spilled for sinners. Why should we remain silent or motionless in view of such great love?

3. A Sensitivity of the Desperate Need of Men and Women (Acts 3:1-8). Our hearts tend to feel a tug when we see the lame, or poor, or otherwise physically disabled, or materially destitute.  Are we as sensitive for the condition and destiny of souls?

4.  A Strong Sense That it is the Right Thing to Do (Acts 4:19-20).  They saw, heard, and believed. That was enough to trump all opposing reasons or arguments for the apostles.  We alive today have not seen and heard. But we have believed, and we have the Spirit and the entire Bible available to us.  With all this how strong is our conviction of the rightness of proclaiming the triune God and the substitutionary death of Jesus?

5.  Joy ( Acts 13:48-52, Acts 16:25, Acts 5:40-42)).  For the apostles, evangelism was a far cry from duty. To know God and be in his will, to share Him with others was delight, leading them to even break into song…in jail!

6.  Vision (Acts 10; Acts 15:19-20).  This immediately brings to mind the book by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge: A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir.  God desires to save a people from every tribe, nation and tongue.  A gigantic and inestimable vision to be sure.  May we, like William Carey, “Expect Great things from God; Attempt great things for God.”

7.  Outward Thrust of the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:22). Without the Holy Spirit all of our efforts may as well be for nothing.  He will ultimately guide and lead us. 

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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Tags:  evangelism
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