The Mission at Home
Evangelism begins at home. Paul argues in 1 Tim. 3:4-5 and Tit. 1:6 that the faithfulness of our own children is a prerequisite or foundation for any other teaching that we will do. This is true for individuals and it is true for churches on a corporate level. To certain extent, successful evangelism within families would make all other evangelism unnecessary.
A Post-Millenial Faith
But Scripture teaches that the Gospel is intended to spread to all nations. And in order for the Gospel to go to other nations, it must go to other families, to people other than our own children. Faithfulness to the Great Commission requires that we disciple people other than our own families. A rejection of this truth is what got the Jews of the first century into trouble. Judaizing was a rejection of a world-discipling Gospel. Therefore, while discipling our families and ordering our houses is critical. It is not the end. We as a church, need to be an evangelizing body. We are here to spread the Gospel. The gospel is a river that runs, not a marsh – backed up and in need of draining.
Evangelizing as a Body
To do this rightly, we must understand our role as a body (1 Cor. 12). Not all of us are called to act as the mouth. But when the mouth speaks, all the body is invested in what the mouth says. If the mouth goes talking trash to a biker gang on a Saturday night, the rest of the body is going to end up involved. So when a part of the body is evangelizing, the rest of the body is invested in that work.
Regardless of our individual giftings, we should learn to live with our minds and hearts set on discipling the nations – Gospel Intentionality. This begins with prayer. Look to expand your fellowship, where it is natural. Who has God put in front of you? Failing to understand that we minister as a body can place a lot of misguided pressure on saints within the church. We are not all gifted in the same ways. But we are all gifted to work together to the same end.
Evangelism as a Body
Strong families and a strong church do not have to be in tension with living evangelistically. These things not only qualify us to preach, they should actually be our greatest strength in evangelism. For instance, our world is characterized by father hunger. And we, of all the people on the Palouse, have fathers. Our world is homeless. And we have homes. Our world is hopeless. And we have hope. We don’t need to act that much different to proclaim the Gospel. We need to be ourselves, the body that God is making us into, in front of the world. This is Gospel intentionality.