Today we want to talk about using everyone's gifts to disciple. They can be used. We've been working with this discipleship program for many months with great success, seeing people's lives changed by being born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and water baptized. One day I was talking to a friend and said, "We're missing some things— they're falling through the cracks." He said, "I thought everything was working great. What do you mean?"
What I'm going to share with you is how to bring an inward church—where people just sit, listen to the pastor, and go home—to be an outward church where they reach beyond the four walls of the church building. These are the real statistics: 95 percent of all Christians have never led anybody to the Lord and 90 percent of evangelism is directed toward Christians. The church building is the most evangelized area in the world. We evangelize the Sunday school rooms, and we evangelize the sanctuary. The way we evangelize the building, you would think the church needs converting.
It wasn't until the third century under Constantine that church buildings came into being. Since that time, as far as reaching out to the lost, the church has gone inward and hid behind the walls of the church buildings. We want to talk about reaching out beyond those walls to turn an inward church into an outward church. Statistically, there are only 0.5 percent (less than one percent) of programs that reach beyond the four walls of our buildings. That says there is no major denomination in the United States today that has a plan to really reach the lost. Reaching and discipling people outside our church buildings is a part of Christianity that needs to be rediscovered.
Through the Reformation, Martin Luther brought the revelation of justification through faith to the church's attention. In the 1800s, mass evangelism came through John Wesley. But it seems that personal one-on-one discipling and evangelism has not been rediscovered since the Apostles. You may say, "I don't know how." Through this program, we definitely will show you how—it's very easy. We'll show you how easy it is to work with people and to meet new people at the door through using your testimony. This is what I want to focus on now. This is the good news.
How would you like to do just what you want to do, not what somebody else wants you to do (that you really don't want to do), but exactly what you want to do? That's what we're talking about. When I show people how Discipleship Evangelism works, saying, "Look, this is what we're doing: We're touching people's lives. They're being saved, born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, and water-baptized." People say, "That's great!" But if I said "Now, how many of you want to go with me," there would be maybe three of you out of two hundred, because the rest of them are scared or don't know how to do it. Or, if I said, "Now, forget about it. Don't worry about it; you don't have to be afraid. We'll go out and get the Bible studies and set up discipleship lessons for you." How many would want to teach? There would be more then—about ten or twelve—saying, "Yes, I want to teach." But it wouldn't go beyond that.
What we want to do is show you how every gift in the body of Christ can be used to reach the lost, to love and disciple them. It will take every gift, and those gifts are found only in the body of Christ, the local church. Some of you say, "I like to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, and things like that." Well, there's a time in our discipeship when we can bring you in just for that purpose. Other people say, "I'm not comfortable with that," but can you bake a pie? Can you send a card? Can you make a phone call? Can you paint a fence? Can you baby-sit for a single mom we're ministering to and give her an hour to herself so she can get out of the house? Can you do the practical things? What about intercession? Some of you are called to intercede, to pray. We'll show you the people we're ministering to, give you their names, and you can be praying and interceding, alone or in groups, for them and for the Discipleship Evangelism teams that go out each week.
There is room for everyone to reach out to others, to disciple. We have a program where every gift can be used. We're developing teams of a teacher and a teacher's assistant who go out in a discipleship capacity to minister. Then two people in the helps ministry come in behind them to do practical things, like giving food, baking a pie, or calling to see how things are going. We also have people who are interceding for us and the people we minister to.
Do you know what we're seeing? We're seeing God change people's lives because they are being pastored and cared for, because His love is being shown to them. And do you know who is doing the work of the ministry? It's being done by the ones who are supposed to do it—the people. Ephesians 4:11 says the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher are given to perfect the saints so they can do the work of the ministry. The church is doing the work of the ministry, not only the man at the front called "the pastor." When the pastor teaches and equips the church for works of service and they go and do them, that is true success.
Let me illustrate. If we declared war on another nation and our president said, "We lose too many men in war, so I have decided to do away with the army and send just the generals out there to fight." The rest of the world would laugh at us, and really that's what's happening. The devil is laughing at us because we have sent the generals, the five- fold ministry, to do it all. "Let them do it—we're paying them to do it." We have failed to develop an army. God wants to develop that army, and every one of our gifts can be used in Discipleship Evangelism.
We want to help create an army, equipped with powerful tools to disciple—not just here in our city—but reaching around the world. It can be done through the tools we have developed, the discipleship lessons and all of the strategies God has given us.
God bless you as everyone comes together to use their gifts to minister to the lost, to the new believer, and to keep Jesus' commandment to go and disciple the nations.
- The following is a brief description of the way that we put teams together to evangelize, disciple, and reach the lost. Your church body may sign up for any of these teams. If you continue with follow up, using all of your gifts to minister, you can bring a person into the kingdom and onto maturity quickly. The following is a questionnaire that you are to give to your church members. Then organize teams to do the follow up.Print Ready VersionDiscipleship QuestionnaireThis is what I am interested in doing: (Check one or more)Contacting new people at their door.Teaching discipleship lessons.Intercession: Praying for the lost and the Discipleship Evangelism teams.Giving food or other items to families in need.Contacting others by phone or visitation.Kindness Evangelism: Baking food for others, sending a card, helping in any way you can.Working with single moms and children.Providing transportation to church, etc.Other: I want to
- The following is a sample of a discipleship follow up form that is to be used after teaching a discipleship lesson. This form will show the pastor or those in authority how many lessons have been taught and the results in each study.Print Ready VersionDiscipleship Follow-Up Results FormDiscipleship Follow-Up Results FormDate of visit/lesson:Person(s) teaching the lesson:Name(s) of persons being visited/taught:Location of presentation:Subject of Lesson:How did this study go?
- Read James 1:22."But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." - James 1:22If we just hear God's Word but never put it into practice, what have we done?Answer
- Read Matthew 7:24‑27."24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." - Matthew 7:24‑27In order to be a wise man, we must not only hear the sayings of Jesus, but we must do what?Answer
- Read Ephesians 4:11‑12."11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11‑12Who is to do the work of the ministry?Answer
- Read Acts 8:1, 4."1And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 4Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word." - Acts 8:1, 4Who went everywhere preaching the Word?Answer
- Read Acts 8:1, 4."1And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 4Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word." - Acts 8:1, 4Who did not go everywhere preaching the Word?Answer
- Read Acts 11:19‑22."19Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 20And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. 22Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch." - Acts 11:19‑22In the early New Testament church, the believers did the work of the ministry, and it was followed up by apostolic leadership and instruction. In our churches today, it's the leadership that starts things and the believers then follow. How does Acts 11:19‑22 verify this statement?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:14‑18."14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him." - 1 Corinthians 12:14‑18Each part of the body of Christ is necessary. We should not compare ourselves among ourselves. Rather, total commitment to Christ is not doing everything but doing what God has equipped you to do. What will you do with the information you've received in this lesson?Answer