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Evangelism as the Focus in the Assembly of Believers?

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I wanted to get some other perspectives on what the purpose of the local church's assembly is.

I have recently contended that the church is not for the lost. It is for believers. Believers are to go to the lost in the world and when they get saved they can then begin to attend church.

I am not against lost people visiting a church, but I have become increasingly wary of that being the primary focus of a church's evangelistic efforts.

Anyway, let me know if this strikes a chord and what Bible verses, passages, and principles back up your perspective on this issue.

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There's a similar thread started by Kevin on this issue. The main function of all church members should be soul-winning by being nourished by the Word of God (Matt. 28:19,20; Mk. 16:15; Acts 20:28,32; Eph. 4:12; Col. 1:28; 2 Tim. 4:2). This equips believers in their particular ministry that God has called them to.

Ephesians 4:11-12 - And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Love,
Madeline

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my perspective if they are lost, you don't need to discourage them from coming to church (although, I don't think you really want them cussing around your children either), but you also don't need to tell them that they must come to church. I don't want them to think they have to come to church in order to be saved anyway. Most churches I been (IFB) have invited the lost to their church many times, but it was up to them if they wanted to come. If you leave it to the believers only, well there are plenty of people who thought they were christian who attend to church... and even they need to hear the Gospel.

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I wanted to get some other perspectives on what the purpose of the local church's assembly is.

I have recently contended that the church is not for the lost. It is for believers. Believers are to go to the lost in the world and when they get saved they can then begin to attend church.

I am not against lost people visiting a church, but I have become increasingly wary of that being the primary focus of a church's evangelistic efforts.

Anyway, let me know if this strikes a chord and what Bible verses, passages, and principles back up your perspective on this issue.



A church body meets primarily for edification, fellowship, accountability, and to learn from Gods word collectively. A balanced church will mix evangelism with discipleship. A church that is so focused on winning souls that it spends no time teaching believers how to walk with the Lord is imbalanced but so is a church that focuses on teaching to the point of ignoring the great commission. The mission of the Church is the same as the mission of every Christian. Glorifying God in the world, being a witness for Christ, and teaching other believers the ways of the Lord with our words and lives while all the while seeking to walk more closely with him ourselves.
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I wanted to get some other perspectives on what the purpose of the local church's assembly is.

I have recently contended that the church is not for the lost. It is for believers. Believers are to go to the lost in the world and when they get saved they can then begin to attend church.

I am not against lost people visiting a church, but I have become increasingly wary of that being the primary focus of a church's evangelistic efforts.

Anyway, let me know if this strikes a chord and what Bible verses, passages, and principles back up your perspective on this issue.


It is true the primary purpose of the church is the equip the saints for ministry of Jesus Christ, edifying the body and perfecting the saints. (Ephesians 4:11-13: 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:

13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:)

Having said that. The pastor or whom ever is preaching should always give that gospel message behind the pulpit. We have no idea who is bornagain or lost. A man that has been going to church for years and a member could be lost as a bat in a hail storm or it could be a guest coming to the church building. We are not to negate the gospel under any circumstances whether it be in a church setting or out in the world. Paul actually gives an example of unbeliever in a church setting in 1 Corinthians. (1 Corinthians 14:23-26: 23If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

24But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

25And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

26How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. )
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I don't think there's any need to always give the gospel during every service. The church is a gathering of Christians, nothing more. If someone who is unsaved wanders in, cool, let's reach out to him, serve him and show him the love of Christ. Then by him seeing Christ in our lives, come to a realization of the Savior.

The church is made up of any and all believers. It is for the Christian and it is for his edification, fellowship, and discipleship. The primary purpose of the church(gathering) is to build up the Christian, ONE of the purposes of the Church(all believers) is to win the lost.

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I don't think there's any need to always give the gospel during every service.


Why not? It is easy for any serious preacher to touch down for a couple of minutes on the Gospel out of a 40-60+ minute sermon. Not every message needs to be a salvation message (ie. as the main theme), but every message can touch down on the Gospel. I think that is one of the primary reasons God blessed Spurgeon's ministry so much - he always preached the Gospel, no matter what the primary theme of his sermon was.
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Wow, a 40 to 60 minute sermon would kill me. lol
If you want to teach salvation every week to Christians, more power to ya. I'm just saying, it's unnecessary and, IMO, distracts from the purpose of the message.

That's the average in both southern baptist and IFB

although there are singing and praying in that 60 minute time slot so some pastor actually spend a little less on preaching.
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Why not? It is easy for any serious preacher to touch down for a couple of minutes on the Gospel out of a 40-60+ minute sermon. Not every message needs to be a salvation message (ie. as the main theme), but every message can touch down on the Gospel. I think that is one of the primary reasons God blessed Spurgeon's ministry so much - he always preached the Gospel, no matter what the primary theme of his sermon was.


Jerry, remember, Kevin is of the reformed, Calvinist, the reformed do not like the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed, nor do they like invitations given. They feel its a waste of time.

And above all, all they want to hear is a sermonette, not a full sermon. They might fall out the window if it got to long.

Ac
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Jerry, remember, Kevin is of the reformed, Calvinist, the reformed do not like the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed, nor do they like invitations given. They feel its a waste of time.

Matthew 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.

And above all, all they want to hear is a sermonette, not a full sermon. They might fall out the window if it got to long.

Matthew 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.
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Thanks for all the responses so far.

It really isn't the same discussion Kevin started. I should have titled it differently, I guess.

I am speaking specifically about evangelism as a part of the actual assembly of believers.

Here is an example of something I've come to find prOBlematic:

A pastor stands before his people and pleads for them to bring the lost into the church. He says things like "the church is their only hope." During church sponsored evangelism efforts in the community, preaching the gospel is discouraged. Confronting folks about their salvation or lack thereof is discouraged. Anything other than simply asking if they attend church anywhere and inviting them to visit one's own church is discouraged.

When lost folks do visit, the church tries to make the lost as comfortable as possible so that they will come more.

It has always been my understanding that the assembly of believers is just that: an assembly of believers. The lost have no function in the church outside of potentially hearing the gospel and being saved by God's good grace. I agree that the gospel should be a part of each service because you don't know who is lost and who is saved.

Any way, I hope this helps to steer the conversation a little more in the direction I intended.

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Thanks for all the responses so far.

It really isn't the same discussion Kevin started. I should have titled it differently, I guess.

I am speaking specifically about evangelism as a part of the actual assembly of believers.

Here is an example of something I've come to find prOBlematic:

A pastor stands before his people and pleads for them to bring the lost into the church. He says things like "the church is their only hope." During church sponsored evangelism efforts in the community, preaching the gospel is discouraged. Confronting folks about their salvation or lack thereof is discouraged. Anything other than simply asking if they attend church anywhere and inviting them to visit one's own church is discouraged.
When lost folks do visit, the church tries to make the lost as comfortable as possible so that they will come more.

It has always been my understanding that the assembly of believers is just that: an assembly of believers. The lost have no function in the church outside of potentially hearing the gospel and being saved by God's good grace. I agree that the gospel should be a part of each service because you don't know who is lost and who is saved.

Any way, I hope this helps to steer the conversation a little more in the direction I intended.


Seems like there is just a lot of imbalance in general in churches. I see the flip side of this too, when a great deal of community evangelism is encouraged and only a few come into the church after they have made a profession...........and of those that do, there are still a percentage that get offended and quickly fall away and appear to be still unsaved. It is sad.

Kevin, I'd rather hear a 40-60 minute sermon with a purpose any day over a 20-minute pep talk. Then again, tell the preacher to throw away the clock.............just preach until the Holy Spirit lets him know he's got the point across. :lol:
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I like things to be short and sweet. I prefer someone to make their point and move on, not saying it again five million different ways. :P
But that's just me.

My pastor usually speaks for about 30 to 40 minutes but he keeps it interesting by encouraging feedback or participation from the congregation or using on-stage illustrations and such. Plus, his style is more of making the Bible come alive and using what the Bible says to make changes in our lives, rather than preaching on standards or yelling at the congregation.

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I like things to be short and sweet. I prefer someone to make their point and move on, not saying it again five million different ways. :P
But that's just me.

My pastor usually speaks for about 30 to 40 minutes but he keeps it interesting by encouraging feedback or participation from the congregation or using on-stage illustrations and such. Plus, his style is more of making the Bible come alive and using what the Bible says to make changes in our lives, rather than preaching on standards or yelling at the congregation.


:lol: Well, you know, the Lord DOES have standards.
BTW, I don't care for the ear-splitting type preaching style either. It distracts me from the points that are trying to be made.
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