You are enrolled in the DEL training program for a reason. I am assuming that you sense God calling you to ministry, or you have some inner pull that says, “I want to do something for God.” Or perhaps someone advised you to do this and maybe even talked you into it. Another possibility could be that you are still trying to figure out why you enrolled!
The focus of this teaching is getting back to the basics of the essence of ministry. Only by understanding this, will you fully understand your motives for being in this training program.
The starting point of all ministry is winning souls. It is reaching people who are without Christ. Think about it for a moment. If you want future leaders to reach the nations, you must have disciples. In order to have disciples, you must have someone who has been led to Christ. If you cannot or will not lead people to Christ, you cannot and will not build a ministry. If you have no interest or passion to bring people to Christ, your ministry will go nowhere, no matter how talented you are.
Listen to Jesus in Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Jesus said in Mark 16, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel (good news) to all creation.” Matthew quoted Jesus by saying in Matthew 28:19, “…Go and make disciples of all nations…” The starting point in disciple-making is bringing people to Christ.
The word Gospel means “good news.” What is the good news? The good news is simply this: repent of your sin and believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You can be forgiven. You can begin a new life. You can have a relationship with God.
Jesus is saying, “Go and tell everyone the good news! You may have to contextualize it, you may have to adapt the words, you may have to rephrase it in a way people understand, but however you must, go and do it!!”
To get some perspective on Jesus’ emphatic command, we must realize His passion to save everyone. He knows that the condition of mankind is bringing judgement upon every soul that dies without having believed in Him. All who do not know Him are doomed to eternal judgment in hell. This may include our family members, our friends, our work mates and our neighbors. This includes the wealthy, the poor, the powerful and the insignificant, the strong and the weak. On this point there are no exceptions.
Romans 3:23, “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no, not one.” In other words, every single person is a sinner. Then Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.”
What kind of death was Paul writing about? Was he speaking of physical death? Obviously not, because all humans eventually die. Paul was describing the second death- the death of the soul. This second death is clearly defined in Revelation 20:6 and 21:8:
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
It is so clear that all unsaved humanity will end up in the fiery lake of hell. It’s a horrifying thought, but it’s reality. Put some faces on this today. As I walk the streets in the cities and the hallways in airports, I find myself praying for people who pass by. I don’t know them. How many are on their way to a second death?
The wages of sin is death – eternal death. Once you go to hell, it’s permanent. There is no escape.
The gospel of Jesus challenges Satan’s right to the people of this world. Jesus paid the price of their salvation. He died for them. But what if they don’t know? Paul wrote in Romans 10, “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How will they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
This is my life verse.
This is why it’s called good news. The good news is that God loves you. Jesus died for your sin. If you do not know that you can bring your life to Him and turn to Him in repentance and be forgiven, you will die in your sin.
The Great Commission is the second-last instruction of Jesus to His followers. The last one was to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit, because once you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, you will be equipped to witness. The Holy Spirit supported the Great Commission. The fundamental purpose of being Spirit-filled was empowerment for witness. That’s Acts 1:8- read it for yourself.
Listen to Jesus again. Matthew 18-12-13, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.”
This is still the happy place for followers of Christ- to bring someone to Christ. This is still the happy place for one who is born again. When Denie led our oldest daughter to Christ at the age of 5, her immediate reaction was joy. That little 5 year old said, “I’ve got to tell someone!”
The happiest people on earth are always soul winners. Soul winners never need much encouragement- they are literally full of joy. The most joyful churches are the churches full of new converts.
Jack Whitesell, our church growth advisor, would always say, “It’s not about the grain you have in storage. It’s about the grain still standing on the field.” It’s not about what we already have in the church – it’s what still needs to be brought to Christ.
I’ve often stood in churches and before I have preached I have asked, “How many of you have been saved 5 years or more?”Many hands go up. “How many 3 years or more?” A few hands go up. “How many of you have been saved less than 1 year?” This last question is the present indicator of that church’s health. If there were no hands, or just a few hands, I’d say, “Based on the present condition of this church, I prophesy that it will die. Some of the present members will eventually die, move away, backslide, or otherwise be gone. This church has no new converts. This church is already dying. It’s just a matter of time- unless you change something now.”
Let me be clear. If you will not bring people to Jesus, you will lead a dying ministry. This applies to any ministry you are involved with. If there are no new converts, that ministry will die.
Effective christian leaders are all soul winners. They create an environment where souls are coming to Christ. Why is this? Because they have the true Spirit of Jesus.
The Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost. As the angel told Joseph and Mary, “You will call him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus modelled that principle. Leadership is showing the way, then teaching the way, and then motivating others to walk in the way.
Rhinehard Bonkke, the great German evangelist who gave his life for Africa’s evangelization, said, “The church is not a restaurant for spiritual gourmets. It is a canteen for workers.”
Are you a soul winner? If you teach soul winning and want your followers to win souls, you’ll have to win souls and bring them to church. Your followers will see that happening. Only then have you earned the right to teach others about bringing people to Jesus. Then you have earned the authenticity to motivate. Preaching about soul winning is a waste of time unless you can model it.
Can you explain the process of coming into faith in Christ? Do you know the Biblical basis for new birth in Christ? What if I asked you right now to show me the gospel and lead me to Christ, could you do it? How about I said to you, “Show me 5 ways to start a conversation that will lead someone to talk abut Christ? Give me three ways to take a problem, any problem and turn it into a gospel presentation.” Could you do it?
I’d like to share with you 9 reasons why we must preach the gospel.
- We are commanded to do so.
We have been commanded to preach the gospel to all creation. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The word “gospel” starts with GO. It’s what Jesus did. It’s what the book of Acts is all about. If this were the only reason to go and preach the good news, it would be enough. So why don’t you go? Show me your converts!!
2. The Bible teaches that Hell exists.
Jesus said, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5) Jesus spoke of hell more than any other person in Scripture, and three times more than He did of heaven. This is no joke. If a Bible teaching is mentioned once, it can be misinterpreted. But when a teaching is mentioned and illustrated over and over in the Bible, it is an absolute reality. Judgement is coming. Think of everyone you know who is without Christ, and realize that if they died tonight they would spend eternity in hell. There is no purgatory and there is no second chance.
3. It is a sign we love others as ourselves.
“And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 22,23). We are told to have compassion on the lost. Fire awaits them. We are called to be as a firefighter literally pulling people out of the fire. Is it not a sign of love to pull one from the flames of certain death?
4. Obeying Christ is a sign of following Him.
The Bible says that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him (see Hebrews 5:9). We are not saved by our obedience; we are obedient because we are saved. Jesus said, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). To choose to represent Christ is the greatest demonstration we can show that we follow Him. In what way do you represent Christ today?
5. To be silent is a sin.
As soon as the Holy Spirit was given, the apostles began to preach the gospel. They were never called to stay in the upper room. Somehow when the reality of salvation comes to your soul, the reality of eternal judgement becomes real. Sometimes it is the reality of eternal judgment that motivates you to come to Christ for yourself, and then to share Christ. “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 It is morally wrong not to engage pre-Christians in conversation about their souls.
6. Evangelism deepens our relationship with God.
“…hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Philemon 5–6 The happiest Christians in any church are always the soul winners. I have known of no joy equal to leading someone to Christ. On many occasions it has brought tears of joy to my face.
7. It causes us to study the Scriptures.
Wanting to know how to answer every question from pre-Christians will send us to God’s Word. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. I began as a teenager to memorize Bible verses about salvation. I diligently memorized these verses without any instructions from anyone. I wanted to influence people for Christ.
8. It deepens our gratitude for the cross.
As we continually preach about the cross of Jesus Christ, it will deepen our understanding of what God did for us through His sacrifice. We will find ourselves practicing what we preach. We will be frequently thinking about the cross. “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The wonderful message of the cross ensures that the power of sin is broken.
9. It increases our prayer life.
If you catch the vision and the responsibility of being a real Christian- and the consequences of ignoring Christ’s Great Commission- you will be driven to God in prayer for the power to be what He has called you to be. Listen to Paul’s words, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
These are but a few reasons why you and I and every believer must engage others in evangelism. It will transform your life. Have any of you led anyone to Christ in the past year? If not, my question is, “Why not”?
How can I win souls?
- 1.Begin and continue to pray “the prayer of 3” every day. Get three names and start praying salvation prayers for them.
- 2.Pray the ministry prayer everyday. “Lord, bring someone across my path today that I can touch for you.”
- 3.Initiate ministry through conversations. Offer to pray for people wherever and whenever you find a need. Connect with the needs and problems of those around you.
- 4.Equip yourself. Ask yourself this question, “Why do I not share my faith and why do I not lead anyone to Christ? Is it that I don’t have the ability or knowledge? Is it that I don’t know where to start? Is it that I’m afraid?” By answering those questions, you will know what you need to do now.
- 5.Be creative. There is no one way to win souls. Use all your resources. Ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration and insight and the word of knowledge to know what people need.
THE BIBLE SAYS, “HE WHO WIN SOULS IS WISE.” WIN SOULS!