From the Pastor’s Desk: Pastor Francis Chan
Someone once said that there are only two types of Christians in the world: those who preach the gospel and those who do not. As for apostle Paul, he was certainly a Christian who preached the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 9:16 he wrote, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
Jesus also commanded his disciples “to go and make disciples of all nations” in Matthew 28:19. To become a disciple, one must first accept the gospel; to accept the gospel, one must first hear the gospel. The logic is straightforward. “Preach the gospel” is not an invitation from Jesus, but a command. Today, we are Jesus’ disciples but are we faithfully following the Lord’s command?
There are millions of reasons why a disciple does not preach the gospel. Two of them are common: first, you don’t know how to do it; and second, all your acquaintances are Christians. How to tackle these two issues? Well, let’s look at a fundamental principle about evangelism: Evangelism is something that needs to be done intentionally. If you have a heart to preach the gospel, you will understand and appreciate what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:2, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” Did Paul sound like preaching the word of God is an accidental or unprepared enterprise? Of course not, it is an intentional and well-prepared endeavor. More importantly, Paul’s instructions do not apply only to pastors or people who have positions in the church, but also to all disciples of Jesus Christ.
What does “to be done intentionally” mean in the context of evangelism? It means that we need to be intentional in looking out for gospel prospects, taking time to build trusting relationship with them, sharing our testimonies with them, and lastly, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to them at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is not our responsibility that they will accept Christ, but it is our responsibility to offer them a chance to do so. In case all people in your social circles are Christians, what can you do? Enlarge your social circles for the sake of reaching out to non-believers. In short, it is a choice to lead a life of evangelism, a life of always being ready to preach the gospel whether in season or out of season. If you seriously desire to lead an evangelistic life, just seek help from the Holy Spirit and let him lead you, guide you, and empower you, every step of your way.
In case you do not know how to preach the gospel, you are most welcome to ask your pastor. Because it is our responsibility as pastors to teach and equip you, among other things, to preach the gospel. As Paul said in Ephesians 4.11-12 “… he gave … the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” To build up the body of Christ is to make more disciples through evangelism, and to grow with them in the faith through genuinely loving one another and learning the Word of God together. We are the disciples of Christ. We are the body of Christ.
Last year, we organized for the first time a 6-month-long Evangelism Explosion training course for 10 Cantonese-speaking young people of RCAC. On March 15 this year, we run this program again for another 10 students. Apart from our students, we are also blessed with a great team consisting of a teacher who has taught EE courses for more than 20 years, 10 dedicated team captains, and 40 prayer warriors supporting this ministry by intercession.
Among our students this year, one is studying at university full time and working 37.5 hours a week at the same time. Nonetheless, she insists on joining the EE training course because she wants to learn a practical method to preach the gospel, so that she can lead her unsaved family to the Lord.
Another student is coping with new challenges and extra workload due to her recent promotion at work and at the same time, she is busy with arrangements to relocate her home. Still, she chooses to join the EE training course because she wants to preach the gospel with her husband, who graduated last year, and to make their family an evangelistic hub.
Finally, let me share with you the reflections of a student after she talked with a gospel prospect for the first time in her team’s recent visitation (because in the previous visitations, she was only allowed to observe while her team captains did the talking):
“Maybe because I took part in actually asking questions this time, I was very touched 💓 This touching feeling did not exist in any particular moment, but throughout the entire visitation, while I was witnessing the gospel prospect from having hesitations to finally saying yes to Christ. This has a big impact on me as I recall my own spiritual journey, when I also had similar hesitations, and then I realized how grateful I am to have known God early in my life 💓
This touching feeling and my gratitude made me realize that I am doing an incredible job. It turns out that by memorizing my script and talking to the gospel prospect, so much can be achieved. It makes me more eager to help more people who are seeking God 💓💓
So happy and grateful “💓
Hallelujah! All is grace! As it is said in Psalm 127:1
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
In closing, I pray with all my heart that you will be encouraged, and that you too, will become a preacher of the gospel. May you leave behind beautiful footsteps as you preach the gospel, and may the Lord call you his good and faithful servant on the day you see him face to face. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.