June 16, 2024

Let Us Be a Soul-Winning Church!

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

Envision a church that has lost sight of its fundamental purpose, that is, to spread the Gospel and bring Christ to the lost. Its physical structure may be grand, but its pews are vacant. The cause? It has veered from its mission; as a result, it is weakening and fading, with its “light” being unable to guide the lost.

For a church to truly flourish, the proclamation of Christ must be its very heartbeat. This responsibility does not rest solely on the pastors and preachers, but on every single member. We are all called to be active participants in the mission of soul-winning, a task entrusted to us by Jesus, the Head of the church. As Jesus Himself declared, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He then passed on this mission to His disciples and, by extension, to us, saying, “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21b). Therefore, every committed church member, in obedience to his Saviour, must prioritise this soul-winning mission assigned by Christ.

The mission of the church, a divine mandate, is to preach the Gospel of Christ for the salvation of sinners and for their integration into the church for spiritual growth. A church that neglects this Gospel mission not only loses its purpose, but also faces the imminent threat of decline and eventual dissolution. Preaching Christ is not just important, it is vital for any church that aspires for true biblical growth. It is a mission that requires the active participation of all members in the church’s soul-winning efforts.

The apostle Paul stands as a shining example in the work of the Gospel. He shared with Timothy his dedication to being a soul-winner for the Lord: “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Paul further urged Timothy, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). Let us be inspired by his dedication, and strive to follow in his footsteps.

Evangelism should be the foremost purpose of the local church, and is a fundamental reason for its existence. God’s current work is centred on the local church, and His eternal concern has always been to reach out with love to a lost world through the good news of eternal life. Consequently, evangelism must top the list of any church’s ministry. Leaders and members alike must engage in evangelism, not as an optional activity but as a command. Jesus proclaimed, “…ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This is not a suggestion but a call to action – a command from our Saviour.

Evangelism is more than a system or a programme; it involves personal engagement in the lives of others to help them understand and believe in Christ for salvation. It includes the message itself, and the demeanour and conduct of the messenger. Scripture instructs, “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27a). Furthermore, believers are to be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life…” (Philippians 2:15-16a).

Despite much discussion about evangelism, active participation remains low. Churches often invest significant time and effort into various plans and programmes, yet evangelism is frequently neglected. Understanding evangelism starts with two principles. First, the local church is central to God’s plan for ministry in this age, making biblical evangelism a core focus of the church’s mission. Second, church leaders are responsible for training and equipping members for ministry and leadership, emphasising the church’s duty to prepare its congregation for Gospel work (cf. Ephesians 4).

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! …So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:13-17).

This passage underscores the critical nature of preaching and the necessity of spreading the Gospel. It emphasises that the beauty of those who share the message of Christ is in the transformative power that their words carry, bringing peace and salvation to those who hear and believe. Thus, the church must embrace its evangelistic mission with fervour and dedication, ensuring that the light of the Gospel reaches every corner of the world.

A church committed to evangelism brings its leaders and fellow Christians immense joy. An evangelistic church ultimately glorifies the Lord. Paul commended the church in Thessalonica, saying, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; … For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, 8).

Beloved, our initial enthusiasm for spreading the Gospel must not fade. We must remain committed to evangelism, undeterred by difficulties or lethargy. How wonderful it would be for our church to receive a commendation like the one Paul gave to the Thessalonian church!

Let us all strive to be prepared for evangelism in our church. I encourage you, dear reader, to wholeheartedly dedicate yourself to becoming a joyful soul-winner for our glorious Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Worship Address
SingPost Centre
Level 5 Auditorium
10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408600
(next to Paya Lebar MRT station)
Our mailing address
Gethsemane Media Centre
33 Ubi Crescent
Singapore 408584
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