The Evangelistic Component of Preaching
As a staff member at Dr. Merritt’s church, I have the privilege to sit under his teaching each weekend at our services. One aspect to his preaching that has challenged me personally is the evangelistic component he has to each and every message he preaches. What does that mean, exactly? In short, it means that the Gospel—how to come to faith in Christ—is always a part of his sermons. I’ve come to believe that this is a critical part of the Pastors’ responsibility in preaching.
Some would argue that a message may not necessarily be aimed at non-believers, and that the responsibility of sharing faith also squarely rests in the hands of the congregation as a whole and not just the preacher—and both are true. But I have come to believe that including kernels of the Gospel in each and every message is extremely important, and would encourage every pastor to make this their practice.
It’s the point of the Bible. The Gospel is the story of God’s creation, man’s fall, and God’s ultimate plan for redemption. The very core of Scripture is focused around this most central theme. So any sermon that is grounded in Scripture will naturally find elements of the Gospel connected to it. Pointing back to this selectively and deliberately, no matter what the larger context of the message, is never a tangent.
It’s a point of opportunity. Your Sunday morning service is a connection point for both believers and the lost. The Gospel is certainly shared outside the walls of the church in the community, but don’t let the opportunity to touch a heart with the Gospel slip by on a Sunday morning. When our car breaks down we head to the auto repair shop. When our lives and hearts break down, we often head to the church—some people are coming to your church this weekend to hear how God wants to make them new. Don’t let them down!
It sets the example. More than anything, including the Gospel in each and every message sets an example. The church will seldom move beyond the Pastor’s own passion in the area of evangelism. When your congregation sees and hears you consistently sharing the Gospel, they’ll feel the weight of that message and responsibility in their own lives as well.
Author: Eugene Mason, Communications Director for Cross Pointe Church under the leadership of Dr. James Merritt.