This is a soul winning program designed to win souls. Then to obtain those souls so that they grow and mature in the Lord, and to train them to be soul winners and eventually the trainers themselves.
In this first lesson we will examine this purpose statement closely as it comes from scripture. There are four main elements in the purpose statement. I. Win souls, II. Obtain them, III. Train them, IV. The trainee to become the trainers.
This is not a job that should be left just to the preachers and Christians leaders. Satan has convinced many Christians that this job is not for them. Leave soul winning to the preachers. It is estimated that 95% of church members have never led anyone to the Lord. No wonder many churches are not as exciting as they should be. The greatest soul winning force today is not in the pulpit. It is in the pew.
Acts 8:1-4 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
In these verses we find that the church was scattered abroad because of persecution. We also find that those who were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. This was not the apostles or the preachers. This was the church, all those who had been washed in the blood of the lamb. God does not call everyone to preach from the pulpits of our churches. God does want everyone that he has saved to spread the gospel.
We have a command from the Lord. Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 :Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. "Go ye" is the action God wants us to take. God wants us to teach people about Jesus. If we wait for people to walk the aisle our churches will grow extremely slow. We need to go out and get them. Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Part of this teaching is before they are saved. They must be told the gospel before they can believe.
Some of you may be saying that "I would love to do this if I just had the ability or power". there may be others saying "I just can't talk to people". God has promised us that he will provide the strength that we need to do this.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Right now you may not feel that you can do this. You need to proceed as though you have done it thousands of times. You will find that God will do just as he said. When you need extra power or strength God will supply it.
When we have won someone to the Lord we want to get them in church, and we want to keep them in church.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
God desires that our fruit remain. We need to take care of our fruit. This is also a very neglected area in our churches. When you have led someone to the Lord, you become his or her spiritual parent in a sense. If we will consider this it will help us do a better job in this area. You should pray for them daily. You should make sure that they have a way to church. If they are uncomfortable with the clothes they have to wear to church; help them. Sit with them in church. Go with them to their Sunday School class. If they have children, introduce their children to others their age. Seeing these people grow will bring joy in your life.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Looking back at our verses in Matthew 28:18-20 we find that a form of the word teaching is used before and after the word baptizing. It is our belief that the teaching used before baptizing refers to telling about Jesus before salvation. We also believe that "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:" means that we should train them after salvation. There should be a new member or new converts class available in your church to help train them. Someone who has recently accepted Jesus is a new babe in the Lord. We would not leave a new baby to train itself. We do not need to leave a new Christian to train themselves either. They need guidance, direction, leadership, and love with understanding.
1 Pet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1 Pet 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
There is a host of scriptures that tells us to train or teach one another. When we go on a new job someone teaches us that job. We go to college to learn certain vocations. How can we expect someone to become a soul winner or grow very much in the Lord unless we teach them.
2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
There are some that can become teachers, while there are others who can't. When someone has demonstrated faithfulness with an ability to teach others, we need to help them become teachers.