Ten Reasons to Plant a Church, Part 7 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #127)


Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Matthew 9:37-38 which reads: “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Our soul winning quote today is from C. H. Spurgeon. He said: “Pretenders were many, but real ‘laborers’ in the harvest were few. Man-made ministers are useless. Still are the fields encumbered with gentlemen who cannot use the sickle. Still the real ingatherers are few and far between. Where are the instructive, soul-winning ministries?”

Our soul winning devotional is part 1110 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Ten Reasons to Plant a Church (Part 7)

7. Church Planting Is Being on a Mission with God

Missio Dei is a Latin phrase that has been helpful in reminding the church that its mission is not the invention, responsibility, or program of human origin but flows from the character and purposes of God. Historically, the term mission was used to describe the acts of God rather than the activities of churches. Mission is not something the church does for God; it is rather the church getting in sync with the heart of God and cooperating with the activity of God.

According to noted church planting coach and professor Tom Jones:

God’s nature is at the root of mission. The living God portrayed in the Bible is a sending God. He sends because of His love for the world. He sent Abraham from his home into the unknown, promising to bless the world through him if he obeyed. God sent Joseph into Egypt to help preserve God’s people during a time of famine. When the time had fully come, God sent His son. Later, the Father and the Son sent the Spirit on Pentecost. Finally Christ sends His church.

Jones adds, “The most efficient way to fulfill the total mission of a sent church is the multiplication of local churches. . . . Every local church should consider itself a center for world mission.”

Ten Reasons to Plant a Church, Part 5 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #125)


Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Luke 9:6 which reads: “And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Martin Luther. He said: “If he have faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this gospel to the people at the risk of life itself.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 108 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Ten Reasons to Plant a Church (Part 5)

5. The Great Commission Is Church Planting

You cannot fully follow the “Great Commission” without ending up planting churches. Any Great Commission initiative that does not result in the forming of new churches misses the mark. Let me explain. After Jesus rose from the dead, He laid out for His followers the desires He most deeply longed for them to fulfill. Repeatedly, Jesus gave a command that has become known as the Great Commission. The writers of the Gospels record Jesus giving His Great Commission five times. The fullest statement is found in Matthew 28.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

After examining the Great Commission, the question that begs to be answered is: How does God expect His followers to implement it? The obvious answer is: by planting churches. Church planting involves all the elements of fulfilling the Great Commission. New churches are the result of Christians invading a culture, preaching the gospel, baptizing believers, and training them to live for Christ.

Ten Reasons to Plant a Church, Part 4 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #124)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Luke 15:4 which reads: “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”

Our soul winning quote today is from C. S. Lewis. He said: “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 107 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Ten Reasons to Plant a Church (Part 4)

4. “It Is Easier to Give Birth Than to Raise the Dead”

This statement was a trumpet call of the great church-planting efforts of the Baptist Bible Fellowship of the 1950s. This great theme prompted a young graduate of Baptist Bible College named Jerry Falwell to start Thomas Road Baptist Church in his hometown in 1956, along with a handful of believers.
It also is the theme that motivated Dave Earley to launch New Life Church in Gahanna/ Columbus, Ohio, when he was just 26 years old and a recent graduate of Liberty University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Earley understood that he did not have the experience, wisdom, wiring, or patience to lead an existing church in its retooling efforts to reach the lost members of his generation. So he started a new church that was better designed to speak the language of the unchurched. While his church started out being smaller than most of the existing churches in his suburb, it quickly outgrew and reached more lost people than all of them. This shows how new churches can uniquely impact a community. At the new church there were no traditional barriers to hurdle, no mind-set strongholds to tear down, no committees to please, and no inward focus to circumvent. The new church could simply focus on the task at hand: wining the lost at any cost.

Maybe your calling is to be a “transitioner” at an existing church. If so, you are attempting to shift old assumptions regarding evangelism so that you can reach out to your community in new ways. If that is the case, may God bless you! I hope you are able to lead your church in becoming a true multiplication center that is also dedicated to launching new churches all over the world. However, it is important to note that incredible amounts of time, energy, and effort can be expended trying to transition existing churches, and some have done so with great success. While it can sometimes be done, we need to accept the fact that it is indeed easier to give birth than to raise the dead.

Evangelism is Spiritual Warfare, Part 1 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #50)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Ephesians 6:12 which reads: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Our soul winning quote today is from C. T. Studd. He said: “I pray that when I die, all of hell will rejoice that I am no longer in the fight.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 33 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism Is…Spiritual Warfare
As an infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, eternal being, God is a more formidable foe than can be imagined. As a warrior God is invincible. Yet surprisingly, God has a chosen “limitation” in this battle. He loves people. The only way to get at God is to attack those whom He loves, people. People are His weakness. Of course, Satan knows this, so Satan attacks people. Therefore, when it comes to spiritual warfare, we are the battleground.

Spiritual warfare begins at birth. At the time everyone on planet Earth is born, they have an enemy whose goal is to keep them from God.

Regarding the plan of Satan, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:4: “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

If you think that once a person gives his or her life to Jesus the battle is over, you are mistaken. In some ways it only intensifies. Once people are saved, the enemy works against them to keep them from telling others how to be free. The war continues.

For example, the apostle Paul had hoped to visit the Thessalonians in order to continue helping them mature in the Lord, in ministry, and in mission. Yet the enemy attacked. 1 Thessalonians 2:18 reads: “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”

In Ephesians 6, Paul gave the most detailed explanation of spiritual warfare found in the Bible: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In this passage Paul tells us that the nature of the war is not primarily physical, political, financial, legal, or educational. It is spiritual.

He also tells us that the proximity of the war is that it is here and now. It is not something involving someone else far away or long ago. It involves us today. It is our struggle.

Further in chapter 6, Paul tells us that the purpose of the war is to advance or stop the preaching of the gospel. If Paul had not given his life to take the gospel to people far from God, the enemy would have had no reason to attack him.

We also see that the intensity of the war is a life-or-death battle. The word “wrestle” used in verse 12 denotes “hand-to-hand combat to the death” in the original language. Paul wrote these words from a jail cell where he was imprisoned because of this warfare and eventually executed as a result of it!

In our next broadcast, we will continue to look at why evangelism is…spiritual warfare.

The Power of Servant Evangelism, Part 3 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #49)

Our soul winning quote today is from Lee Strobel. He said: “I’ve seen far too many Christians who are more than willing to travel halfway around the world to volunteer for a week in an orphanage, but who cannot bring themselves to take the personal risk of sharing Jesus with the co-worker who sits day after day in the cubicle right next to them.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 32 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

5. Servant evangelism is fun. Nothing is more rewarding and fun than serving others. This is especially true when Christians choose to fellowship and serve as they seek opportunities to point people to Christ. There is no need to feel guilty; it is OK to have fun and serve Christ at the same time!

6. Servant evangelism creates a lifestyle that permeates every aspect of a Christian’s life. Once you have learned the mind-set of service, you will find that you can share Christ anywhere, anytime, 24-7. You can do it at work, school, in your neighborhood, or at a sporting event. The key is to be intentional.

7. Servant evangelism exemplifies the ministry model and passion of Christ. Effective servant evangelists have adopted what is called the “Philippians 2 Attitude.” In Philippians 2, we are told to take on the humble servant attitude of Jesus.

Philippians 2:5-8 reads: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Luke 9:1-2 which reads: “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”

In our next broadcast, we will look at why evangelism is…spiritual warfare.

Evangelism is Washing Feet (The Soul-Winning Motivator #46)

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Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Mark 10:45 which reads: “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Steve Sjogren: “The basic idea behind servant evangelism projects is very simple. It is not difficult to begin loving people in practical ways. We need to avoid the human tendency to make things overly complicated.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 29 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism is Washing Feet

Next to the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and the gospel message, there is nothing more powerful or useful in the call of evangelism than “the towel and the basin.”

In the time of Christ, the streets were unpaved, and men either wore sandals or went barefoot. Meals were eaten reclining around low tables. Obviously, it was entirely possible that the man eating next to you or across from you would have his dirty feet near your face, making for an unappetizing meal. Therefore, a servant usually greeted guests at the door and washed their feet.

On the night of the last supper, Jesus gathered with His disciples in a rented room to celebrate the Passover. There was no host and no servant to wash feet. Jesus, realizing the situation, used it as a chance to show love in action. How did He do it? He did it with a basin and a towel.

John 13:1-5 reads: “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”

His actions were motivated by love: “having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Servant evangelism is not a program. It is service motivated by love. Notice that this picture of humble service involved action. Servant evangelism is ore than good intentions and warm feelings. It is love in action.

Jesus did not do His act of service merely to show His love for His disciples. He had another objective. He wanted to leave us a vivid portrait of the way He desires us to live. We should also be willing to “wash feet.”

John 13:12-15 reads: “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”

Our natural inclination is to be served, not to serve others. Even Jesus’ disciples wrestled with an entitlement mentality. James and John’s desire to sit in authority prompted Jesus’ clear call for us to be servants as well.

Every Christ follower should heed Jesus’ instruction to become a “servant” and “slave of all.” Just as Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, Christians are to do the same for a hurting world that is dying to see authentic examples of a loving Savior! In the end Christians must understand that unbelievers will not accept what we say about Christ until they first see the truth manifested in our lives. We are implored by the biblical example to wrap our faith in the flesh of daily living.

Evangelism is Cooperating With the Holy Spirit, Part 5 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #45)

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Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 2 Corinthians 5:20 which reads: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Our soul winning quote today is from D. L. Moody: “You’ve got to get people lost before you can get them saved.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 28 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism is cooperating with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised the enabling empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The last words a person says are often considered important. The last words of the most important person who ever lived, Jesus, are certainly considered to be some of the most significant words ever uttered. Interestingly they involve the promise of the Holy Spirit and evangelism. Acts 1:8 reads: “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.”

The first evangelists relied on the power of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus promised to give His followers the power of the Holy Spirit as we share the gospel, He did more than say some nice-sounding words. He gave a promise that His followers relied upon and employed effectively.

For example, the first message ever given in the first church in history was the detailed proclamation of the gospel by the apostle Peter. As Peter and the others were controlled by the Holy Spirit , they boldly proclaimed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins. The Holy Spirit so empowered Peter’s words that 3,000 were saved and baptized that day.

Later Peter and John were arrested for preaching Jesus. Instead of being intimidated into silence, they relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to aid them as they fearlessly proclaimed Christ. Their boldness stunned the authorities. Not sure what to do with them, the authorities threatened Peter and John, then let them go. The response of the apostles wasn’t to back off sharing their faith. No way. They did just the opposite. They cried out to God for more boldness to speak God’s Word. God’s answer came in the form of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:29-31 reads: And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

Evangelism is Not Following the Example of the Disciples, Part 5 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #40)

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Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is Psalm 19:1 which reads: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Thomas Chalmers: “Every man is a missionary, now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he intends or designs it or not. He may be a blot radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society, or he may be a blessing spreading benediction over the length and breadth of the world. But a blank he cannot be: there are no moral blanks; there are no neutral characters.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 23 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism is not following the example of the disciples.

In our previous broadcast we looked at the first part of the conclusion of why we should not follow the evangelism example of the disciples. Today we will look at the last part of the conclusion of why we should not follow the evangelism example of the disciples.

The disciples eventually changed.
After seeing the resurrected Christ, the disciples radically changed. It was as if their spiritual eyes were suddenly opened and now they understood. Everything they had heard Jesus say and had seen Jesus do came alive to them. Instead of treating people and the harvest as they did with the Samaritan woman, they began to follow Jesus’ example. They noticed people and their needs, and they acted to meet those needs. As a result vast numbers of souls came to Christ.

For example, when Peter and John went to the temple to pray, they noticed a lame man begging by the side of the road. Rather than silently passing by, they stopped and ministered to him in the power of the name of Jesus. Later they all ministered to scores of sick and demonized people.

On top of that, when Samaria began to turn in vast numbers to Christ through the ministry of Philip, the apostles actively responded. Instead of ignoring the Samaritans, as they had before, they sent Peter and John to minister to them.

You can make a difference.
Like the disciples, all of us need to be enlightened to the power of biblical multiplication through investing our lives on a daily basis. Are we like Jesus who reached out to a helpless and hopeless woman with no fear of political or religious retribution? Or are we like the disciples, who at the time refused to open their eyes and accept that God could be working outside of their limited understanding?

The truth is, just as the disciples changed when they were confronted by the coming of the Holy Spirit, we need to remain in His presence as well. Since the Holy Spirit is the discerner of all truth, if we are willing, He will mold us into the image of Christ. God can erase our deepest fears and prejudiced attitudes and replace them with courage and boldness to proclaim the Gospel at any cost!

We never know if our obedience for a moment could start a movement of God that might impact our communities, schools, workplaces, or maybe the world! Yes, just like the woman in John 4, you can make a difference!

Evangelism is Not Following the Example of the Disciples, Part 2 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #37)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 1 Corinthians 1:17 which reads: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Billy Graham: “The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 20 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism is not following the example of the disciples.

In our previous broadcast we looked at the first and second reasons why we should not follow the evangelism example of the disciples. Today we will look at the third and fourth reasons.

3. The disciples missed the obvious spiritual opportunity right in front of their faces.
Here was a lost woman who was ripe for salvation, and they missed it. Here was Jesus showing them an eternal opportunity in the midst of a daily routine, and they did not notice. All they thought about was the food. They failed to realize that real soul-nourishing “food” is doing God’s work, not feeding your face.

John 4:32-34 reads: But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Sadly, unlike the woman and Jesus, the disciples were so distracted by the physical dimension of food and eating, they missed the spiritual point entirely. The woman was willing to drop her water pot to pursue a Savior. Yet the disciples were not willing to drop their religious prejudice and cultural dislike for the Samaritans in order to see the spiritual harvest.

4. The disciples failed to see the spiritual harvest ripe before them.
John 4:35 reads: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Jesus told His disciples to wake up and look around. Not only was a woman open to salvation, but a whole town was also ready for harvest. To them evangelism of Samaritans was not an option. Even as the people were coming to Jesus, the disciples were too blinded by their location and the cultural hatred for the Samaritans to rejoice over what God was doing. Although it was directly in front of them, the disciples refused to see the harvest!

Often opportunity is in the eye of the beholder. When the disciples saw the Samaritans, they saw a large group of people who weren’t worth their time because they weren’t Jewish. When Jesus saw the Samaritans, He saw a whole group of people who were ripe for salvation. So while they mumbled about sandwiches, Jesus evangelized a woman and started a spiritual revival.

Jesus’ excitement is in obvious contrast to the disciples’ unconcern over the lost state of the Samaritans. To Him the harvest was at hand. If we would only look at people through Jesus’ eyes, we could see the deep thirst in their souls.

In our next broadcast, we will look at the fifth and sixth reasons why we should not follow the evangelism example of the disciples.

Evangelism is Not Following the Example of the Disciples, Part 1 (The Soul-Winning Motivator #36)

Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is John 4:35 which reads: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

Our soul winning quote today is from Robert Coleman. He said: “Are those who have followed us to Christ now leading others to Him and teaching them to make disciples like ourselves?…What really counts in the ultimate perpetuation of our work is the faithfulness with which our converts go out and make leaders out of their converts, not simply more followers.”

Our soul winning devotional is part 19 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.

Evangelism is not following the example of the disciples.

In our previous five broadcasts we looked at how Jesus went about sharing the good news with a Samaritan woman. But Jesus and the Samaritan women were not the only characters in this story. Also at the well that day were Jesus’ disciples.

In John 4 we read that after Jesus led her to understand that He was the Messiah, she left her water pot and invited the entire town to meet Jesus. In a sense she was the catalyst for a citywide crusade. At this time Jesus’ disciples returned to the scene. From the disciples we learn several negative lessons about how not to do effective evangelism.

1. The disciples overlooked the woman and didn’t affirm her or acknowledge her spiritual need
When they returned from getting food, the disciples saw Jesus wrapping up His dialogue with the Samaritan woman. John 4:27 reads: “And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?” The disciples were, no doubt, uncomfortable being in Samaria much less coming back to find that Jesus had been publicly speaking with a Samaritan woman of questionable morals. Nevertheless, they were silent. They not only said nothing to Jesus, but they also said nothing to the woman.

This may not sound like much, but their silence speaks volumes. It is almost as if they did not want to say anything that might prolong their stay. They obviously ignored the woman as if she did not matter. Either they just didn’t pay attention, or, worse, they were too proud to speak to her.

Unlike Jesus, the disciples did not affirm the woman’s humanity or the eternal value of her soul. Their hearts were hardened by years of religious traditions and cultural perceptions. As a result, the disciples’ reaction communicated that they did not care about her!

Most of us miss countless opportunities to make a difference because we either don’t notice people or don’t care enough about them to get involved in their lives. We will never see anyone come to Christ if we don’t actively acknowledge, affirm, and care about them.

2. The disciples ignored Jesus and what He was doing
Not only did the cultural and religious prejudice blind the disciples from the need and potential of the woman, but it also blinded them to Jesus Himself. John 4:31 reads: “In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.” Through the disciple’s obsession to make sure Jesus eats as quickly as possible, they actually appear to be rude and ignore Him. After all, the quicker Jesus eats, the quicker their nightmare is over, and they are able to leave Samaria.

When we refuse to open our eyes to the needs of the world around us, we do ourselves a double disservice and lose on two levels. Not only do we lose the joy of being used by God to make a difference, but we also lose out on noticing what God is doing.

God is always working around us. Those who are sensitive to His ways will rejoice with Him and join Him in His work. In doing so, He opens our eyes to the needs around us, then empowers us to meet the needs.

In our next broadcast, we will look at the third and fourth reasons why we should not follow the evangelism example of the disciples.