Two areas where we need to give some extra attention are the areas of evangelism and community. How do we reach the world with the gospel? What role does the church, or covenant community of God’s people play in this work?
Most of us are familiar with two types of evangelism: personal, one-on-one witnessing, and public, evangelistic meetings. Unfortunately, these have become the exclusive means of evangelism in the thinking of many Christians. We tend to think atomisticly—trying to get individuals into the lifeboat one at a time. But there is a vital, corporate dimension to evangelism that redeems not only individuals, but also families and cultures for many generations.
Without diminishing the importance of these two methods of proclaiming the Gospel (when done biblically), I want to suggest that the Bible teaches (in addition to these) that much of the work of evangelism is done in the context of the covenant community. Solid church growth is ultimately the work of God: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6-7). The means of growth is primarily done in the context of the people of God living lives of faith and fruitfulness. Our ideas have consequences, and the world ought to see these consequences. The Covenant community—the church—ought to be a picture of joy and celebration. We should love our new lives and we should be seen inculcating that love in our children.