Ministry Evangelism -- By: Timothy W. Mims
JBTM 11:2 (Fall 2014) p. 68
Timothy W. Mims is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Winona, Mississippi.
One major challenge today in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ is an increasing number of lost people who have been turned off by much of modern Christianity. In his book They Like Jesus But Not the Church, Dan Kimball explains, “The world is profoundly different than it was at the middle of the last century. But knowing and acting on it are two different things. So far the North American Church largely has responded with infusions of denial, believing the culture will come to its senses and back around to the church.”1
Can a church reach such an at-risk group across North America without compromising the gospel of Jesus Christ? Yes, and one effective way of building the bridge between the church and lost communities is ministry evangelism. While I was in seminary, Christ captured my heart for ministry evangelism through a chapel speaker, Charles Roesel, as he shared the miraculous story of First Baptist Church (FBC) of Leesburg, Florida.
Through the leadership of Charles Roesel, the Lord took a declining church in a challenging place and changed the culture of a community. In Meeting Needs Sharing Christ, Atkinson and Roesel state, “A revolution has taken place at First Baptist Church. The church regularly baptizes more than three hundred persons each year. A miracle has taken place and the people of the FBC of Leesburg, Florida, call that miracle ministry evangelism.”2
JBTM 11:2 (Fall 2014) p. 69
Defining Ministry Evangelism
Charles Roesel defines ministry evangelism as “a passion for the lost and a way for the church to care for people’s deepest needs—needs that are physical, emotional, and spiritual.”3 Ministry evangelism combines meeting the needs of hurting people with the verbal proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The method of ministry evangelism considers the whole person and focuses on long-term ministries.
After hearing Charles Roesel’s story of ministry evangelism at FBC of Leesburg, I discovered that there was a difference between servant or servanthood evangelism and what Roesel spoke of as ministry evangelism. While servanthood evangelism focuses on an act of kindness in order to build a bridge to the lost, ministry evangelism takes service a step further in order to help the new disciple mature in the Lord. Ministry evangelism is not simply giving the hungry a fish, but teaching th...
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