The One-By-One Principle

Acts 11:19-21 also demonstrates that the Antioch believers shared their faith as individuals, rather than waiting for an institution to organize something. The Great Commission was given to every disciple. Although 1 Corinthians 14:23-24 mentions that unbelievers might be present in a gathering of believers and hear the gospel, the New Testament norm was that most evangelism was done by “the church dispersed” rather than by “the church gathered.”

Does your church have a good balance? If you brainstorm how your church intends to reach your community with the gospel, you’ll typically get answers like special evangelistic meetings, a sportsman’s banquet, a cantata, evangelistic teams, a coffee shop, a float in the parade, etc. Very seldom will anyone raise his or her hand and say, “Let’s build relationships with our neighbors and coworkers and win them to Christ one by one.”

Evangelism is not primarily the duty of the organized church; it is the duty of the individual believer. A pastor shares his faith not because he is a pastor or a pro at sharing the gospel, but because he is a Christian. Church leaders are given by God to equip believers to evangelize (Ephesians 4:11-12). They may organize believers to do evangelism together, but believers are not to sit back and wait for the church to do something.


Excerpt from evangelism workshop by Biblical Ministries Worldwide:  “Fostering the Harvest” available on Amazon.

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