HELPING THE SAINTS TO PREACH THE GOSPEL BY MANY MEANS
There are many ways to preach the gospel. The metropolitan centers are crowded with people day by day. There are many “fish,” and it is easy to catch one. The only problem is that we may not be prepared to do it, and we may have no intention of doing it. The church must be helped to learn how to pray, how to preach the gospel, and to prepare gospel tracts and good booklets. Then the brothers must have the habit of distributing the booklets, mailing the tracts, and so on, in order to stir up the city and even stir up the country.
More than fifty percent of the people in the United States are at least nominal Christians. Of these, about half are Catholics and half are Protestants, and in addition, many of the nominal Christians are false believers. This still leaves many millions who are unbelievers, Gentiles, to preach the gospel to. Many missionaries are going out from this country to the Philippines and to other countries, but in the United States there are many more millions of unbelievers than in the Philippines. What a big field there is here. I came from the Far East, and I have traveled throughout many nations. I have to say, “Praise the Lord for the United States!” because it is the best field for the Lord’s work. We have all the conveniences, and it is so easy to preach the gospel.
If we would do it, it is easy to bring people to the Lord. We should help each of the saints to learn how to preach. We cannot go into detail here, but there are many ways. A nurse can preach as a nurse, and a school teacher can preach as a school teacher. This is what we practice in the Far East. Every member there is a preaching member; they preach all the time, nearly day by day, and so many of the saints simply live for the gospel.
If we do this, this will be a protection to us as Christians. In Ephesians 6:15 Paul tells us that the firm foundation of the gospel is our shoes. Shoes protect us from the earth. If we do not have shoes, our feet become dirty and damaged. To protect our feet from being hurt, damaged, and dirty, we need a good pair of shoes. If as a Christian we do not preach the gospel, we are “barefoot.” The best way to keep our feet from being dirtied and damaged by the world is to preach the gospel to our friends, neighbors, and schoolmates, telling them something about the Lord Jesus. To preach the gospel in this way helps us to be better Christians. It always reminds us that we are Christians. We are reminded not to do certain things with persons to whom we have preached the gospel. It is simply because we do not testify for the Lord Jesus that we can do certain things with our friends. We should tell all our friends and neighbors, “I am a proper, normal Christian, and I wish to tell you that you need to love the Lord.” Try to do this, and see what will come out. Being a testimony to people helps us to be humble, sincere, careful, faithful, and to try our best to love others. This is the best pair of shoes for our Christian feet. Let us pray for this and try to help all the saints who meet together with us to have such a habit.
At a certain point, when the leading ones of the church realize that the church needs to have a gospel campaign, a gospel meeting, they should call the saints together every evening to have a week of prayer meetings to pray specifically in preparation for the gospel preaching. Then, we need at least one or two weeks more to come together to train them how to preach, how to take care of their relatives, how to invite and bring people to the meeting, and how to come to work together in a coordinated way to preach the gospel in coordination. Some can take care of people, some can distribute tracts, and some can do other things. There are many things to do in a move for the gospel. We especially need to train the brothers and sisters to do the work after the gospel meeting of visiting people. Then, after they are baptized and brought into the church as new converts, the church must care for them. If we practice this, it will be easy for the number of the saints to be doubled by the new converts, and there will be the newness and freshness in the fellowship of the church. To have the same brothers coming together week after week on the Lord’s Day becomes old, with no freshness or newness. There is the need for new converts, new members, new “cells.”
Here I have given only some general ideas. May the Lord help us to practice these things in the church service.
(Basic Principles for the Service in the Church Life, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)