Sermon:  Frontline Ministry


Summary:  Frontline ministry in the kingdom is connecting with people with the Gospel because God is in the people business.  In our ministry and service, we need to remember that God expresses his message of love through the church, the body of Christ, which is a worthy effort even though some will respond and turn back to the world.  For those that do respond faithfully, God forgives and accepts into his family.


Know:  God's plan to save the lost squarely involves the church, which serves people and shares the Gospel.


Feel:  Motivated to share the Gospel through any opportunity that comes up


Do:  Discuss the role that evangelism should play in the church and in the lives of Christians.  Identify ways you could be more effective at reaching people with the Gospel of Christ


Text:  Various


Scripture Reading:  Mt 28:16-20



1.  Many different parts of a rescue operation

            a.  Training, support, administrative

            b.  But then there is the front line

            c.  Front line of God's rescue operation - sharing the Gospel

2.  This congregation supports frontline ministry

            a.  We all realize the kingdom is bigger than any one congregation

            b.  This is why campaigns are a part of my ministry

            c.  Campaign cadre made up of retirees, preachers, and ordinary

                 members who take time to do this

            d.  All of them are truly missionaries

3.  This is not a vacation

            a.  Some think because they go in RVs, it a vacation

            b.  Start with breakfast at 7:30, work till 4 with lunch break.  Hour break

                 before dinner, then evening studies and revival

            c.  Often interrupted during revival, like on Tuesday evening - 4 obeyed

            d.  Lot of work, but very rewarding work. 

                        - It is front line ministry

                        - As of Friday at lunch, twenty obeyed the Gospel, one restored

4.  As I reflect on what happened, I am reminded of several things


I.  God expresses his love through the church

            A.  One way God shows his compassion is through his people, the church

            B.  Several ways the Bible describes the church

                        1.  (Mt 5:15-16) - You are the light of the world

                                    a.  Let your light shine that they may see your good works

                                    b.  I don't believe he is talking merely about moral behavior

                                                - Sometimes think he talking about no drunk, no cuss,

                                                   no lying, stealing, etc.

                                                - Letting your light shine is so much more than this

                                    c.  How did Jesus let his light shine?

                                                - Entered their world.  He became flesh.

                                                - Ministered to hungry and hurting people

                                                - Showed the compassion and love of God

                                                - Fed their bodies and their souls

                                    d.  This is how the church is light to the world

                                                - They don't hear the light

                                                - They "see" the light as we demonstrate it

                                                - The message is not just audible, it is visual too

                        2.  1 Cor 12 - Church is the body of Christ - Good metaphor

                                    a.  Connected to each other and to Christ

                                    b.  We do what Christ does, since he is the head

                                                - Jesus came to see people with his eyes, so we see

                                                - He came to go to others with his feet, so we go

                                                - He came to listen with his ears, so we listen

                                                - He came to serve with his hands, so we serve

                                                - He came to love with his heart, so we love

                                    c.  As the body of Christ, we continue what he did

                        3.  1 Tim 3:15 - Household, or family of God

                                    a.  We truly are the family of God

                                    b.  We are bound together by blood - the blood of Christ

                                    c.  We help, support, and hospitable to each other

                                    d.  Our relationship is eternal in Christ

                        4.  When we become Christians, we are transformed

                                    a.  We become a part of the church

                                    b.  This means we are light, body of Christ, part of family

                                    c.  This is one of the ways we are transformed

            C.  ILL:  We Care is about transforming congregations

                        1.  Sierra Vista church doing caring ministries

                                    a.  Finding out people's needs and doing what they can

                                                - Not a big church, but do what they can

                                                - You don't need to be big to care for people

                                    b.  Some of the things I was aware of

                                                - Someone needed washing machine, found one

                                                - Lots of people needed food, detergent, etc.

                                                - Invited people to meals at the building

                                                - Baby bed together, me, a cadre member, and elder

                                    c.  When Cadre leaves, doesn't end

                                                - Caring will continue

                                                - Will continue to tend to physical and spiritual needs

                        2.  Southwest Church  in Phoenix was transformed

                                    a.  Had a campaign last year, 58 obeyed the Gospel

                                    b.  Most have stayed faithful a year later

                                    c.  Since the start of campaign till now, 94 souls added there!

                                    d.  Not possible unless transformation came over them

            D.  Yes, God truly expresses himself through the church

                        1.  The church is God's creation, and God demonstrates his

                              character through what has been made

                        2.  I was reminded of that last week.

                        3.  But that was not the only thing


II.  God uses all those in the body

            A.  It doesn't matter how much of an expert you are, God uses you

            B.  It doesn't matter whether you are old or young

                        1.  (Jer 1:4-9) - Jeremiah thought he was too young

                                    a.  Doesn't matter how young you are!

                                    b.  God says, "I have put MY words in YOUR mouth"

                                                - Not make it up as you go

                                                - Gospel is power of salvation, Rom 1:16

                                                - Good news is Jesus died and arose, 1 Cor 15:1-4

                                    c.  Is 55:11 - God's word does not come back empty

                        2.  Doesn't matter if you are old

                                    a.  Where in the world we get the idea that age is hindrance?

                                    b.  How old were those in the Bible when God called them?

                                                - Moses?  80 with speech problem

                                                - Joshua and Caleb during conquest?

                                                            = Caleb was 80 years old - Josh 14:7, 11

                                                            = Joshua may have been anywhere from 60-80

                                                - Abraham 100 yrs old, God gave child, Gen 17:17

                        3.  (Ps 92:10-15)

                                    a.  God gives strength even in your old age

                                    b.  Bear fruit bountifully even advanced in years

                                    c.  For some, years of so-called "retirement" are most fruitful

            C.  ILL:  I was reminded of this

                        1.  Devotional led by Ernest one day

                                    a.  Ernest a slow, soft-spoken person

                                    b.  Told story of how he picked us up for church on bus

                                    c.  84 years old, still bringing people to Christ

                        2.  Melissa, this was her first campaign

                                    a.  Took time to go from Kentucky to Arizona

                                    b.  Church paid for her traveling expenses to Arizona

                        3.  Several others from entire spectrum

            D.  It doesn't matter what kind of person you are, God will use you

                        1.  You are a part of the body of Christ with a function

                        2.  Old, young, smart, not-so-smart, articulate, slow of speech

                        3.  Doesn't matter, power is in God and his word

                        4.  I was reminded of this


III.  Satan sometimes snatches people away

            A.  Did not keep everyone, some fell away quickly

            B.  (Mt 13:1-9, 18-23) - Parable of the soils

                        1.  Four kinds of soil - By the road, rocky places, thorns, good

                        2.  Not everyone accepts the word and stays

            C.  ILL:  There were three during the campaign that did not stay

                        1.  Raised in high church background, sprinkled as a baby

                        2.  Were baptized, but did not obey the Gospel

                        3.  Obeyed the Gospel, overjoyed in family of God

                        4.  Their physical family persecuted them, so they fell away

                                    a.  Physical family said they disrespecting family

                                    b.  If going to be in family, will keep religious tradition

            D.  Even though people respond to Gospel, they not always stay

                        1.  Did not keep God from sending his son

                        2.  In fact, Bible says the way is narrow that leads to life

                                    a.  Most will not find the way of life

                                    b.  Most will be on the broad road of destruction

                        3.  Yet the sower goes out to sow anyway, knowing that some will

                             fall on good soil and be fruitful

                        4.  God's word does not return to him empty


IV.  God forgives and accepts anyone

            A.  It does not matter what you have done

            B.  (Col 2:13-14) - God paid the penalty for sin

                        1.  Cancelled our "certificate of debt"

                                    a.  Grk:  Cheirographon

                                                - A "record of one's debts"

                                                - Would be like an IOU

                                    b.  Modern way to express this thought would be a "lien"

                                                - Because of unpaid debt, have a lien

                                                - If unpaid, you forfeit the property to lienholder

                                    c.  Not financial, it consists of "decrees against us"

                                                - In other words, when you sin, you forfeit self

                                                - Any impure action, thought, word, etc.

                        2.  Can you pay your debt?  No

                                    a.  You become a sinner, you cannot "unsin"

                                    b.  As a result, you have a record of a debt you can't pay

                                    c.  All you can do is forfeit your sin

                        3.  But, Jesus nailed that IOU, that debt of yours to the cross

                                    a.  Do you realize the significance of nailing it to the cross?

                                    b.  List of crimes were nailed to the cross with the criminal

                                    c.  In other words, Jesus paid your penalty with his life!

                        4.  It is paid in full

                                    a.  That is why we say sins are washed away in the blood of

                                          the Lamb, Rev 7:14

                                    b.  Rom 6:6 - When we obey the Gospel, the sin that

                                         separated us from God, life, light, etc. is done away with

            C.  ILL:  Reminded of this when we met Ramon

                        1.  Met his wife first, not interested, expecting and trying to prepare

                                    a.  She trying to put a baby bed together, struggling

                                    b.  Offered to help

                                    c.  In conversation, found she could use food and laundry

                        2.  Later Ramon came home, had study with him, shared his story

                                    a.  Had a criminal record many years ago

                                    b.  Tried church in past, they not accept him

                                    c.  Trying to do what is right, especially for family

            .                       d.  Not sure he could get it right and get right with God

                        3.  I shared passages with him

                                    a.  Phil 2:13 - God at work to will and to work for him

                                                - Why you need God to will and work?

                                                - Sin weakens you, you slave to sin without Gospel

                                                - If not obey Gospel, powerless

                                    b.  1 Jn 1:8-2:1 - We still have sin from time to time

                                                - But if we confess, he forgive

                                                - We not to sin, but if sin, we have advocate, Jesus

                                                - This is saying he is our mediator

                                    c.  Unless obey Gospel, sin still a power in your life

                                                - You want to change and be better, you can't

                                                - Right now you are a slave to sin

                                    d.  When sin wash away, you become a brother

                                                - Does not matter what you have done

                                                - God not hold against you, we do not either

                        4.  He obeyed the Gospel, church family loved him and his family

                                    a.  His wife who was not interested is touched

                                                - She said "no" before

                                                - Now she is saying, "I'm not quite ready"

                                    b.  Whole family experienced God's love through brethren

                                                - Expecting any day

                                                - Did laundry, baby bed together, bought baby items

            D.  God will accept you when you obey Gospel

                        1.  Does not matter what you have done

                        2.  Jesus nailed your IOU, your debt to his cross

                        3.  He paid your penalty



1.  These are things we all need to be reminded of from time to time

2.  Have you obeyed the Gospel?  (inv)

3.  If you have obeyed, then remember that you are the body of Christ doing as Christ did


Small Group Notes:  Frontline Ministry



Summary:  Frontline ministry in the kingdom is connecting with people with the Gospel because God is in the people business.  In our ministry and service, we need to remember that God expresses his message of love through the church, the body of Christ, which is a worthy effort even though some will respond and turn back to the world.  For those that do respond faithfully, God forgives and accepts into his family.



Open:  (choose one)

- What is the most exciting news you have received in the last month?

- What images spring to mind when you hear the words "missionary" or "evangelism"?



Explore:  (Mt 28:16-20)


1.  What did Jesus say about Himself?  Why do you supposed he said this?  What impact does this have on what he says and the attitude his disciples should have toward what he said?


2.  Discuss what Jesus instructs his disciples to do.


            a.  A good translation of the word, "go" is "while going."  What impact does

                 this have on what Jesus commands?  What is Jesus commanding?


            b.  What activities are disciples of Christ to be involved in according to

                 Jesus' instructions?


            c.  What is the difference between a disciple and a student?  What does it

                 mean to make or have disciples?


3.  How does Christ's example while on this earth help Christians to understand how to carry out his instructions in this passage?


4.  Why do you suppose Jesus also gives a promise in this passage?  What impact might it have had on his disciples?





5.  What are some specific ways you can apply the message of this lesson to your life?  What are some challenges or obstacles you face?


6.  Who in your life do you need to pray about?  Who do you need to share the Gospel with?  Who have you already shared with that we need to pray about?