Monday, March 28, 2016

Evangelism or Discipleship? Go or Grow?

Mon March 28, 2016 · By Adam Skinner

excerpted from his sermon on the four soils in Luke 8:1-15.

What are crops for? To eat, right? Not all of them,though—you’ve got to use some of the crop to replant the field for the next harvest, maybe even expand the field. In some ways, using it for our growth is the most important part. In other ways, going out and sowing farther and wider is, since without that, this will be the last year to get bread, and without food, where will growth be? 

What’s it gonna be? Are you gonna say the church is about growth, or about evangelism? About our maturity as Christians, or about the good news, reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus yet and welcoming them in?

Reaching out to others makes us grow. Growth leads to sharing the good news. A fully mature field of wheat is producing more seed for more wheat.

So many of us—and I’ve been one of them—have been seeing this as a zero-sum between focusing on growth and maturity, or focusing on having wide-open doors and an active desire to see people outside our walls begin a life-changing journey. This is not a zero-sum, where living out one part takes away from the other. These are two sides of the same coin, and I believe that is how the Church—not just our church—is meant to be.

It is wrong of us to keep something this good, this full of joy and meaning, to ourselves. And it is equally wrong of us to focus so much on bringing new people into the Kingdom that, when those people ask, “What’s the next step?” we say, “I don’t know, figure it out yourself—I’ve got more souls to save.”

Brothers and sisters, this balance and blending is the full picture of what the Church, the body of Christ, is supposed to look like. True growth makes us want to reach out. Outreach makes us grow.

Listen to this sermon:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Unfortunately my comments were not posted, so I will try this again. I think the either/or idea is what I tend to do. For an introvert though, I have a lot of fear surrounding the idea of talking to strangers about Jesus. I typically only have saved friends as well. I was thinking about evangelism two days ago though and found myself having a conversation about it with Jesus. He showed me a picture of myself standing at the pearly gates so to speak, at the end of my life. He asked me what I did for the kingdom with my life. I thought about souls saved and other things, but knew that my life as a witness was the important act of service for the kingdom. I felt ashamed because I knew I didn't have much to show. He didn't shame me, but that was the end of the picture I had in my head. I realized that I need to be intentional rather than passive about sharing with others my story of a life with Jesus. It fits so well with what you are saying, in a timely manner.

    I think that's where Scum can help me; being intentional and providing accountability. If we are to be an outpost, as we should be, I need to be a living testimony to the impact Jesus has had on my life. I am loving Jesus secretly, rather than publicly. It takes more than one planting to see a tenfold reaping, as you implied. It takes time to share my story with others. A one time meeting on the street is not necessarily going to be effective at reaching the heart of a person. I realize now, the larger mission for creating my YouTube channel, to tell my larger story, and refine telling it well. His redemption in my life is the testimony of His love and the application of how He is relevant in today's society.

    I tend to be surrounded with saved individuals. My lifestyle doesn't take me into the rest of the world much. That doesn't have to remain the norm though. Scum can help me get out more and interact with people I wouldn't normally come into contact with. I think we can do that as a church, and go meet people where they are, rather than expecting them to come meet us. What do you think?