Spreading the Gospel

Spreading the Gospel

Robert Swatosh

The scriptural injunction is, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Our Lord himself travelled about speaking to many. The early Church “went everywhere preaching the Word.” Thus we have the command and example to spread the Word of God and the Gospel. To build a nice hall or chapel with fine Sunday School facilities, turn on the lights and then expect the unsaved to drop in, is not completely obeying the command, or following the example which has been given to us. In the early days printing was not available to the extent that it is today. Therefore the spread of the Gospel was accomplished totally by preaching. This is, of course, good, and we should not abandon visiting the homes and telling others about the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. However, printed material is available today and provides us with a powerful and effective means of spreading the Gospel to a great many. A small group of twenty or thirty can place the printed message and a Gospel invitation in two thousand homes in approximately one hour. We can also make it known that we do have a meeting place, that there are Gospel services, and that we have a Sunday School in which to teach children about the Lord Jesus.

A Continuous Effort

Telling others about the Lord Jesus is a continuous effort. This is something we do as part of our new nature. We do not turn it off and on from time to time. In the same manner it is important that the distribution of Gospel tracts and invitations be done on a regularly scheduled basis during the year. There are also times when we will want to advertise special meetings, children’s meetings, vacation Bible school, summer camps and other specific events. But the important thing is that our friends in the surrounding neighbourhood receive regular invitations to our Sunday School, our services and programs. In this manner they will be continually reminded there is a Christian Assembly in their midst, and perhaps they will some day come and visit us and send their children to our Sunday School.

The Immediate VIcinity

It has been said of some Assemblies that the people in the immediate neighbourhood were unaware of their existence. Surely it is important that we first spread the Gospel in our immediate vicinity. A reasonable area to start with is one square mile. In a large city this will provide about two thousand homes. If the Assembly is in a rural area, then it may be necessary to select a larger section in order to establish a sufficient number of homes for the distribution effort. Later on, the work should move into the outer periphery of this first in order to get a broader coverage and avoid useless repetition. The response to a broad distribution effort such as this may be a small percentage. However, if out of two thousand invitations to special meetings one percent or twenty people came to the meetings, this surely would be well worth the effort.

Proper Planning

Scripture tells us that everything should be done decently and in order. Distribution work is a work for the Lord and demands the very best of our thinking and planning. First, someone should be selected to be responsible for the distribution effort of the Assembly and Sunday School. Next, the district to be worked should be broken down into smaller sections of about four hundred homes. Captains should be appointed to be responsible for each of these sections. In turn, the captains should recruit individuals for his team on a permanent assignment basis. Whenever the distribution is planned, the announcement should be made in the Assembly. The captain should personally contact each member of his team to assure the presence of sufficient people to do the job. He should assign the streets his helpers are to work and obtain the proper number of invitations and tracts. The captain must be responsible to see that his section is thoroughly covered with material at each home.

Sometimes it might be desirous to have refreshments after the distribution work. This provides a little time for fellowship and a season of prayer for blessing on the printed word.

Work for Everyone

This distribution effort is one in which almost everyone in the Assembly can participate provided their health permit. No special skills are required, and the more people that take part, the larger the area covered. In establishing the teams, the captains can take the Assembly list of Christians and check each name to be certain that every one is invited to participate.

Sound Material

The printed material itself must be carefully written to clearly explain whatever message is to be conveyed. Someone in the Assembly who has a gift for this type of work should be assigned this responsibility and should work with the printer to obtain the most attractive material available at reasonable cost. Gospel tracts should be given with the printed material. This provides another opportunity to spread the Gospel.

If you want to obey the scriptural command to spread the Gospel, if you want to see your Sunday School grow, and your Family Hour increase in attendance, then this is one means by which you can move in the right direction. The Lord has blessed efforts of this kind in the past. If the work is undertaken prayerfully and with the direction and power of the Holy Spirit, there is no reason to believe that it will not result in blessing, in increased attendance, and in the salvation of souls.