I'm in San Diego for the National Outreach Convention which you can watch live (at least the general sessions) here.
After attending a discussion on assimilation with my friend Nelson Searcy, the opening session was outstanding--great worship led by Lincoln Brewster and a fantastic message from Ed Stetzer (see photo, left) of LifeWay.
Here's my notes from Ed's message:
The Mandate of Evangelism
2 Timothy 4:1-5
"Do the work of an evangelist" (v. 5)
Outreach simply provides the opportunity to do evangelism; don't confuse the two.
There are three factors holding us back from real evangelism:
1. Universalism: nearly half of all people in evangelical churches don't believe that Jesus is the only way
2. Wholism: preach the whole gospel, but include the bloody cross and the empty tomb!
3. Invitationalism: we have trained people into believing that inviting people to church--a good thing--is the same as telling the good news of Jesus
We must BE, DO and TELL the good news!
LABOR: work! Paul is telling Timothy that this is his occupation. Pastors and church leaders must set the pace by action. "You cannot lead what you do not live."
FOCUS: on being an "evangelist." Even when settled, Timothy the pastor cannot cease being Timothy the missionary.
"Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter." Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
GREAT message, great start! I'll be updating at least once tomorrow; lucky if I get off one Friday, but I'll try to do a wrap-up no later than Saturday morning.