Five Keys to Spreading the Gospel Globally

This weekend finds me reading, relaxing, remembering and writing. I just finished an intriguing, interesting, inspiring, informative, innovative book entitled Movements that Change the World by Steve Addison. The subtitle is even more captivating “Five Keys to Spreading the Gospel.” Even at thirty-five or is it fifty-three (?) I’m still desperate to see the Gospel spread like wildfire throughout the globe. I remain convinced my destiny and yours, with God’s enablement, is to change the world.

The author unveils the essential elements required of any movement desiring to impact their world. There are only five. I will share them briefly with you. These dynamics apply in whatever setting you find yourself: a local church, church planting, or our global missions’ endeavors anywhere and everywhere.


1. White-hot faith. A saint on fire for God provides the energy and fuel to spread the Gospel. Like Jeremiah professed: It’s like fire shut up in our bones. It’s got to get out before it burns out. Changed people, change others. Practicing spiritual disciplines keep us red-hot or white-hot—whichever—I’m talking about being on fire for God. The fire fell at Pentecost, became our heritage, and the smoking embers need to be stirred up daily. It started in the midst of prayer, is fueled by prayer, and spreads through prayer.

2. Commitment to a cause. Movement emerges when people commit to a cause. It dies; ceases to exist when people don’t care anymore. To inspire commitment; embody commitment. You are reproducible. Care. Be committed! There is no greater cause or commission on the face of the planet that exceeds the call to take the Word to the world.

3. Contagious relationships. At the very beginning of this chapter in the book I wrote in enormous letters: CONNECT. Don’t forget it. We need to connect, first with God, and next to others. Ministers, missionaries, and members make connections when they meet with people asking them to be partners. That continues as we go to the field and endeavor to connect with the team on location, the indigenous churches, and those we reach and teach. Like a virus the Gospel spreads through close relationships. Steve Addison claims, “the most reliable predictor of conversion is relationships, especially pre-existing positive relationships.” To grow we must develop relationships with outsiders. March into the social world around you! Be a cross-cultural connector; a relationship builder. My pastor said recently, “We connect people to God and God to people.” So true!

4. Rapid mobilization. Mentor others. Mobilize members to become involved in the mission. Grow leaders and you grow the organization. There is no time to waste when we are about the King’s business.

5. Adaptive methods. We don’t have to be carbon copies of each other. We can pursue our mission with methods that are diverse, effective, flexible, and reproducible. The mission commission has a threefold reality. There is the message, the messenger, and the methods. The message remains the same. Methods vary. And you are the messenger. Yes. You! We continue to give a clear and certain sound concerning our unchanging message and mission while constantly changing methods to fit the need and culture.

I remember our beloved Brother Kenneth Haney once reminded us we need to pay the price for revival. He called us back to the preaching and way of the cross. Self-denial is the way to the heart of this world. He told a story of a communist boy, standing on a street corner, with tattered clothes, propagating communism. Someone walked by and said, “You’re paying a big price for communism!” The boy responded, “When you’re changing the world, no cost is too great.” It’s worth the challenge and cost of spreading the Gospel globally.

You are changing the world!

The Lord of the Harvest’s Plan for World Evangelism (Part 2/4)

Read Part 1

“Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37).

We’ve heard that dozens of times. The harvest is plenteous. The laborers are few. Contained in those words is a gigantic opportunity: the big harvest. The problem is He needs workers. Because there are lots of lost and only a few seekers a strategy for world evangelism is paramount. Therefore, here is what you do:


“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

Some have recognized this is one of the only prayer requests Jesus ever gave. Pray for workers. Prayer positions and prepares us to receive or hear the call to the mission. Prayer plows through hardened hearts. He didn’t tell us to go hunt laborers. The laborers are there. They are sitting on our pews and studying in our classrooms. They need to be sent. We need only petition, beseech, beg, God to send them forth. But, beware! Prayer also softens one’s own heart to hear the voice of God. Through prayer one gets closer to the heart of God, hears His heartbeat, feels the need, and becomes a prime candidate for the worker He wants to send.

Nehemiah faced similar situations in his day. The people were scattered, shamed, and in a serious snag. When he heard of and recognized their helpless condition he sat down and wept. He fasted and prayed. It wasn’t a simple little onetime prayer. He prayed constantly day and night. He stormed heaven for something to be done. Heaven responded. Nehemiah was the answered prayer to his own heavenly appeal. He left the comfort zone of the king’s palace with a burden for those scattered among the nations. He rebuilt the walls of strength and protection that had been ripped down. He refused to allow anyone or anything to stop him in accomplishing his vision. The Lord strengthened his hands for the good work.

A call into the ripened, abundant harvest is birthed in an atmosphere of prayer. It was in such an environment of corporate prayer and fasting, by the church at Antioch, that Barnabas and Saul were separated “for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). It was after they had “had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:3); and they were “sent forth by the Holy Ghost” (Acts 13:4)

As we present our bodies a living sacrifice to God, which is our reasonable service, we also make a commitment not to follow the pattern of this world. As He renews our mind in prayer, fasting, and study of His Word, we are able to discern and “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). In such a mode of prayer and sacrifice we are challenged to give our lives to the Lord much like a blank check. We allow Him to fill in the details and to work out His will for us.

Prayer also deepens our love for Jesus Christ as we spend time communicating with Him, and getting to know Him better. Andrew Murray in his book The Key to the Missionary Problem, written more than one hundred years ago, said that the lack of love for Jesus Christ was why the Church was failing to fulfill the Great Commission. In another book entitled The Great Omission, by Robert McQuilkin, he writes, “Let us give ourselves to prayer til He ignites us with the flame of His love and scatters us as firebrands throughout the darkness of a lost world.” Loving God and keeping His commandments go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately everyday that the Church fails at mobilization, opportunities are lost, and the number of lost humanity grows larger.

God is looking for a few good men and women? Can He count you in? Can He send you forth? The question is not, is He calling? The question is many times, are you listening?

We are to pray that He will “send forth laborers into his harvest.” Because it is “his harvest” you can be assured He is more than willing to do that. In checking the intention of the original Greek used in “send forth” it was enlightening to note that it refers to bring forth, drive out, expel, pull, take, thrust out, and put forth. The workers are there. They necessitate being expelled or forced free from what they are presently doing. They need to be motivated. We cannot hold them back. Sensitivity is needed. I want to have a sensitive spirit and a listening life. I don’t want Him to recruit prayer warriors so that I will be expelled, driven, pulled, and thrust out of my comfort zone into a scattered world. I’ll go wherever you want me to go, dear Lord!

Since we have reached the close of the chapter it is easy to assume that the topic is finished. I don’t think so. First of all, chapter divisions did not appear in the original. They were added later by men to facilitate easy reading and understanding. Regardless of that, one chapter closes, but the next chapter seemingly picks up with the same topic and further expounds the game plan for world evangelism.

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