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 1/4)

My morning devotional study found me pondering Luke 19:10 how Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. I’d been to that verse many times before and could easily quote it by heart. This particular break of day I needed to be reminded of the reason for my existence. The words articulated it so well. It’s all about seeking the lost and training the found. A side note in my Bible titled Jesus as the “Seeking Savior” and sent me fumbling through the pages to a reference in Matthew 9:36:

“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
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The journey in writing this lesson starts in this verse and fuels my trip with the same passion, burden, and vision that gripped my Seeking Savior. He saw the multitudes generally and individual faces specifically. As they scurried about their daily duties, disguised with smiles and happy-go-lucky attitudes, He saw through all of that, to the very heart of the matter. He peered deep into their souls. They were confused, scattered, troubled, tired, distressed, aimless, hurting, helpless, hopeless, perishing, loaded-down, lost sheep needing a shepherd; someone to guide them into the protective fold. The verse closes with sad, convicting words: “having no shepherd.”

He saw: He considered their plight. He had a vision for their destiny. I want to see souls as Jesus sees them. He readily identified the spiritual needs of those He encountered.

He was moved: I want to be moved, stirred, and captivated by the very things that move, stir, and captivate the heart and mind of God.

His heart broke: I want my heart to be broken with the things that break the heart of God. Sounds simple but it is inevitably heart-wrenching.

He was moved with compassion: He felt what they felt. He had a deep awareness of their suffering. He was interconnected with them. He took action to help. His bowels yearned. His compassion was birthed deep within. I want to feel compassion for the lost in two ways: from His point-of-view and from theirs. How long has it been since you put yourself in their place? Imagine the feelings of being lost, hopeless, or drowning. Surely, such compassion will lead to incite, inspire, and invigorate an enthusiastic, whole-hearted, genuine, lively, fiery, deep, passion. It’s okay to get emotional about hurled, hungry humanity.

Note what Jesus said once he saw their state, was moved by the masses, heart-broken at their helplessness, and was compassionate about their calamity. It spoke to His “disciples.” That is a general term used for the twelve that followed Him. But, it is more than that. We are called to make disciples and to be disciples. Disciples are learners. Jesus wanted to teach students something. If you are following the scenario patiently and perceptively you will quickly unveil that the Seeking Savior was endeavoring to give His followers a game plan or a strategy of world evangelism. He has a game plan for winning; winning souls that is. Let’s check it out.

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

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