The Hallmarks of the Church

Mission & Evangelism

Scripture: – Matthew 28: 18-20

Text: –

  • Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – “Matthew 28: 18-20” – NIV

Introduction: –

I’m honoured today to have the opportunity of ministering to you. Phillip Brookes once said – “Preaching is, “communication of truth through personality.”

You are a remarkable group of Gods People and I’m so proud to be one of you. As I look around at you I can see that Jesus by the Holy Spirit has written a wonderous and beautiful story in each of one you.

  • Hey! Let’s encourage one another right at the outset because we are all “Living Breathing Works of Art.” Say to your christian friend or family member “Praise God for the beautiful story Jesus has made you”.

I have a central DNA and its Gods Calling upon my life to Evangelism and Mission. It arrived in 1969 when God spoke very clearly to me on the back of a Navy Coach returning from Smarden to Tonbridge after a Harvest Festival. He said to me very clearly “Do the work of an Evangelist and fulfil your ministry” it was latterly confirmed by an AOG recognised Prophet by the name of Tom Woods. Alongside that God has called me in these recent years to Encourage and Challenge Gods People and Leaders in their journey of faith.

So, right at the outset today I’ll make no apologies when I say that “I want to Encourage You and I want to Challenge You” are you up for that? I hope so and hope that in your spirit there is a resounding Amen.

What’s the heartbeat of any Preacher? It’s to “bring Jesus to the forefront.” It’s their role to ensure that “Jesus – Steps Out in Front – and is seen afresh and my desire is that once you have read this message that you will have fresh vision of Jesus. I hope I can say that on behalf of us all?

This message is on one of the Hallmarks of the Church. Other Hallmarks of – Faith, Hope, Love, and the Sufficiency of Scripture (Meaning that the Bible is all we need to equip us for a life of faith and service and  the work of the Holy Spirit are vital but this one is the Hallmark of Mission and Evangelism.

A hallmark is made of different components and all the ones mentioned previously are the components that form the validity of the most fundamental and authenticating hallmark of Mission and Evangelism.

Just as a reminder though – “What is a Hallmark?” – It’s been defined as: –

“A distinctive characteristic of something or someone. That can mean a literal symbol on the bottom of a piece of pottery, or just a rock star’s signature hair style.”

Some products have real hallmarks on them, indicating their creator or origin, sometimes though it can be to describe a Unique Attribute, a Special Style, or Typical Feature.

Such as: –

  • A Basketball Player could say that coming to practice early is a hallmark of their success.
  • A Business could say their commitment to customer service is a hallmark of their success.
    • And you could definitely say Elvis’ along with his voice and his hip swivel was a hallmark of his performances.

Having said that though when it comes to the Church there is a major problem that the Church faces today. What is it? I ask? It’s an increasing removal of its original hallmarking.

Again, what do I mean by that?. Well! We live in a generation when the general tendency is to have a “vanilla” Proclamation of God’s Word aimed at providing ministry and especially the Gospel Message that will offend no one and has in many places traded a Genuine Hallmark for a Counterfeit One.

“Romans 1: 16” tells usFor I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” – KJV

That truth in many places and it’s seen very clearly when we look on the Internet has been diluted and denied.

The Gospel is the very heartbeat of Mission and Evangelism and yet we see in many places: –

  • A Gospel that Preaches Salvation without the Blood
  • A Gospel that Preaches Christ Without the Cross.
  • A Gospel that Preaches Salvation Without Sanctification.
  • A Gospel that Preaches Decisions Without Discipleship.
  • A Gospel that Preaches the Love of God Without Lordship.
  • A Gospel that Preaches Prosperity Without Purpose.
  • A Gospel that Preaches Blessing Without Birth-Right Responsibilities.
  • A Gospel that Preaches Revival Without Reformation.

All perhaps in a hope to be understood, accepted and relevant but let me say to you today and I do so with all sincerity that Relevance and Understanding is important and has its place, but it must be balanced. If we lose that then it’s true to say that: –  

“The church that marries the spirit of its age will more than likely be widowed in the next.”

John Wesley who said: – “What one generation tolerates – The next generation will embrace”

Preaching, Teaching and Ministry of any sort is not a spectator sport. It’s never been intended to be a form of spiritual entertainment. We can sit and watch, but that’s not really the point. Ministry of any sort and especially Preaching has at its heart engagement, it’s a conversation that’s entered into. In the final analysis truly, you get from it what you bring to it.

I hope I’m keeping your attention today. However, what I do know is that Gods Word commands our attention because: –

  • It will grip our souls
  • It will grip our thinking
  • It will eventually grip our motivation
    • in a way that even the greatest of Preachers and Bible teachers cannot do.
  • God’s Word is a Living Force, it’s Powerful, it’s Uncontrollable, it’s Creative, it’s Healing and its Immensely Transforming and so is the Practical Mission OF GOING that God has called us to fulfil.
    • In fact, Gods Word is a form of the overall outworking of Gods Mission because it conveys His heart to us and was made manifest in the flesh in the coming of Jesus.

If you have your Bible with you “Take a look at it” right there before your eyes and in your hands, you have the full revelation of God’s Heart, God’s Purpose and His Mission.

The Hallmarks of Mission and Evangelism

What’s my topic the Hallmark of Mission and Evangelism. I could present lots of facts and information which inform and tug at heart strings. But unfortunately doing that has a short-term effect and acts simply as a placebo.

You know, “Mission” and “Evangelism” are buzz words in the Church. However, they conjure up quite different emotions.

  • Mission – is like the phrase “healthy living” – and who could ever possibly object to that? Right? The result is that the idea of “Mission” is championed by all Church Organisations.
    • How many people go to a Gym or follow a strict health regime? Well! Mission is just like that.
      • It’s an ideal readily endorsed although outworked in differing ways.
        • It’s also an ideal that like exercise and healthy eating can very soon lose its momentum.
  • Evangelism” – However, is seen not as “Healthy Living” it’s more akin to “long distance running.” It’s seen by many as a punishing option for the super-keen.
    • So, we say, ‘God bless the Super-keen, the Revivalists, the Evangelist or Christian Extroverts and all their kind’.
      • Safe in the knowledge that “mission” is surely broader than “In your face” witnessing and preaching and all that type of thing.

However, there are some fundamental problems with this way of thinking though. In particular, Mission can be seen too Broadly and Evangelism too Narrowly.

I want to tell you that my opinion is that we need to be more focused in our understanding of Mission. It inevitably will entail the exclusion of other agendas but at the same time retain a Broader Vision for Evangelism.

What will it entail? I’ll tell you: –

“All the Church in All of Life Life’s Activities Proclaiming the Gospel as we go.”


Our Text said: –

  • Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – “Matthew 28: 18-20” – NIV

It was expected I’m sure that anyone sharing on the topic of Mission and Evangelism would use this text.

There are several reasons why here’s 4 and I will touch upon 2 of them only.

  • Why? 1 – Because, it’s the Divine Foundational Commission issued to every individual who says they are a Christian.  

It was Charles Spurgeon himself who said: –

“Every Christian is either a Missionary or an Imposter”

  • Why? 2 – Because, it provides the Divine Framework of Mission & Evangelism issued to His Church.
  • Why? 3 – Because, it conveys the Divine Heart and Thinking of Christ’s Mission and Motivation for those He died to save.
  • Why? 4 – Because, it reveals the Divine Obligations of Gods Mission Call upon His people.

So “What is Mission?

  • Simply put in a theological manner its “mission Dei” which is Latin meaning “the sending of God.” It is an expression of the very nature of God (He sent His Son and now His Son Sends Us).
    • What does Jesus say?. “John 20: 21-22” – “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” 

We can easily think that Mission has its origin in a Human Enthusiasm to share God’s Love. However, it’s not the Keen Evangelist who gets the Ball Rolling or a Few Christian Enthusiasts. No! We are not the initiators of mission and evangelism we are simply the spectators, beneficiaries and hand of God of the Mission borne out of Gods Heart.

We often say Our Mission or My Mission activities but what we forget is that it’s His Mission. Even before God said – Let it be right back in creation – the God Head were involved in the Mission of Salvation knowing what was ahead.

Father, Son & Holy Spirit were all involved within it and we the Church are the instruments through which Their Mission is Outworked.

Mission doesn’t Start and End with us. It Starts and Ends with God.

Mission is Not What We Do – It Is What We Are

“Why as the Church are we Here?”

Let me ask you “Why as the Church are we here on the Earth

Fundamentally we are here to GO, Live Out and to PROCLAIM the GOSPEL. It is through the Going & Proclaiming that God chooses to make His appeal to people.

Why are we here? The answer is very simple and “2 Corinthians 5:20” tells us – “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – The Bible says that you and I are His Ambassadors to the world in which we live, and we outwork our Ambassadorial Roll by our Mission Activities and Evangelism – That’s Why We Are Here.

– “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That’s Why We Are Here.

Here’s a question again for us collectively – “Did these things ever change between His Death and Resurrection?” – No! That’s right – and it remains as firm today as it did when Jesus spoke them.

In light of that and because the words were spoken by Jesus Himself its right that they find a place where they can reside in our hearts and minds motivating us into action.

So! What is The Divine Foundation for our Evangelism – It’s His Mission

If I ask the question – Who does God use? Then the answer would simply be – Everybody.

In “Verse 19” of our text Jesus said: – “Therefore go….” whenever there is a THEREFORE it is an indicator to look at the surrounding context of what is being said and in this context Jesus has stated His Divine Authority it was a statement declaring that – He had been given total authority in heaven and earth – The statement was  – “Then Jesus came to them (the disciples) and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” “Verse 18” – and in light of that He says to every Child of God – GO.

Oh! my heart today is like a Pea Pod and has 3 Peas in it: –

  • Pea No 1 is named – Consumed
  • Pea No 2 is named – Constrained
  • Pea No 3 is named – Captivated

I’m Consumed, Constrained and Captivated to see us God’s People arising with a new vigour and enthusiasm to outwork what Jesus saw as so fundamental and important. It’s the very reason you and I have been “consecrated”, and “set aside” – for His divine purpose that of – going.

Let me say to you that The Church have not received a Mission from a needy Christ, looking for us to finish the job He started. No! the truth is that He really by His death and resurrection did all that was needing to be done.

It is for this reason that we are declared to be His ‘witnesses’ of what He has done and powerful ones at that – “… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – “Acts 1:8” is what we are told.

We are a Witnessing Community not a Reforming Taskforce

Our calling today is not to bring redemption to the World (that’s already been done). No! our Mission Task is to declare Christ as: –

  • The Saviour.
  • The Redeemer.
  • The Coming King.
  • Living Out His Kingdom Authority.

In Mission and the accompanying Evangelism for they are like Siamese Twins we see Jesus Saving from Eternal Hell.

  • We see Jesus Saving both Souls and Lives out of Destructive Lifestyles and making new people of them.
  • We see Jesus as the Coming King bringing new hope to our lives. Encourage one another with these words is what – “1 Thessalonians 4: 18” tells us.
  • We see Jesus enabling us in life to live free. Who the Son sets free is free indeed – is what “John 8: 36” tells us.
  • We see Jesus who has placed His Kingdom within us providing the ability to live out that Kingdom Authority is what “Luke 17: 21b” says to us.
    • He is reaching out to us today and requiring us to carry the baton.

So! What is the Divine Framework for our EvangelismHarvesting – His Mission

What was it that Jesus in His day saw.? He saw then and now Israel, and the world with one image – it was a vast field to be harvested. That’s why in “Matthew 9: 37” He said, “The harvest is plenteous.” Everybody without exception were expected to hear the Gospel.

In His 3yrs of ministry He saw multitudes coming to Him. But in His mind’s eye He saw something even greater. He looked out and saw the multitudes stretched across the whole world and all coming generations.

He saw in His Mission Eye:  –

  • Your Neighbour
  • Your Work Colleague
  • Your Family Member
  • Your Friends
    • And yes – Even Your Enemies

The World in its entirety was a harvest field – white and ready to be harvested – and it still is.

Let me encourage you today on a personal level today: –

  • Long before there was anything you were in Gods Thinking – You we’re destined to be Saved.
  • From the time of Creation until the appearing of Jesus in Gods Thinking – You we’re destined to be Saved.
  • When Jesus lived out the good news of the Gospel in Gods Thinking – You we’re destined to be Saved.
  • When Jesus declared on the Cross “it is finished” – In Gods Thinking it was a declaration of your destiny and your Salvation that He was announcing.

With all of that you were destined in His Thinking also to be engaged in His Mission & Evangelism.

However, in doing so let me remind all of us today of a stark truth which we cannot avoid. Jesus saw, and we should see that there are multitudes around us that are simply grain, either to be burned or to be barned, to be gathered in or to be cast out.

Jesus wants all of us to share in His vision in light of: –

  • The Multitudes who face the Inevitability of Judgment
  • The Multitudes who face the Inevitability of Coming Doom
  • The Multitudes who face the Inevitability and Inexorable Moving toward Hell.

So again, the question arises – “Church Why Are We Here?” the answer is – The Neighbour, Colleague, Family Member, Friend and Enemy – That’s why. And He is calling us to live out His mission heart to the lost.

We are more: –

  • Than a Club for the Forgiven.
  • Than a Club for the Redeemed.
  • Than a Club for the Sanctified.

We are God’s Mouthpiece to a Lost and Dying World. In Heaven right now Jesus is awaiting His Father to say to Him “Son it’s time to collect you Bride” the Church as a result the Gospel Writer says: – “Hear what God says: “When the time came for me to show you favour, I heard you; when the day arrived for me to save you, I helped you.” Listen! This is the hour to receive God’s favour; today is the day to be saved!” – “2 Corinthians 6:2

How did Jesus view the world in which He lived for 33yrs? How does He view the world now? In exactly the same way.

  • Yes! 1 – He did and does so with Compassion.
  • Yes! 2 – He did and does so with Grace.
  • Yes! 3 – His hand was Outstretched then and it is now.
    • However, the unpalatable truth is that He equally saw people then and now as a harvest facing judgment.

We hear little of that in our day and generation the result has been a neglect of His Mission and a dearth in Evangelism by His Church. What does the Scripture say in “Proverbs 24:33-34” – “One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones, and then passed the vineyard of a lout; They were overgrown with weeds, thick with thistles, all the fences broken down. I took a long look and pondered what I saw; the fields preached me a sermon and I listened: “A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy – do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, with poverty as your permanent houseguest!” –The Message

It’s a bit like having cataracts, the mistiness and lack of focus builds up very slowly until blindness sets in. The only way to counteract it is to have a news lens – thus bringing new vision. In this case Gods vision.

We need to ask ourselves the question –

Are we active in the Gospel Mission or are we merely busy in the Church?

  • We love to declare that God is Love and we are right to do so.
  • We love to declare that God redeems lives and we are right to do so.
  • We love to declare that God wants to meet needs, heal bodies and restore and again we are right to do so.
  • These are all essential and intrinsic expressions Yes! Hallmarks of Mission Oriented People and elements of the Gospel.

However, let’s remember that Jesus was always Authentic what you saw was what you got. The World around us is looking for Authenticity it’s looking for a Flag to Wave, A Bell to Ring and A Cause to Believe In and we are (all of us) the Flag Wavers, Bell Ringers the Proclaimers of an Eternal Cause – That cause is His Mission and it’s Our Hallmarking.

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards the Theologian (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) – (Not to be confused with the 1966 Olympic Triple Jumper) once said and I paraphrase: –

  • When our preaching and witnessing to the lost becomes ‘I am as you desire me,’ we have lost the very thing that will enable us to minister and witness effectively – namely our authenticity.

You see when we see the World as Christ sees it – When His Mission is Our Mission, we will share His compassion and we will drop to our knees for the sake of the lost to warn mankind about the judgment, and to invite them into the kingdom.

Prayer is great. However, it’s never enough. We miss the whole point when we content ourselves with just praying, there has to be the willingness to go. Sure, it’s true that there are those who are advanced in years and are not physically able and may not be able to leave their homes and they are so needed in the praying realm. But for the rest of us its GO.

The Mission, still incomplete, spurs every Christian either to Send or Go, either to Hold the Ropes for Others or Cross Boundaries and Cultures for the sake of Christ’s name

Conclusion: –

Mission & Evangelism are scary words for many Christians. Whether it’s because we fear rejection, feel unqualified, or are uncomfortable with making a truth known. Over the years I’ve heard plenty of excuses as to why someone doesn’t verbally declare the Gospel to someone. I’ve heard things that range from “Post-moderns don’t respond to propositional assertions” or “That’s not my style” or (Shock Horror) If I really live it then, at some point, they will ask me what I believe” or whatever.

I’m amazed really sometimes when I think that Grandparents will so enthusiastically speak of their Grandchild. In fact, they will talk to any Tom, Dick or Harry about them and engage them until their eyes glaze over – Am I not right? Yet, there are great problems in talking when it comes to the one we love above all other.

We talk about those things we love. We speak of our Favourite Films, our Favourite Football Team, our Favourite Grandchildren, even our Favourite X-Factor or Come Dancing Contestants. We do so without ever requiring “expert knowledge” or “a gift of the gab” or “earning the right to speak.” No! we just do it.

So, it’s very interesting that Jesus says in “Matthew 12:34b” – “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full off.”  

If our hearts are full of Jesus the words will come – falteringly yes, feebly yes but with undoubtable and unfakeable authenticity.

A failure to engage in Mission and Evangelism you see really is not an Information Problem, a Technique Problem or even a Strategy Problem – it’s a HEART PROBLEM

Martin Luther King once said: – “I have a dream” – August 28, 1963

His speech was in aid of reducing racism in the United States and he was calling for civil and economic rights.

Well! Today, I want to say to you all – “I have a dream”.    

  • I have a dream of the Church everywhere being attended by hundreds of unchurched people who discover new life and are in the process of discovering just how dynamic a relationship with Jesus really is.    
  • I have a dream of a day when every barrier of understanding and responding to the unadulterated message of the Gospel is removed.
  • I have a dream that involves all responding to His call to – go into all (of our respective worlds) Preaching the Gospel which is the power of God for salvation.

Again, the truth is that we are always ready to talk about those things that are important to us. How important is the Gospel, Evangelism and His Mission to us?.

Forgive me for being so plain speaking but – What is needed is a change of heart and revolution of our thinking.

Can and will God use you? Yes! Are you in yourself “fit for purpose? No! However, if: –

There are 2 groups of people here today.

  • Today all of us are nobody’s and outside of a transformation by being born again we are nobody’s who are dead in trespasses and failing to meet Gods established standard.
  • Or we are nobody’s that have become nobody’s of significance because we have been transformed from those that are dead in sin to those who are alive in Christ.

Why am I saying this? Well! Simply because I believe God is calling His Church (you and me) to a new era of obedience to His Commission.

  • I’m a nobody, only significant because of His work in my life. However, I’m a nobody who wants to tell everybody about somebody and that somebody is Jesus.
    • Hear me Church today when I say – I’m a nobody who wants to tell everybody about somebody and that somebody is Jesus.

Romans 10:14” reminds us, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

Today is the opportunity to build the tomorrow of success in Mission and Evangelism. I for one want to know of its fruitfulness. As a result, I’m going to re-dedicate myself. To that end will you join me with the same heart expression to re-engage with His Mission and to engage in Evangelism.

Say to Jesus – Here I am Lord send me?

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