BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Evangelism is the commanded and authorized work of each Christian and church, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd preached at First Baptist Church of Trussville, Ala. on Sunday.
"Spreading the Gospel is what each Christian is to do, wherever they are, whatever our vocation is, or your location, your age or your stage of life," Floyd told 9:15 a.m. worshipers in advance of the 2019 SBC Annual Meeting in nearby Birmingham. "That is what each Christian is to do and that's what Jesus tells us to do.
"Christian leaders, Christian men and women, Christian teenagers, Christian children, Christian small groups, Christian choirs, Christian mission efforts, everything we do, whether it's disaster relief or whatever it may be, we're to all do the work of an evangelist," he said, referencing 2 Timothy 4:5. "Spreading the Gospel is the work of the evangelist.... They're like a farmer who spreads the seed. We spread the Gospel seed, if you may."
Floyd defined the Gospel with 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
"So if you want to know what it takes for somebody to come to Christ here's what it is," he said. "They have to believe that Christ died for my sin, and they have to believe that Christ was buried, and they've got to believe that He Who was not standing on His own feet was made alive one day, and He rose from the dead on the third day, and He overcame death, hell and the grave, and His name is Jesus Christ.
"And because He overcame death, hell and the grave," Floyd said, "when we open our hearts to Him and we express faith and trust in Him, we receive Christ in our lives."
Acts 1:8 and the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 both command and authorize individual evangelism for every Christian, regardless of whether they're called to fill the office of an evangelist.
"I believe this firmly: every person needs Jesus and every person needs Jesus now," Floyd said. "With that urgency is the way we have to operate our lives."
He encouraged worshipers to adopt the "Who's Your One?" evangelism strategy initiated by SBC President J.D. Greear and the North American Mission Board.
"We're talking a lot right now in Southern Baptist life about Who's Your One," Floyd told the congregation. "I want to urge you to do the very process I'm doing. Who's going to be the one person I'm going to pray to receive Christ today? Or who's the one person I'm going to develop a relationship with who needs Jesus? Who's that one person I'm going to do my very best, in all of Trussville, Ala., to see them come to faith and trust in Christ?"
Prioritizing evangelism, enlarging evangelistic visions and creating a church culture of evangelism will enable churches and individuals to fulfill God's command, Floyd said. The Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists' giving channel for supporting missions and ministry, gives churches a voice in spreading the Gospel nationally and internationally, Floyd said. The host church reports CP giving at 11 percent of its undesignated offerings.
"Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be the heartbeat of every New Testament church all over the state of Alabama, and all over the country today and the world," Floyd said. "You know, the future of your church will be determined by one basic thing, and that is your effectiveness and your success in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Eleven people made professions of faith during Crossover evangelism outreach events in the Trussville area this past week, host pastor Buddy Champion said in a report in advance of Floyd's sermon.
"I think it was Wednesday (June 5), when our teams came back and one of them said, 'We met a Hispanic man here in Trussville that had never heard of Jesus,'" Champion said. "But today he's a brother in Christ. He prayed to receive Christ."
During Crossover events in Trussville, volunteers including church members and seminary students knocked on 1,068 doors, engaged in 179 Gospel conversations and prayed for 268 people, Champion said.
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor.