Our Gospel Meeting with Nathaniel Outcalt begins next week.  We will have a week of lessons taken from the Psalms.  Another underlying theme in these lessons is our relationship with God.  One of the great things about the Psalms is that many of them are relationship type Psalms.  The Psalmist is often pouring his heart out to God and as he does so we get insight into the type of relationship we need to have with God. 
These types of lessons can make for great lessons for gospel meetings.  Not only do they help the local body of saints learn to mature as Christians, it can help those outside the body of Christ realize what they are missing.  I for one am really looking forward to this week of lessons.  If we hope for this to a successful gospel meeting we are going to have to put forth the effort.  Every successful gospel meeting found success because the saints put forth the effort to achieve it.  Below you will find 4 things you can do to help this gospel meeting be successful.
Evangelism.  Homer Hailey wrote a book on evangelism entitled carrying out the great commission.  It was essentially a really long word study on the Greek words typically translated as preaching, evangelism, etc.  I first read the book over 10 years ago.  To be honest I didn’t retain a whole lot.  But, there is one thing after all these years I have not forgotten.  When the bible speaks of evangelism and preaching it had nothing to do with what was done in the assembly.  This is not to say that preaching in the assembly is unauthorized.  What it means is that the church’s responsibility in evangelism is not accomplished because they paid a preacher to preach on Sunday.  Evangelism is something the saints took upon themselves to do outside the assembly.  By all means invite your friends, family, neighbors etc to the meeting, but lay some ground work before they come.  John the Baptist was sent to prepare the hearts of men to accept the Christ.  We all need to be a little more like John, preparing the hearts of loved ones to accept the word, that way when they actually do get to hear the gospel preached any barriers that they may have had to not obey the gospel are easily torn down. 
Hospitality.  To the Jews, this was one of the most important expressions of love and service that they could offer to another.  Hospitality was of such importance that Lot would rather something awful happen to his daughters than to permit those that have come under his roof to suffer harm (Gen. 19:6-8).  I think that this has become a lost art in recent years.  We used to have inviting homes with large porches and large front doors that invited a person to enter in.  Once inside the home we had large dining areas and large kitchens equipped for hosting and feeding a small army.  Today many homes are built with larger private areas (walk in closets, master retreats, and master bathrooms) than they have places to eat.  We no longer use our front doors and have signs that say “keep off the grass and no trespassing.”  These remind the guest that they are no welcome before they ever get in the door.  While we cannot change the trends in architecture, we can change how we treat one another.  During the meeting be sure to show hospitality.  Have the Outcalts in your home (they really are a wonderful family).  But, don’t just have them.  If you have invited a neighbor to the meeting, invite him for coffee afterwards.  Give yourself a chance to see what they thought about the church, the lesson, etc.
Attendance.  I know that we are all a busy people.  I am in the process of training for both a ˝ marathon and one day of RAGBRAI.  Both of these are coming up soon.  Furthermore, I will have a missionary family in my home Thursday night and Friday night.  And I will have the opportunity be hosting the Outcalts all week.  Not only will we be busy, we are going to be tired.  With that said, Dawn and I have already committed our heart to be here every night.  I know it is easy to say, you are the preacher you are supposed to be here.  Well the same could be said of God’s children.  They aren’t supposed to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25).  You are getting the opportunity to hit a all-you-can-eat buffet for your soul this week.  And the best part is that it is free.  All you have to do is bring your heart and soul and you can be fed.

Prayer.  If we want this meeting to be successful, we had best bow our heads in prayer and ask for it to have success.  Every major task set before Jesus began with prayer.  He prayed before choosing his apostles and he prayed the night he was betrayed.  If we hope to find success in this meeting we need to bow our hearts and ask the Lord to help us find increase. - WTK

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The Gospel Meeting and You

The Light
Volume 6 Issue 18