What is the Work of an Evangelist?

The book of Acts is full of examples of many different ways that Jesus’ disciples did the work of evangelism. Peter preached to crowds at Pentecost and made a house visit to Cornelius. Phillip preached to crowds in Samaria, but was carried to just one Ethiopian Eunuch to tell him about Jesus. 

There are many tools that can help us do the work of an evangelist. We are called to do the work, not just possess the items and knowledge.  With the resources we have, there is no excuse for us to ignore our calling.

Main Scripture

Acts 13:13-43


Acts 2, 8, 17

2 Tim 4:5

1 Peter 3:15

The Bible leaves no question that Jesus’ church should be evangelical, extending the good news to large groups, families, and individuals. We have a mandate to evangelize. Evangelism requires us to proclaim the gospel to unbelievers and to make disciples among those who have faith to believe the gospel. We can have people in the church who are better at some parts or methods of evangelism, but all believers need to be able to effectively communicate who Jesus is using the Bible as the basis for our understanding and call people to repent of sin and believe that this is the good news. 

As we pray and prepare for our worship this week, lets focus on evangelism, for our one, and for all those we encounter everyday who still need to be saved from sin.

This man came to Jesus by night…

(Jim Fields as Nicodemus, VBS 2018)

This is the first time in several years that the students of our community have not been visited by Nicodemus.  Our Vacation Bible School was cancelled this year as a precaution against spreading the COVID-19 virus. Even in the heat of summer, Brother Jim Fields from First Baptist Somerset regularly dons the costume and persona of the First Century Pharisee who came to Jesus by night. It has become a cherished tradition and Brother Jim and his wife have, along with so many others from Somerset, been greatly missed this summer. Even more, we have missed the time of teaching, explaining and rejoicing with students in our community that God loves us and sent his Son to save us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16, ESV

Even as Nicodemus struggled to understand Jesus’ identity and message, he saw the goodness and godliness of both. Jesus met with him in secret, known only to his close followers, and the account that John preserves in his gospel has become one of the most cherished passages for preaching and teaching the good news that Jesus is the Son of God and came to the world to save sinners.

The third chapter of John gives us a great example of how Jesus taught his disciples and how he took time to answer the questions and concerns of just one person who came to him with doubts and left without completely resolving them. As we read this chapter and prepare for worship together this week, let us pray that others will be born again to see and enter Jesus’ kingdom, receiving his testimony by the work of the Holy Spirit. 

We missed VBS this year. But there are plenty of ways to evangelize; spread the good news, the gospel, or the evangel, that are pandemic-proof. The gathering of Jesus and a few of his closest, earliest followers with Nicodemus was well within the constraints of our modern need for “social distancing.” And this stands in God’s Word as one of the greatest examples of personal evangelism, performed by the only perfect person, the Son of God, “because of the great love with which he has loved us…”

Faithfully Preach God’s Word

“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God…”
1 Peter 1:22-23


Jeremiah 23 (main sermon text)

Acts 2, 13 (Examples of New Testament sermons)

1 Peter 1:22-25 

Defining Preaching by What It Isn’t

I remember my the first “sermon” I ever preached. 

I had no idea what I was doing. I haven’t been able to find the notes. I am glad it wasn’t recorded.

I do remember the scripture from which I tried to preach. It was Zechariah chapter 8. I chose the text to try to cast a vision for our church to pursue renewal and growth. This was, I think about 14 years ago.

I can now see that I started with what I wanted to say to people and found a passage of scripture that I thought I could us to support my ideas for what  our church needed to do. Jeremiah warns against prophets or preachers who preach from a starting point of their own visions or dreams.

Preaching is not just presenting our personal convictions, even convictions faithfully held and based upon Scripture. Preaching starts with studying to understand what the Bible passage really means and how it should be applied. Most Christians will never and should never preach a formal sermon (James 3:1), but every Christian should be ready to give a defense of the reason for the hope that is in us, and to do so with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Even for those of us who will never preach to a crowd, we have to preach the word to ourselves. That means we read the Bible to know what it is saying. We should be careful not to go to the Bible with a conclusion already in mind. A healthy church requires members to read and study and leaders to read, study, teach, and preach the word faithful to what the word says. 



Let Your Kingdom Come.

Our Scripture reading for the sermon this Sunday will be from Hebrews 12:18-29.

The Hebrew word for earth is Adamah. This is remarkably and purposefully similar to the name given to the man, Adam, whom God created and placed in the garden. When we try to build anything, we try to tie it to the earth as firmly as possible. The earth is the firmest thing we encounter, and yet when God came down to the earth to give the law to Moses, it nearly tore the mountain apart. As Christ was hanging upon the cross, in his final moments, the earth again cried out in protest. When he returns again, everything that can be shaken will be undone and redone into an unshakable reality.

Our present bodies are a part of the planet as we are made from the dust of the earth in a real physical sense. We are made of the same stuff as this created reality, and still we know that there is something wrong with the creation. Romans 8 explains that the creation is groaning and waits for the revealing the new, redeemed order that Christ will bring at his return. Our bodies, our little pieces of this earth, also remind us that there needs to be more to come. Sin has corrupted the cosmos and death and decay can be prolonged by not escaped.

And so Jesus teaches us to pray, “Let your kingdom come and let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Even the created heavens will be shaken at the return of Christ to bring the final fullness of his kingdom. In chapter 11 of Hebrews, we learned that the saints of old had a hope of this final city. John tells us more about the new, heavenly Jerusalem which will, on the last day, be united with this reality.

Jesus, when he came preaching the kingdom, loosed people from the power of sin and death to show us a glimpse of what that new reality will be like. When we pray for healing from sickness or for protection from earthly danger, we do so with an eye on the final deliverance when death is swallowed up in victory. Until that time, we keep praying and hoping, as Paul writes in Romans, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Calling Leaders in Faith

Much of the history of Campton has been lost. Our local courthouse, which housed many records, has burned… twice.

Much of our history has also been recovered and preserved through the work of many local volunteers and by the mercy of God. 

Our church was sent an important part of our history in 2009. We received a package from Connie Hoskins of Beaver Dam, KY which contained what appears to be the original church record book of Swift Camp Church, which was founded even before the town that would one day be called Campton, Kentucky. 

In the book, which was according the records therein, purchased by the church for $1.60, we find the original articles of confession of the church that would eventually become Campton Baptist Church. The leaders of that first church who signed the confession of faith are identified as the Elders William Boothe and John D. Spencer. Other founding leaders identified include C.M. Hanks and Elkanah Garrett, both serving as clerk.

Scriptures on Church Leadership Qualifications

1 Timothy 3:1-13

Titus 1:5-11

Today, we want to pray for the needs of our church and our community. These founding members of our church thought to organize and establish a church, even as they were just forming a town. This shows that they could not imagine a community in which there was not a church to proclaim the good news of Jesus and make disciples in his name. 

As we prepare for our worship together on Sunday, I encourage us to reflect on these scriptures that emphasize the characteristics of leaders in the church. Remember that we are seeking the help of a church member to lead us by example in these qualities that are all commended and many commanded to be the fruit of the Spirit in all men and women who would follow the Lord Jesus. 


Our First Confessions of Faith

The following are a lightly edited (for clarity) transcription of the original first 7 articles of faith for the Swifts Camp Church, from July 8th, 1848. These confirm the tradition of faith once and for all delivered unto the saints,  that we have received by grace and in which we hope to continue.


Of Scripture

On the Scriptures of the Old & New Testaments, believing them to be the infallible word of God & the only rule of faith & practice.


Of God

We believe in one true & living God, Father, Son, & Holy Ghost, but one God.


Of Human Sin

We believe in the fall of man in their federal head & that it has corrupted the whole of Adams posterity & the total inability of recovering himself, Either in part or in whole.


Of Salvation

We believe in the doctrine & Election according to the foreknowledge of God & we believe that only in the imputed Righteousness of Jesus Christ there is salvation.


Of Perseverance

We believe that the saints will finally persevere in grace to glory & not one of them will be finally lost.


Of the Resurrection

We believe that there will be a Resurrection of the dead, both of the just & unjust and that the happiness of the Righteous & the punishment of the wicked will be eternal.


Of the Church

We believe the Church of Jesus Christ to be a body of members that has witnessed their sins pardoned & have give(n) themselves to the Lord & to one another by professing their Christ & being Baptized by immersion by a Regular ordained Baptist Preacher, ordained by the laying on of the hand & a Prayer of two or more ordained Baptist preachers Chosen by the Baptist Church.