The Local Church in Evangelism
Evangelism is not a special gifting the Holy Spirit gives only to a few members of the Body. It is a command of our Lord, and the privilege and responsibility of every believer.
Students enrolled in Berean courses may be training for ministry or enriching their personal Bible studies. This course is designed to primarily help anyone seeking ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God. If you are, or plan to be, a youth pastor, children's pastor, music minister, or business administrator in a local church, evangelism should be part of your ministry.
While this course is applicable to anyone engaged in part-time or full-time ministry, it is primarily designed for senior pastors of local congregations. Without the senior pastor's leadership, all ministries of the church will lack direction, focus, and motivation.
If you are preparing for credentialed ministry, you may approach this course in one of two ways:
You can study to acquire the knowledge needed to pass examinations as a quali cation for obtaining Assemblies of God credentials.
You can place your life and ministry before the Lord and allow the content of the course to in uence what kind of minister you will be. Particularly if you pastor a congregation, you can determine that you will do everything you can, with the Spirit's enablement, to lead your church to reach the spiritually lost of your community and make an impact on the lost of this world.
Acts of the Apostles the Holy Spirit at work.
The major emphasis of this study course, as explained in the Course Introduction, is the four foundational or cardinal doctrines of the Assemblies of God. But truth must have its own solid foundation. We are therefore devoting four lessons, in this introductory unit, to the Bible as the divinely inspired revelation of God to humankind. God's Word, the Bible, is our infallible and authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
William W. Menzies, author of Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective, gives a concise summary of where people look to nd authority for their beliefs. "There are three basic kinds of religious authority: (1) human reason, (2) the church, and (3) God's Word.” Menzies then observes the high regard today's culture has for human reason. "Given enough time, the rationalist contends, human genius will unlock all the secrets of the universe and lead to perfect life, peace, health, wealth, and continuing prosperity” (Menzies 1993, 17).
Some churches or denominations have, over the centuries of their existence, placed church leaders and their additions to church doctrine above the authority of Scripture. However, Bible believing churches, like the Assemblies of God, hold the Bible to be the highest authority for our beliefs and for the way we live.