Jesus has a game plan for every church.”
That was the encouragement Russ Quinn gave at the 2019 Alabama Baptist State Evangelism Conference held at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham, on Feb. 25.
Quinn preached from Luke 24 and listed three requirements of God’s game plan for churches.
1. Churches must be biblical.
“We need to be clear about what the gospel is,” Quinn said. “You can’t be wrong about the resurrection and be saved.”
Quinn, pastor of Enon Baptist Church, Morris, also stressed the importance of the Bible in its entirety and not just what Christians today might deem “relatable.”
“Apparently the disciples could be in the presence of the resurrected Jesus and still not understand who He was without the Old Testament,” Quinn said referencing Luke 24:44–45. “We need the Old Testament to understand the gospel.”
The Jesus promised in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament is the Jesus we serve today, he said. “Jesus is the great I am. He’s not who we want Him to be. He is who He is” — the Savior for all people regardless of their differences.
“There’s not a white Jesus, a black Jesus, an American Jesus, a Republican Jesus, a Southern Jesus,” Quinn said.
Quinn also implored those present at the conference to be sure they are not treating Jesus as “mascot” instead of master.
“Jesus might be your mascot if you love religion more than you love relationships, the ballpark more than church … if you get more fired up about not praying in schools or at football games than not praying in your own home,” he said.
2. Churches must be missional.
Just as Jesus called the disciples in Luke 24:48 as “witnesses of these things,” Christians are called to be witnesses of the Kingdom.
“We are to be witnesses, not spectators,” Quinn said. “Spectators have zero responsibility but if you’re a witness you have a responsibility to tell the truth.”
Pray for boldness
One way to ensure if someone is following Jesus is whether or not he or she is sharing Jesus, Quinn said.
“To know Jesus is to share Jesus. If Jesus Christ is living in your heart He will come out of your mouth,” he said. “I believe the greatest sin we’re facing today is the silence of Christians.”
Christians shouldn’t be afraid to share. Even the Apostle Paul asked for prayers for boldness.
Christians shouldn’t be afraid for others to ask them something they don’t know, Quinn said. “Everyone is an expert on what Jesus has done for him or her. Just say, ‘I don’t know [the exact answer to your question], but let me tell you what Jesus has done for me.’”
3. Churches must be spiritual.
Luke 24:49 commands the disciples to stay in the city until they are “clothed with power from on high” — until the Holy Spirit descends on them.
“It’s the Spirit who guides and strengthens,” Quinn said. “The game plan of Jesus is not advanced by the brilliance of leaders of the Church but by the movement of the Spirit.
“The Spirit of God is not an alternative option for the life of the church,” Quinn said. “It is central. I hope we will be a people who talk in the power of the living God.”