Scattered Evangelists

By Chris Jordan
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“…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Jesus’ words before His ascension served as a commandment and an encouragement. The disciples heard the words, yet had no idea how this would be accomplished.  As Acts 2 opens up, we see Peter, now full of the Holy Spirit, displaying a boldness to preach the gospel.  Doubtless, those Peter preached to included people who had chanted against Jesus just weeks before, ‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him.’  Regardless, as the result of Peter’s obedience to preach the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, three thousand people were saved. This was only the beginning.

Each chapter unfolds another episode of the Apostles proclaiming the gospel with more people receiving the message and converting to Christ.

In Acts 8, there is a major shift.  This chapter gives an account of the first major missionary movement outside of Jerusalem.  Whereas, in Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “you will be my witnesses… in… Samaria” in Acts 8:1 this became a reality. In Acts 8:1, Luke reveals “…they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”  What?  ‘Except the apostles’?  How would the gospel spread without these key leaders of the church?  The answer is in Acts 8:4, “those who were scattered went about preaching the word.”  It is clear that this first great missionary movement outside Jerusalem was a movement of the Spirit of God through the members of the church. The key was not the leaders, but the gospel proclaimed!  The gospel spread world-wide by the simple obedience of all Christians being scattered evangelists.

Scattered Evangelists.  Not the church staff.  Not the paid saints.

Scattered Evangelists.  The very DNA of the first century church.

Scattered Evangelists.  The need of our generation today.

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Chris Jordan is the Pastor of Crossroads Church of Dunwoody.