As you go, preach! – By Daniel Kolenda

By Daniel Kolenda

As you go, preach!

As evangelists, it's important to understand that healing and miracles are not a side issue for us. They are a core component of what we do and who we are. They are part of the Gospel. Healing is a part of the Gospel. Some evangelical churches want you to think otherwise, but the way that it worked for Jesus is that He taught, He preached, and He healed. When the apostles came along in the early church, they taught, they preached, and they healed. It was part and parcel of the Gospel message that was never intended to change. And if you are going to have any level of success as an evangelist, I believe you need to have this component of healing and miracles as one of the fundamental parts of your life and ministry. It's what sets us apart.

And as you go, preach, saying,‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.Matthew 10:7-8

I wish that we could all make this the verse that defines our lives. Jesus did not say, "As you sit in your comfortable seat in church." He didn't say, "As you sit in your prayer closet and pray about it." He didn't say, "As you gather with other evangelists and have conferences about it." There are some people that love to have endless meetings where they talk about what they're going to do for God, and nobody actually does it. You know what I've discovered? There are a million excuses not to go, and there are an endless number of substitutes that we can find for going, and what people love to do is to find something that will soothe their conscience and make them feel like they're doing something productive without actually going.

I don't care how advanced the world becomes, there will never be a substitute for going. I appreciate TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, and we use all those things, but they are not a substitute for going. Jesus said, “As you go.” There's something about the going that is powerful in itself.

Are you a spiderweb evangelist?

Most pastors and ministries practice what I call spiderweb evangelism. Spiders build a beautiful web. They spend a lot of time getting every silky strand in the right place. They look for the perfect corner in the house. And then when everything's just perfect, the spider climbs up into the web and waits. He's waiting for some unsuspecting insect to come along and get stuck in the web, and then the spider pounces on him. That's how spiders operate and also how most churches operate. The people get together and look around town for the perfect corner between two busy intersections where they can get a lot of traffic, and then they build a beautiful building. They spend time and energy and money getting everything just right. And then when everything is the way they want it, all the people gather inside the church building, shut the doors and huddle together. What are they doing? They're waiting for some poor sinner to walk through the door. And then, when by chance a sinner walks through the door, the pastor pounces.

“I will make you fishers of men”

Jesus did not say, “I will make you spiderweb evangelists.” Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” A fisherman leaves the comfortable corner. He leaves the safety, security, warmth and protection of his home, and he goes out and gets into a boat. A boat is a vessel designed to take you into unknown territory outside your comfort zone. If it was in your comfort zone, you wouldn't need a boat! But we're not fish, so we climb into the boat and we push away from the shore. We launch out into the deep where the fish are. Evangelist Bonnke used to say if you want to catch fish, don't throw your net into the bathtub. There are no fish in the bathtub. You have to go to the ocean. You have to go to the sea, throw your net where the fish are, and then you'll catch some fish. That's what it means to go.

Preaching is God’s strategy to win the lost

So, after you go, what comes next? “Preach!” There will never be a more advanced method devised for winning the lost than preaching. I see churches and ministries, even evangelists, trying all kinds of things to get people saved without having to preach the Gospel. They do plays. They do music, they have little get-togethers. They try friendship evangelism, which tends to be all friendship and no evangelism. We've all seen the church bend over backwards to get people saved without having to preach the Gospel.

That is simply never going to work because this “Go, preach” thing is not my idea. It's not something Reinhard Bonnke came up with. Jesus Christ Himself gave us this blueprint to follow. You will never invent something that is more effective. No matter how hard you try, no matter how smart you are, you're never going to come up with a better way of building His church than the way He told you to do it. Unfortunately, it takes some people decades before they figure this out. They're neglecting the one thing Jesus told us to do – go and preach!

Use your voice!

Preaching means you open your mouth and declare. I've heard people say, “You don't have to do that. You can preach without using words.” That's not the biblical concept of preaching. The word “preach” in the Bible is the word “caruso”, which means “to proclaim” – with your voice!

Think of the ancient world where they had no radio or television or internet. Let’s say two kings met on the field of battle to decide who would rule a nearby town. The victorious king would send a representative into that city with fanfare. They would march through the town and loudly declare who the victor of the battle was. That's where the word “caruso” comes from. That's the word Jesus chose when He said “preach.” That is your job. You are a proclaimer wherever you go.

That’s what it means to preach the Gospel. It doesn't mean you go and debate. It doesn't mean that you go and do lessons. Some people think they have to start in Genesis and go all the way to Revelation and explain all the mechanics of salvation. Let me tell you, I don't know how it works, but it works! I don't understand how the internal combustion engine in my car works, but I can still drive the car. You don't have to understand everything about how it works. All you need do is put your foot on the pedal, proclaim it and it happens. That's what an evangelist is. We are proclaimers, not explainers or debaters. We are proclaimers! That's what it means to preach as you go.

What are you going to preach?

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” That's what Jesus said. What does it mean to say the kingdom of heaven is at hand? Well, think about what the kingdom of heaven is. A kingdom is a realm in which the will of a particular king is recognized and submitted to. It's the dominion of a king. It has nothing to do with geographical location. It has everything to do with dominion.

The kingdom of heaven is wherever the dominion of the King of heaven is being followed and obeyed and submitted to. Do you know what that means? If you as an individual are submitted to the king, you are an annexation of the kingdom of heaven wherever you go. That's why I can walk into a place and say, “The kingdom of heaven has come here.” Why? Because I'm here. When did the Kingdom come? It came the moment I walked through the door. Because I'm submitted to the King, that means wherever my feet are standing is His kingdom. And guess what? Because I'm here, the rule of my King has to be here in this place.

You are His representative

Isn't it powerful that you have the authority and the right to bear such a responsibility? You are deputized as a representative of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Wherever you go, you take the kingdom with you. What does that mean in a practical sense? It means that the entire physical and spiritual world is brought into a place where it must now submit. What does that look like? The next verse tells us. “Heal the sick.” Sickness is not allowed to stay. When the kingdom comes, that means God's will is being done.

“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead…” Yes, part of our job is raising the dead. Now, I've seen three people come back from the dead. I've prayed for a lot more than three. But I can tell you one thing; there is power in the Gospel even to reverse death. I think that “raise the dead” is in this Commission because of the extreme quality of death. I think what Jesus is trying to tell us is that there is nothing that is beyond the reach of the power of the Gospel. Even death itself has to bow!

Let’s have a look at Mark 16:20. This is after the Great Commission. This is their response to Jesus’ command:

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
Mark 16:20

The first thing we see is that they went out. There’s that ‘go’ component. That was the first step. They went out. They didn't sit in Jerusalem talking about it. And the next thing we see? They preached everywhere. Jesus said, “As you go, preach!” and so they preached everywhere. When it says, “they went out”, we have initiative. And when they preached, that's proclamation. The result of this initiative and proclamation was the Lord working with them, confirming the word with signs following. That's confirmation. So, the blueprint is clear. There's initiative, which is followed by proclamation, which is followed by confirmation.

God goes with us!

The reality is that when you go, there's power in the going. Why? Because when you go in obedience to the word of God, the Lord works with you. He goes with you. That act of obedience, that act of faith, causes the Lord to come stand side by side with you, and He begins to work with you. As evangelists, we have got to adopt a deep conviction in our hearts that when we go, God is going with us. We’ve got to know to our very core that when we work, God is working. If I were to stand there on one of those platforms in Africa, or anywhere in the world, and I didn't believe with all my heart that God was right there with me, that He was working with me, I would never have the courage to open my mouth. How could I proclaim such a fantastic message? How could I promise things like, “the sick will be healed and the dead will be raised” if I didn't know that God was working with me?

You've got to believe it with all your heart. And when you believe it and you preach from that place of faith, others believe it too. This is not just another philosophy. What we preach must have real-world consequences. When the kingdom of heaven comes, it looks like something. What does it look like? The sick are healed, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised, and demons are cast out. God wants to move in real, tangible ways that change the physical world, and He wants to do that through you today!  

This is a small excerpt from one of Daniel Kolenda’s teaching sessions on “Faith” in the CfaN School of Evangelism. If this stirs your heart, and you feel you are called to be an evangelist, apply for the next School of Evangelism today!

Students receive in-depth teaching through both live and video sessions and take part in outreaches from the start. The course ends with an Initiation Week when they put into practice what they have learnt. It’s intense, it’s challenging and it will change your life!

School of Evangelism

When: 12 August – 15 September 2024
Where: Hanau, Germany

School of Evangelism