Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said that seeking to defend the gospel is like seeking to defend a lion in a cage. Instead of defending the lion, the would-be defender should just let the lion out of the cage since the lion is more than capable of defending itself. Spurgeon went on to explain:

[T]he best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out … preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. Let the Lion out, and see who will dare to approach him. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away all his adversaries.

Spurgeon took his understanding of the gospel directly from Scripture, which says that the gospel itself is “the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:16). There’s no need to apologize for the gospel or accommodate it to current preferences. The task is to simply get the gospel out to the world and watch God act through it!

We returned to Chisi Island in Lake Chirwa with Pastor Donald.

There's no need to apologize for the gospel or accommodate it to current preferences. The task is to simply get the gospel out to the world and watch God act through it!

Spreading the gospel through day camps

Our 9 day camp teams continued to travel on bicycles throughout the country during August, sharing the gospel with youth and anyone else who would listen. To date, the teams have visited 100 villages with nearly 4,000 people hearing the gospel through the program of games, skits, songs, and preaching.

This program does three things: (1) It gives our first-year students at Shepherds Academy ministry experience. (2) It strengthens our existing churches by bringing an evangelistic program to their village. (3) It helps to start new churches in villages nearby our established churches.

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I saw this functioning first-hand as I visited several of the teams this month. It was especially exciting to return to Chisi Island in Lake Chirwa with Pastor Donald’s team. Last year, we started a church through day camps on the western side of the island. This year, we partnered with that church to bring the day camps to a village on the eastern side. It was a joy to see both a young church planting a church as well as students from Shepherds Academy preaching the gospel in the village.

Many gave to repair the bikes that are now being used by the Day Camp teams.

Teaching people to share the gospel

While we had to cancel our pastors’ schools for August due to restrictions on overnight gatherings, the change actually gave us the opportunity to reintroduce Gospel Schools to areas we hadn’t visited with the program before.

Our Gospel School program is simple. We gather 3 people from each church in an area for 6 hours. During that time, Isaac and I teach the gospel, show how to share the gospel, and then let the attendees practice sharing the gospel with one another. By doing this, we reach beyond the pastors to teach other leaders, both men and women, from the churches, enabling them to share their faith.

In August, we took the program to the Lake Chirwa and Machinga regions where there are about 12 new churches since we last taught a Gospel School there in 2019. We also took a Gospel School to the East Bank region of the Lower Shire for the first time, an area that is remote and consists of many churches both in Malawi and Mozambique.

During September, we will have 3 more Gospel Schools—2 in the Lower Shire and 1 for the new church in Mangochi, a majority Muslim area.

Isaac demonstrates personal evangelism.

Let the lion out.

As you can see, to use Spurgeon’s words, we have “let the lion out.” We want the gospel to be proclaimed clearly with full conviction so that God the Spirit will use the Word to transform hearts, families, and even communities. We believe in the power of the gospel, and I pray that we never try to do on our own what God’s Word alone has the ability to do.

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