Preach the Gospel…and Use Words.
The following is from Kevin Deyoung in Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion, a response to the recent slew of anti-church books published over the last ten years. :
John Stott, with typical evenhandedness, explains that mission “includes evangelism and social responsibility, since both are authentic expressions of the love which longs to serve man in his need. Yet I think we should agree with the statement of the Lausanne Covenant that ‘in the church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary.'” This means that our “blessing strategy” in mission must involve proclamation-the actual using of words to communicate the gospel so that by putting their faith in Christ, the covenant blessing of Abraham might come to all who believe (Gal. 3:14). We don’t want to fall for the old “deed not creeds” slogan or the confused aphorism, “preach the gospel and use words only when necessary.” No matter what the trendmeisters recommend, it is absolutely biblically and eternally necessary that we verbally tell people the gospel and call people to faith and repentance in Jesus Christ.
The Stott quote comes from his Christian Mission in the Modern World.