If they will commit to that kind of training before they are made members of the church, you will know who the church can commit to as well. Number 11 and 13 are together. When we become a disciple and then disciple. It will solve the others. What we need to do is go back too the old time way of revival preaching that goes for the jugial and forces them to decide right then heaven or hell!! We will not love the things of God if we belong still to the world. Perhaps rather than looking for ways to improve evangelism, we should pray for an awakening within our churches first.
When this happens, evangelism must increase. Thanks as always Thom! Managing the wind and waves once in Saginaw Bay I had navigated for safety of the break-wall of the harbor while sailing in a freshening breeze. I noticed two heads thats all I could see floating in the channel and reported swimmers on Channel 16 emergency frequency to warn other vessels of this safety concern.
I was requested to search for them which required to leave the safety of the harbor and go back out through the long restricted channel into the open waters with the building waves. Lives were rescued that day. Thankfully she and her companion were able to later return their rental kayaks. But today is a new day, a different day, and it is a storming. Father forgive my inattention to those that are perishing without Jesus as I sit in the safety of the harbor.
My solution: Personally get involved in evangelism. I realized that I have to stop getting on my soapbox and start sharing my faith. I have intentionally started creating a climate of evangelism. Some see it and want in, others want nothing to do with it. My choice? Take those who get it and are moved by God and get busy sharing, caring, and reaching. I cannot force others to be witnesses, BUT I can disciple those who do!
I encourage all of our members to share, care, and reach. I leave God to call the laborers into His field. I simply work in the field with those who show up! Ultimately, I have taken responsibility for my lack of leadership in evangelism and am changing with the help of God. I believe this sounds like a solution! WE have to find ways to preach the gospel in public, we are under a Great Commission!
We even tried our local council but no one intervened. Our house is a Pigsty and unrecognisable and still no one bothered to help us! I just wanted to know how you and you son are doing right now? I know I am not able to physically help. But knowing you were helped and fine will give me joy. Kindly let me know. A lot of Christians have misconceptions about what evangelism entails. These misconceptions act as a major inhibitor to evangelism.
The participants in my small group which includes university students as well as middle-aged couples and one older guy—myself—report that for them social anxiety is a major obstacle to meeting people, investing in relationships, and eventually sharing their faith with their new friends. For myself the biggest hurdle to being evangelistic is that most of the people I know go to church.
I am retired so I no longer meet people through my work. I am also in my sixties so my relationship network has shrunk. Almost all the people with whom I have social contact are in my church. It helps people to develop an evangelistic mid-set and an evangelistic way of life.
It looks at where people go wrong when they are endeavoring to be more evangelistic. Hello Robin, I am an evangelist and my name is Robin also. I am about your age too. The good news is I go out and meet new people on a weekly basis on purpose. I think that is what Jesus and Paul did too.
Jesus went to the temple as well as away. The people in the temple thought they were religious too, but Jesus told them they were not. God has blessed my efforts, all HE is looking for is a willing soul. Even when we were church planting with a little community, every body said they were Christians too, however they were not.
It is not enough to say it, you have to live it says the Word of God. Pretty simple really. Find someone not living the Christian life and you have your mission field. By the way when we were planting the new church, we did not have a building biggest problem to evangelism , and went into the community and held sidewalk church.
Because we were the leaders, the people followed us and they did what we did and there was no more fear. As God directed our efforts, our church won an award from the Billy Graham Association for winning hundreds of souls to Jesus in one year. We continued on that pattern, and people came to Jesus. Living Waters has a ton of videos and books to help make evangelism invigorating. I learned what they taught, and my first encounter was with a man on a cruise ship.
When using the Law in evangelism, I saw his jaw drop when he was confronted with his sin. His wife was approaching, he introduced her to me, and then told her that she needed to listen to what I was saying. I then shared the Gospel to approximately 40 people that cruise. Only one man walked away from me, and he claimed to be a Christian from California. Evangelism is not for those that are gifted. It is for every one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ. For several years, our lack of consistent, effective evangelism has been HEAVY on my heart, both for myself and also for our church.
On the personal level, I can do much better, and I want to do better. I felt crushed in hearing him say those words. Only God can change the heart. For myself, a part of my response to my own challenges in this area has been the recognition that I have a heart problem. This makes me sad. I am also talking with church staff and small group leaders in the development of a strategy to go beyond the walls of the church with a desire to connect with pre-Christians is some type of missional way. Something is better than nothing; we cannot continue to sit back and do nothing.
Amen Brother. I love your honesty, now God can use you because you have pulled the plank out of your own eye. First things first, gather and begin praying with as many people who are willing to pray. It is best to have a few healthy members gathered with you, than a church full of spiritually dead people. Leave your comfort zone. Blessings to you… and prayer too. As goes the pastor, so goes the church. In every organization, leaders take most of the credit and criticism. A big part of turning this problem around is owning it, then changing it. Hearing my pastor, Tom Elliff share about witnessing motivated and encouraged the same action with great example.
At the same time they have discover that their fellow-students are also open to talking about religious beliefs and practices. Sadly, I think we have to admit that the greatest reason that evangelism is not happening is that most pastors are not doing it.
Subscribe to [email protected]
We are expecting the sheep to go where the shepard has not led. Until pastors and church leaders wake up and take part in intentional evangelism door to door and street ministry to strangers included the people will not do so. To many times the congregation sees and hears a pastor talk about Great Commission only in terms of missions.
They give like the pastor does for missions, and they pray like the pastor does for missions, so they are good to go. We need to teach people that they are missionaries, and this is a mission field. Sending a missionary to the field, and not doing work yourself is failure to follow the Great Commission. I think that is actually one of the reasons why people react so poorly to calls to evangelism in general.
We are all called to spread the gospel, but I think that a relative few of us are called as evangelists, and to the work that you are describing. Most of us are called into relationships where we are to live out the gospel in both word and deed. I do believe that as Christians we have been called to a more social lifestyle something I still struggle with but for most of us it is within those relationships that we are called to spread the gospel.
I love the Lord, and I love his word, so if I go to a party and start talking to someone friend, acquaintance, stranger I might talk to them about baseball or Breaking Bad, but there is also a strong probability that I am going to talk to them about God. If we want to foster a lifestyle of evangelism, we need to encourage a passionate love for God and his word… if our hearts are overflowing with those things, it is only natural that they will come out in our interactions. I would disagree that the only person in the church that should do evangelism would be the called evangelist.
That seems to disagree with the entire New Testament. We only see one evangelist in Scripture and yet we see many doing the work of the evangelist. My address was to pastors and church leaders, though, so even if the evangelistic work is limited the pastor is still bound by 2 Timothy to do the work of the evangelist which means he needs to be on the streets working and reaching lost people beyond his immediate social circle.
This might be a little out of left field, but I think that a lot of the men in our assemblies that we are calling pastor are actually more skilled and called as evangelists. That would also help to explain why many of our Sunday worship services have actually transformed into evangelistic outreach events.
It would also serve to explain some of the misconceptions in s 5 and 6 in the article. Dallas, when is the last time you lead someone to Christ and they were baptized? I would disagree too. If we research the scriptures again, we will see that Jesus sent His disciples, we are all disciples out to the cities, to go door to door, to talk to people in the street, the market, schools, the highways and byways, basically where ever there are human beings.
We are commanded to GO! Their blood will be on our heads, if we do not GO! This is a serious matter, we need to make it one. It is true the modern church discourages those who are evangelist to help others do evangelism. We are not short on discipleship classes, but we are short on allowing the other 3 of Ephesians 4: do what they are called to do in the church. And He called some to be…. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors, Teachers. Many, if not most leaders of the churches in Western Civilization is either fearful of losing flock or they are fearful of doing what God commanded us to do.
People are dying and going to Hell! We are responsible. Most churches have a budget item for missions, but nothing for local missions. Evangelism is not supported financially, and for those of who make it a lifestyle to go out into the harvest field, the local church does not know what to do with us. This is because they give lip service to evangelism. Evangelism is the mission of the church, but they do not do it themselves and do not support those that do.
- 3. Evangelism entails teaching the gospel first and foremost.;
- Barney and Jimmy the Lifeboats (Tales from Fisherman’s Bay Book 1).
- Follow the Author.
- Cannabis Better than the Social Drugs Alcohol and Tobacco;
However, do we serve God, or man. Despite to opposition, do what Jesus commands. Go, and make disciples. We send missionaries into other countries with a lot of training in evangelism, we need to do the same with ordinary Christians in their own neighborhoods. We are moving in that direction at our church and the initial results are encouraging.
Not all will respond, but many will and God will bless those workers! Thank you for compiling and sharing these reasons, they are spot on! Their unique tracts are wonderful and fun bridges to the Gospel. Their method of using questions that expose the law of God that is written upon our hearts through our conscience Romans ; is very effective and easy to learn. These would be great resources for Lifeway to add to their stores for practical evangelism resources!
Our church also includes evangelism as part of our final response songs in our services by sowing seeds into a jar at the front of our sanctuary to indicate gospel sharing the previous week. I too have used the materials from The Way of the Master. Ray Comfort and crew are great. Their training methods have changed my life. I use Way of the Master materials and tracts and this method of evangelizing. I believe it is biblical and it reaches the conscience of the unbeliever using the 10 commandments.
It builds a bridge to the Gospel. I also fear we have made evangelism too difficult. People are fearful that they will say the wrong things or arent equipped with the right kind of training. Which leads to less evangelistic Christians. When in reality they are equipped with the truth just as a pastor is and more than likely can relate more deeply to a non-believers life, especially if they are a friend or colleague. Solutions: 1. Prayer, prayer, prayer 2. We had to reach our family and friends for Christ.
We were were taught to pray for them, talk to them, bring them…whatever it took. We are so focused on self and not sacrifice. We are not willing to lay our lives down for others which has nullified the kind of risk taking faith that sparks evangelism. This may or may not speak directly to this issue, but do people feel welcome when they actually do first enter the doors of a church?
Or do they get the feeling they are in some kind of meat market in which because of their appearance, their finances, their marital status, their perceived neediness, or other social or personal issues they will be rejected by the core people in the church? Churches do what they are led to do. Everything rises and falls on leadership. In the ministry I lead, we were blessed with decisions the last calendar year. A very honest list, especially numbers 4 and 5. However I find an interesting correlation between 7 Church membership today is more about getting my needs met rather than reaching the lost.
It is clear that the western church is more selfish and this is reflected in the non-committal attitude that is so very pervasive in church today. For example: Some people will not even want to join a church and would rather just come and not engage. However, I do find it interesting that even with a non-committal attitude some people will leave a church because they state their needs are not being met.
Is it to be wowed and entertained by a slick band that gets a specific stipend from the church so they dress cool? The church can become so worldly that sanctification is not even mentioned or pursued. All that matters is how many baptisms or re-baptisms are being recorded. Cultural relevance has often taken precedent over biblical truth. Re Reasons; 1 Pastors have always felt that way.
Nothing new. Southern Baptists were good at reaching people who looked like themselves and shared a common ancestry and culture. While immigration reform has added much diversity, talent, and variety into our culture it also brings foreign religions and cultures that Anglo Christians have never been taught to engage. What we fear, we avoid. It will require Gen Xers and Millenials who grew up with multi-culturalism to engage them and win them.
Yes there are members who have little spiritual vitality. But again this has always been a complaint and I thought the purpose of this survey was to uncover new trends affecting evangelism. I have met very few members who were not eager to share their faith but were either never taught how or were taught methods that worked decades ago but are not as effective today. How do we keep prayers hot for the lost without it becoming vain repetition?
Many pastors flame on in the pulpit without ever following that passion with a thoughtful plan of execution with member buy-in. We were successful at this for most of the 20th Century. But the landscape has changed and we are in flux. The church today reminds me of a American military that can no longer win a war against an enemy with laster guided missiles, drones and smart bombs. So what do they do? Hardly a recipe for victory. And who is allowing this? Many of those activities are still used by God to forge strong relationships within the body.
Again this one is old. If I may, let me add one more that we are trying to address here with some success. Sunday School used to be the most evangelsitic tool we had. We knew how to use it and how to recruit and train for it. There are still a great majority of our churches who have very traditional Sunday Schools.
However SS needs a makeover like our evangelism efforts do. Ministers of Education are a dying breed because they are no longer seen as relevant. Sunday School Week at our Confrenece Centers used to be a crown jewel in our trianing strategy. Are we just going to let thousands of Sunday Schools with enormous armies of workers just atrophy into obselescence?
God hates waste and so do I. I really beleive we need a new strategy for small groups that focus on outreach, evangelism and discipleship. Therein lies community where assimilation and organic growth find their best chances of success. We are in exciting and disturbing days. For churches that work at engagement and understanding, that keep issuing the call to go with efforts that sometime stumble and sometimes work, that keep believing the Word of God is applicable to all generations and all cutlures, it is the best of time with great opportunities. Could you also say that the rise of small-groups has put Sunday School as we know it on its death-bed?
That starts with caring about people. It starts with the pastor. Too many are so concerned with their preaching and programs instead of people. How about building The Kingdom, regardless of whether they go to your church or somewhere else? Interesting survey and summary, Thom! Thx for sharing. It seems 2-fold, Thom. At first, I may sound overly critical, not trying to be, just an open discussion. The Church and Church leaders must do a better job of training and equipping discipling their people to realize how important their daily effort is out in the Monday-Saturday world.
Many lost people have become hardened to over-simplified, canned evangelistic presentations. Ralph Neighbour used to have some materials training folks how to reach Type A unbelievers i. Many churches put al their eggs in the basket of reaching Type A unbelievers. A bunch of pastors must have responded to this poll. I have spent a lifetime training sales people to function at a very high level in the corporate world.
Some may be disturbed by this statement, but spreading the Gospel; evangelism is essentially a sales situation. All of the attributes of evangelism do not apply to temporal sales, but all of the attributes of sound professional selling skills do apply to evangelism. Yes, Jay Gregory! Proverbs chapter 11 verses and verse I think these all hit home in varying degrees.
We as the American church have become inward focused and look for things to meet our needs. How selfish of me to want the church to meet my needs when I need to sharing Jesus with the unsaved in whatever way I can. In my church I would love to see passion, testimonies and a more casual atmosphere on Sunday mornings that make worship more authentic and welcoming to all.
Acts has people who are on fire for the Lord. They are praying and living out their faith together and in the streets. The question is, how do I practically do this with family, home, work, church activities, etc.? Satan has trapped us into thinking of all these things are more important than truly saving lives. Whenever we are motivated by anything but love, we will fail. If our motivation to serve God is out of obligation or guilt, we will fail.
If our motivation to reach people is out of pride or fear, we will fail. We need to be planted plugged in by rivers of living water, growing healthy fruit and know our own testimony. Yes, we need to teach people the Word, but the end result needs to be people motivated by love for humanity 1 Cor How about we start teaching people how to apply the Word of God to their own lives, help them to become healthy and full of the fruit of the Spirit Love, joy, peace… from there we can give them some strategies to share their faith — once they are full of the love of Christ, it will be contagious and the motivation will be right!
They do not make disciples. They do a lot of christian living or they do a lot of feel good sermons that tickle the ears, but solid theological teaching is lacking. A great number of church members have no idea what most doctrine their church holds not can they explain it. They have nothing to stand on when evangelizing. Thanks for the heads up and sharing the findings you gathered.
So, for your first point, I really think that there are going to be a huge number of reasons depending on your context and community. In Orange County, we as a culture have a lot of money flowing in and out and a lot of success. I THINK THAT what we must do as church leaders is to embody what it means to live in intentional relationships with those who need Jesus and we need to invite our people to participate with us.
All of this is done in addition to teaching and equipping specific skills such as evangelism training. Every pastor and leader who reads this can agree that we are too busy between work, marriage, kids, and all the functions that come with that, to even do something like a neighborhood BBQ or rooter float night or neighborhood movie night for the kids while parents hang out.
It is to remind our people of our mission on a regular basis make it simple! Make it memorable! Make it stick! It is to hold special classes or trainings on topics like evangelism and community or quick event planning. Finally, I think we need to coach and mentor our people as they go out and do this.
This could be through a community group type structure, or missional community structure, or even a ministry team that meets as a large group and gets large group training and then splits up to talk in smaller groups. Service outside of the local church setting as a prison chaplain and in a rescue mission has deepened my heart for the Gospel.
I agree with Scott about pastors setting the example. I have challenged pastors to follow the example of D L Moody, who was an aggressive personal evangelist. Moody also held highest rating as a personal worker. He wrote no books on personal evangelism, but numerous references in the D. Moody literature prove that he was a practical and persistent personal evangelist and that he inspired many others to engage in this work.
That he gave top priority to personal soul-winning as a Christian responsibility there can be no doubt. Good perspective with the article and comments. Just lack of belief, and apathy I would say. If they believed it with their hearts, their lives would show it—not perfectly, but definitely. Leaders in the church are not equipping the saints to do this work. They may not know how to evangelize themselves. They may not know how to equip others to do so. The members are not requesting such equipping.
I am taking a four day seminar in becoming equipped myself to evangelize in my area. As I get some experience, I will invite others to join me and help them do the same in their spheres. The pastors bear a lot of the responsibility for this situation because they themselves are not living at a very high spiritual level. Leonard Ravenhill once said that if a pastor is not spending at least 2 hours a day on his knees, his preaching will not be worth a plum nickel. That might be a slight exaggeration, but I believe there is a lot of truth in it.
A rudimentary way of evangelizing, but who knows how effective. Thank you Thom for your passion for the church and the lost, and thank you Jody Sneed, for hitting the nail on the head. When the first is the goal, just enough information is provided to get a decision. When the second is the goal, you help the prospect understand the nature and scope of the commitment, and then disciple them in that relationship.
They very well may be saved. God is faithful to His Word, even if we do not understand every aspect of the relationship, but how can we expect people to share that which they themselves may not really understand? So, since all of our focus is on the people who are least likely to share the Gospel, it is not shared.
The shift that needs to happen is to focus support and energy around the core group of people dedicated to Christ, and let the rest follow their example. Instead, the focus is inverted and the efforts are on appeasing the crowd, not on reaching a lost world for Christ. Why else do we have the large buildings and monuments to human organization? Until pastors and churches get real with what following Jesus is supposed to mean, and focusing the energy and resources around those who are willing to follow, we will have what we have now.
That will keep a baptistery dry! I am finding that many Christians today do not believe that we serve a God who would send people to hell due to the disobedience of other believers. They feel that God would not send and innocent person to hell. And they are correct, He will not send an innocent person to hell, the problem is, no one in innocent. So instead of reaching the lost of this world, I find most Christians just think God will do it on his own. Seems they forgot that the vine does not bear any fruit, it is the branches that are used to bear the fruit.
If the branches all wither up and die, there will be no fruit. I have been pastor at my current church for 16 months. Attendance is up, bible study is up, and giving is up. All I have done is preach the Gospel as if no one in the audience is saved. I believe that is what Sundays are for. We have forgotten that in many churches today. I preached through the entire book of John for 1 year and it was one of the best times in ministry I have personally had. I believe we need better understanding of the books of the bible as a whole instead of flipping around from passage to passage.
Thank you for all of your updates, posts, etc. You book Simple Church changed my heart and philosophy as much as did Experiencing God. I think churches are not equipping the congregations with the knowledge and tools to witness, thus people shy away from witnessing. In our church there is also no discipleship programs in which our new converts are trained, they are left to either figure it out themselves or just to be thankful that they are saved. No matter how uncomfortable it is in the beginning, witnessing has to be taught and practiced.
By true evangelism, I mean the kind that produces disciples who follow Christ whole-heartedly. Two, I think that one thing our church may lack is conviction. The idea that we know what is best for other people goes against our sensibilities, but as Christians it is built into the Gospel itself. Evangelism, by its very nature, should change our convictions about what everyone needs.
From what has been posted elsewhere, once upon a time, people switching from one denomination to another, had to be baptised, before being eligible for church membership. Today, that appears to no longer be the case. Elsewhere, it has been claimed that declining birth rates are responsible for fewer baptisms.
That theory requires ignoring the increase in immigration rates. By way of example, The Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, Militant, and Triumphant, has been barely holding steading, because of those immigration rates, both legal and illegal. That same increase in immigration rates has fueled the rise of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. I think we as the church should be equipping the saints to go out and reach the lost and make disciples.
Jesus said go into,the world. Not go into you pews and let someone else reach the lost. Churches rarely if ever rise above their leadership so that has to be one of the first places to look for the reason there is less emphasis on evangelism. Also,this trend is actually a fulfillment of the scriptures,as in the last days falling away. For far too long the church has taught that this falling away referred to those outside the church,yet it is painfully obvious that this is also an internal problem as well.
Really surprised to see nothing mentioned about families and homes. We can, and should, stress the church DNA in evangelism. But the church had better make sure parents are equipped for Gospel shaped parenting. It will better 2 generations for Gospel sharing. Both organizations claims other modes of outreach are far more productive, both in initial outreach, and follow-up. The more gated communities, the less possibilities they are. Door knocking after dark is never acceptable. Likewise, door-knocking before nine AM is too early.
Two males and a female.
Am I seriously expected to open my door to what looks like a potential home invasion? LDS female missionaries, in most districts, are not supposed to do any door knocking, but exclusively use pre-set appointments. That said, if their scheduled appointment is not kept, they will do door-knocking.
Officials in all three organizations attribute that difference to the emphasis placed on relationship-building, prior to conversion, by the Seventh Day Adventists, and Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. What missionaries in the eighteenth century discovered, was that alongside it taking ten or fifteen years to make the first convert, they had to get to know everybody in the community, in order to have any impact on anybody in the community.
How the initial contact is made, is not nearly as important as maintaining the resulting relationship. That the potential convert is not seen as another conquest, but rather, as a long term friend, regardless of whether or not they convert. Great demonstration of unity around the gospel, and hopefully will spark our evangelistic zeal in this part of the world. Thank you for your helpful posts! Take care, Justin. Rainer, Thank you for the article. What a reflection that the church needs to make on itself today.
I began to think about what or who is this church that has become less evangelistic? This Church is people that have been saved by the graciousness of the God. In this church is me. Knowing that the Church is less evangelistic, the first question that comes to mind is what is my part of this decline, how does my life as follower of Jesus impact this decline in evangelism?
Lets us, the Redeemed, The Church, who believe; Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, when people die they are judged based on what they have done with the Lord Jesus Christ, there truly is a hell where without Christ as Lord people really die and go, Let us look at our self and ask What am I doing about it. I think many churches fail to equip their members.
I am in public speaking as a career, and I still need help. It is something that requires training and practice, and no church seems to figure out how to do that. Only in the last few years have I developed my personal testimony, but now I struggle with who, when and where. There is a plethora of pathetic pantywaist pastors, positioned behind pretty pulpits, placating parishioners proudly positioned on padded pews. I pity America without pastors with the power of those who have preceded them. If we are seeing a decline, then that could explain a lot of it, since we know that most people come to Christ through the influence of their family:.
I think all 15 are great answers. The top 7 I would say are very accurate and scary. We must pray and pray a go out and go out not just be cookie cutter Christians. For me the main reason I am not going to church anymore is because I am a 21 st century person and can no longer turn my brain into a bretzel anymore I am living in a time after Einstein,Darwin kopernikus etc and can no longer accept a gospel which guilts you into hell belief. Where you have to accept creation stories,talking snakes and donkeys ,lots of discrepancies.
Well, Hans! Its easy to sit back and judge others when I wonder how many unbelievers are brought into church by everyone who criticizes other Christians for not evangelizing. I am in my 50s and was raised in the Baptist church. I have also been attending church for most of my adult life. It means practicing kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, etc to everyone we meet. They are more of a social environment then a ministry to the lost or an encouragement to the saved.
I think nonbelievers see the multimillion dollar buildings and wonder exactly what we are worshiping. We need to get back to discipling people on having a relationship with Christ and how to live out your faith when you are in the presence of unbelievers. Save the theological messages for Sunday school classes and get passed the tired cliche phrases that have been used for centuries but mean nothing to a nonbeliever.
Every service should be presented as though the audience is full of nonbelievers or people uneducated in how to have a relationship with Christ. Above all — be Christ to everyone that comes through the door of the church and everyone you meet. The average office worker will know the colleagues in her office way better than the church pastor, and yet all too often the church evangelism strategy consists of church members doing little or no evangelism all year but then having a big push to invite colleagues to an annual week of mission talks.
Greed, idolatry, porn has such a grip on many believers that they are uninterested in building the Kingdom, and are trapped by the lies of Satan. Personally I think the way out of almost all these things is to be an infectious evangelist — do not try to change other people, do not try to fix others, but rather let the Holy Spirit work to change you, give yourself over to mission, and naturally that will bring others along with you. I firmly believe that taking our eyes primarily off the church, off other believers, off problems within the church, off mission etc, even off ourselves and focusing primarily on Jesus is the only thing that can help to heal the church, other believers, problems within the church.
Too often reading an article like this I am tempted to think about strategies to put into place to fix all the symptoms, but the heart of the problem is my heart. And when that gets fixed, others see and want the same. May God give us grace to change. Two problems. For several decades, we have not made disciples. We have told them what to do, but have not shown them or held them accountable for their obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Those are the only evidences of true salvation. Thom, this is thought provoking and heartbreaking. Thank you for what you share, it is motivating. I can only love them and try to be a good example that others could follow. Acts tells us what the church was busy doing during the early days of rapid growth.
These new converts had heard the Word of God preached Acts and for those that heard, by the working of the Holy Spirit, faith was given Romans This is still how it works today. Acts tells us how everyone not just the church leaders prayed together. Acts tells us that after the conversions, the early church continued in this manner of devoting themselves to prayer. It really is just that simple.
I have heard Dr. Douglas F. Kelly of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte make a startling comparison with the moral decline of our nation with the actual timing of our Methodist and Baptist and Presbyterian churches systematically doing away with the prayer meeting. There was a time in our nations history when churches faithfully gathered together once a week for the purpose of prayer. Kelly argues that the church needs to return to the weekly prayer meeting if she wants to see the tide turn.
I am convinced that the Lord will indeed add to the number of His church, and I also believe that He will do this through the prayers of His church. You can find it on tractplanet. I believe J. Apologetics consequently takes its place at the head of the departments of theological science, and finds its task in the establishment of that knowledge of God which forms the subject-matter of these departments.
When believers discover that the factuality of the Truth-claims of Christianity, their spiritual walk is impacted. My solution is FOOD, back in my early salvation days, we had Monday Night visitation, and I suggested a food fellowship during visitation, and of course everyone reported back how their visits went good or bad. That was one of the greatest evangelistic churches at that time Westside Baptist Church w Dr.
Make visitation FUN and of course educational. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. We had a huge launch and great success in terms of numbers and budget but it became increasingly harder to continue that momentum. All of our time was spent on the weekend service prep and there was very little connecting with people taking place.
The core team that come together to start the church had all come from a frustrated organized church experience where we felt the leadership was more concerned with building buildings than building the kingdom. So we had as a value that we were not going to focus on getting property but building relationships. The problem was people in the OKC area were concerned with our lack of motivation to build and left. Two years into it, it was shocking when I finally admitted that we were doing the exact same thing — chasing people and money to keep it going — that the churches we left were doing.
If as a Preachers Kid I am feeling this way how many more people are also getting this feeling and rejecting this idea of ministry? There is something to be said for quality — until quality is the goal and not connecting people with the Spirit. I find it interesting that most the stories where deep chancing connection with God took place in the Bible are in desolate, wanting, places where desperate people discovered God. There is no desperateness in Western Christianity. How can there be when every church is focused on making the experience as smooth, clean and perfect as possible? As our culture becomes blatant as Darkness steps boldly to the forefront, the more we need to be redirecting our teaching to marrying theology and how it must drive our ethics.
The felt-needs focus of our sermons has run its course as ministers continue to make humans the focus. We must begin teaching theologically again. When we are silent on this, we reap a culture where individuals are left to reason their own way. I believe we are living in times similar to Israel in Babylonian exile. We are being indundated with a polytheistic culture and it is time for the scribes and religious leaders to begin penning the story of God!
Our sermons need to be teaching more theology and less humanology. The gospel that Jesus taught was not the cross because the cross had not happened yet. He taught on the Kingdom of God. We must begin teaching on the values of the His Kingdom and seek to live those values out in this world. One of those values — seeking the ones that He is seeking!
We have left the church that we planted and are now building home communities that are unashamedly Seeker Sensitive — He Jesus is the Seeker. The job of the church is to join him in that search for the pennies, sheep and lost brothers He is still seeking! Fifty years ago people could maintain connection with old friends only through letters and phone calls. They were more inclined to seek new friends and form new relationships. No one buys the churchie talk or rhetoric. We are also responsible for Whose we are, do not be hypercritical — identify with Christ that is all.
I know that sometimes I risk relationship with those that believe differently. If I am led with Love, and by His Spirit it will have been worth all the risk. It is a reasonable sacrifice for what Christ has done for me. Thom, thanks for your ministry. It takes time, grace, and effort to help the Church of God and you supply all of those to us.
I think that the 15 reasons are good and there are probably many more reasons for the lack of evangelistic fervor in our churches. I skimmed through most of the responses and was thankful for many of their insights. For me I come simply to one thing. I believe until the men in the church 1Tim. Our people must pray that God sends them into the harvest first. That is the primary point regardless of all the reasons stated above. When the men are burdened to pray to be sent into the harvest, buy more chairs. After reading the reasons our churches are less evangelical, it would seem that there is one ingredient that may correct this problem.
If we compare ourselves to first century Christians, we all have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and we all have the gracious gifts of the Spirit — both being critical ingredients for growing the body of Christ. The one thing that we seem to be missing is persecution!
Human beings seem to be actuated and bonded when the heat is turned up in our lives. Based on recent events and the changing attitudes in our country, it may not be long before we get to put this theory to the test. Persecution my be the impetus that moves us to tell our neighbor that sin is wrong, hell is hot but God is love.
We have a church full of pews with people sitting in them who have not felt the flames of hell. We have a lack of hell preaching today, therefore our people are not aware of or afraid of hell. Until we hear of the wrath and love of God, we are no to concerned about my friends. We must feel the heat an experience the love of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is as much a work of God as it is a work of men. In North America and western Europe especially, there is more to evangelism than planting seeds.
Far too often, we find ourselves spending so much time trying to break rocks and pull weeds that seed-planting takes a back seat. And to be sure, for the seed to germinate, those rocks need to be broken and those weeds need to be pulled. After all, Paul planted and Apollos watered. And to extend the analogy further, where the soil is good, we really are seeing tremendous — I would go so far as to say miraculous — increases. I read almost all of the responses particularly those blaming the pastor. Well, I have been pastoring for 7 years and I can sum up the problem with one example.
For this trip, tons of people show up. Yet those very some people will not come to Sunday school, Sunday night, Wednesday night and you can forget about evangelism efforts! Yes, leadership is important no question about it. But in the end, people are self centered. I am trying to figure all of this out that is why I am reading this blog and all of these answers. Sometimes…I think…the church of today is less likely to follow the direction and leadership of there pastor. They are not unkind to the pastor, but they do not respond to requests or directives from him when it comes to the foundations of the church in scripture — personal prayer, Bible study, and outreach.
They do not seem to acknowledge the pastor as an true spiritual authority — they know what is best…for them. Alas, you are correct. Thanks for the post, Dr Rainer.
First, I wonder if the increase of Calvinism among Southern Baptists should be considered alongside the decrease of evangelistic effort? If it is to be understood in harvest crusades and revival meetings of the 19th and 20th centuries, I fear we might have a distorted understanding of what effective evangelism looks like. The invitation, understood and practiced this way, is central to later tent revivals and evangelistic crusades. Large net crusades and revival meetings were an effective way at the time to get the gospel message to the masses. Charles Fuller eventually used the technology of radio to increase the reach.
Today, the internet, satellite communication, and other technology continues to make the gospel available to more of the world than ever before. However, the appeal to a decision of repentance and confession remain. My questions are are these: These methods make converts and produce baptism numbers, but do they make disciples?
I ask because I think the missing elements here are a recognition of the variation of conversion experience, and the consistency of personal relationship community in NT evangelism. Paul was converted in a blinding light and in a powerful instant. Did each disciple convert at the same time? What about Thomas? It seems our standard evangelism metric accounts for the Pauline experience, but not so much for that of the others.
In addition, we find conversion in the NT linked to relationships with people. Again, something hard to measure. In J. Packer wrote a slim volume titled Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. The main point in his book was that while God is sovereign in matters of salvation, we are not excused from proclaiming the Gospel to all people groups.
God works through those who formally preach his Word and those who informally share their faith with others. They are his instruments. Packer is a theologian in the Anglican Reformed tradition. Whitefield was a Calvinist. A number of the leaders of the eighteenth Century Evangelical revival were Calvinists.
Charles Simeon who was a contemporary of the Arminian brothers John and Charles Wesley devoted a life time to recruiting, mentoring, and sending out young men as missionaries. Simeon was a Calvinist. To suggest that the growth of Reformed theology in the Southern Baptist Convention is behind the decline of evangelism in that denomination not only shows a lack of familiarity with evangelical Calvinism and Reformed Baptists but points to a willingness to scapegoat a part of the denomination for a problem that is denomination-wide.
If you taken the time study the history of the Baptist movement in English in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, you should be aware that Reformed theology has been a theological strand in early Baptist congregations as well as Arminianism. Southern Baptists have their roots in the English Baptist movement, not continental Anabaptism. Trying to blame them for the problems of the denomination is unhelpful. A lot of factors explain why Baptist churches are not evangelistic as they were fifty years ago. Reformed Baptists are concerned about this development as much as Arminian Baptists.
If God has chosen the local church to be an instrument of his salvation, why are the local church disobeying God? What we are seeing is the spread of a spiritual disease affecting the heart. The will follows the heart and thoughts and actions follow the will. It is a disease that is related to the condition of the heart. The Southern Baptist Convention is historically Calvinistic. James P. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. However, recent scholarship by Chris Wright and others has suggested that such activity is promoted by the entire Bible, or at least the wider term 'mission', although the meaning of the word 'mission' and its relationship to 'evangelism' is disputed amongst Christians.
Breaking from tradition and going beyond television and radio a wide range of methods have been developed to reach people not inclined to attend traditional events in churches or revival meetings. The child evangelism movement is a Christian evangelism movement that originated in the 20th century. Beginning in the s, a group of Christian athletes known as The Power Team spawned an entire genre of Christian entertainment based on strong-man exploits mixed with a Christian message and usually accompanied by an opportunity to respond with a prayer for salvation.
The Christian music industry has also played a significant role in modern evangelism. Rock and other genres concerts in which the artist s exhort non-believing attendees to pray a prayer for salvation have become common, and just as common are concerts that are focused on activity not necessarily on prayer and conversion, thus forming an environment that is not driven by conversion, but instead relaying of a message.
Evangelists such as Reinhard Bonnke conduct mass evangelistic crusades around the world. Hundreds of church denominations and organizations participate in an evangelism movement known as the Billion Soul Harvest , which is a comprehensive initiative to convert a billion people to Christianity. New opportunities for evangelization have been provided in recent decades by increased travel opportunities and by instant communications over the internet.
Some churches use the title evangelist of a minister who travels from town to town and from church to church, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this sense the person is differentiated from a local pastor , with a ministry grounded in a specific community.
Book review: A Practical Guide to Evangelism: How to Win and Keep New Members
Some denominations have a formally recognised office of evangelist as part of their ministry, such as the commissioned evangelists of the Church of England and some other Anglican churches. Many Christians of various theological perspectives would call themselves evangelists because they are spreaders of the gospel. Many churches believe one of their major functions is to function as evangelists to spread the evangelist belief that Jesus is savior of humanity.
The title of evangelist is often associated with those who lead large meetings like those of Billy Graham , Luis Palau and J. It can also be done in small groups or even on a one-to-one basis, but actually it is simply one who spreads the gospel. Increasingly, the internet enables anyone to become an Internet evangelist. Throughout most of its history, Christianity has been spread evangelistically, though the extent of evangelism has varied significantly between Christian communities, and denominations.
Evangelism, apologetics and apostolic ministry often go hand in hand. An example of an interplay between Evangelism and Apologetics can be seen in the US when upon door to door Evangelism the prospect is an unbeliever and challenges the Evangelist wherein the Evangelist then follows into the role of the Apologist in defense of their faith with the hope that Evangelism may be restarted. Since missionaries often travel to areas or people groups where Jesus is not yet known, they frequently take on an evangelistic role.
But the apostolic or missionary calling is not necessarily the same and it is a misnomer and misinterpretation to equate them , as there are many who serve in missionary, church planting, and ministry development roles who have an apostolic calling or serve in an apostolic role but whose primary duty is not evangelism. In the very first sentence of its Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium , the Second Vatican Council affirmed that Christ had sent the Church to preach the gospel to every creature LG 1; cf.
Mk Evangelism is a theme in multiple Vatican II documents. For several decades, the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church has been promoting a theme of New Evangelization. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the similarly named branch of Protestantism, see Evangelicalism.
For the 16th-century Italian reform movement, see Spirituali. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. The neutrality of this article is disputed.
10 Things You Should Know about Evangelism | Crossway Articles
Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions.
Main article: The gospel. Main article: Proselytism. See also: Approaches to evangelism. Further information: Christian mission. This section does not cite any sources.