Called To Win Souls
Evangelist Tim Downs
Over the last 5 years we have had the opportunity to speak with thousands of Apostolics on the subject of soul winning. We have found the vast majority of believers do not understand what soul winning is.
Most believe because they have gone out on outreach or handed out church cards, brought someone to church with them or handed out invitations that they have won souls. Others believe that since they participate in the church service doing things like teaching Sunday school, being an usher, playing an instrument or singing in the choir that they have won souls. Some believe that if you preach from a pulpit you are winning souls.
We need all of the above ministries working within a church to have an effective service however none of those things could be considered soul winning. The Bible says the five fold ministry was given for the: Ephesians 4 verse 12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: These ministries are for the discipleship of the people and the growing of the Saints!
Soul winning is completely different than Discipleship. Yes, we must care for every new convert, we must go out of our way to help them grow and mature in Christ but first we must win them to Jesus!
We must understand soul winning happens in an instance, discipleship takes a life time.
There are a lot of people who will quote the scripture that some plant and others water suggesting that we have an option of picking just being a planter or picking to just water. This is not the case, yes sometimes we do water, sometimes we do plant but we are still commanded to win souls! We may plant sometimes, we may water other times but sometimes we need to actually win someone to God!
In order for us to win a soul we need three things, number one we need a sinner who is lost. Number two we need someone willing to compel them to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and third, we need God to fill them with the Holy Ghost and this is the increase! Once this happens according to Acts 2:38 and John 3:5 the person has been born again!
One example given was to hand out a church card or invite someone to church. If we go out and hand out a church card or invite someone this is a form of planting seed and we must plant seed; however the person did not take part in the new birth experience so they are still lost and we have not won a soul.
Another time we may go out and hand out a flyer, we ask the person to come back to our church and repent and be baptized in Jesus name, they agree. Once back at the church we repent, baptized them in Jesus name and then lay hands on them to receive the Holy Ghost. They do not receive it right then, so we watered. We must pray for people to receive the Holy Ghost but we cannot give it to them, this is Gods job to give the increase. Now if they do not receive the Holy Ghost then they have not been born again or have taken part in the new birth!
Every day we can win a soul if we would set our minds to it and go into the fields of harvest. We must ask ourselves, when is the last time we personally won a soul? If soul winning is the number one reason for the church then why is it placed at the very last place in our priorities?
While speaking at a conference of Oneness ministers in Los Angeles California last year, I asked the question, “How many of you have ever studied the subject of soul winning?” the answer was without doubt every single one of them. Then I asked the question: “How many of you have ever studied the subject of soul winning?” the answer was shocking, only 2 hands were raised!
We must study the subject of soul winning as diligently as we have the Oneness of the Godhead, and then we will have a greater understanding and passion to reach the lost!
I recently did a survey of over 100 Apostolic believers. I asked the question have they ever personally won a soul and if so when is the last time they did. To my surprise the results came back stating that only 2 out of 100 ever won a soul! We must wake up and begin training the Apostolics to reach the lost!
Acts 1:8 says: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses…”
This tells us that the Holy Ghost will give us the power to become witnesses! Every person who has received it will get this power and be able to witness! The sad part of the story is in another verse of scripture found in 2 Timothy 3:5 says there will be a group of people on the earth who have a form of godliness, that’s right they don’t smoke, curse, chew tobacco, they dress right, live right and have godliness but they deny the power! Power for what? Acts 1:8 says the power was to become a witness! Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
I pray that we will wake up and see the error of our way when it comes to reaching the lost. We must do everything we can to reap this last day harvest of souls! Jesus is coming and there are billions lost, we must make soul winning our top priority and go into the fields of harvest and compel and persuade people to repent and be baptized in Jesus name and watch as God fills them with the gift of the Holy Ghost!
Church we can win souls, it’s very easy to win them, we just have to take time and actually go out to win someone! The Bible says if we sow sparingly we will reap sparingly but if we sow bountifully we will reap bountifully. Ask yourself, when have you last gone out just to win a soul? When did you leave your home and go out looking for someone you can win to God?
Some say they cannot talk to strangers because they are scared or fear what might happen. This is the most common excuse we have found when asking people why they won’t witness to others. Although it is a real excuse we must ask ourselves where we received the spirit of fear. The Bible says God has not given us a spirit of fear!
The spirit of fear comes from the Devil. He binds us with fear so we will not witness, he shackles us with fear so we cannot pull others from the lake of fire. We must understand that fear is a spirit and we must be delivered from that spirit. The spirit of fear is no different from being addicted to tobacco or drugs, it binds us from doing the will of God and we cannot just use it as an excuse but we must be delivered from it!
Let’s all work harder at winning the lost!
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Called to Win Souls” written by Evangelist Tim Downs, was excerpted from: www.gowinsouls.com newsletter. October 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.