Seven Reasons Evangelism Should Be a Priority of Your Church
Evangelism is dying in many churches today.
No, that is not an overstatement. I am not speaking hyperbolically.
Evangelism is dying.
Look at the data. Measure almost any group of churches today versus 30 years ago. You will likely find that it takes 40 to 60 church members to reach one new person with the gospel. You will also find that conversions have declined precipitously. And where you find numerical growth, you are more likely to find that stems from transfers of Christians from one church to another. That is not evangelism. It’s “sheep shuffling.”
Pastors and other leaders must fall on their faces before God and ask Him to reignite their congregations with an evangelistic passion. When evangelism dies as a priority in the church, the church has already begun to die.
A soul-winning priority
So why should evangelism be one of the highest priorities in your church? Though the reasons are many, allow me to share seven:
1. Because Christ commanded it. We typically refer to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 as our evangelistic and disciples-making command. Yet, there are many other places in the New Testament where the priority of evangelism is clearly evident. Christ commanded it. We must do it.
2. Because Christ is the only way of salvation. There is no way around it. Salvation is exclusive. There is only one way. Jesus could not have made it clearer in John 14:6: “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” Jesus had an urgent message. It was an exclusive message. We must be conveyors of that narrowly-defined hope.
3. Because Christ died for the world. There is a reason John 3:16 is the most familiar and most quoted verse in the history of humanity. Jesus died for the world. He is the only way, but He has provided a way for everyone. That is an urgent, one worth telling. Indeed, it is the greatest message ever.
4. Because churches that are not intentional about evangelism typically are weak in evangelism. Many pastors and church leaders will affirm this. They will give mental assent to the priority of evangelism. But they do not practice it in their churches. What are you doing today to make certain evangelism is a priority in yours?
5. Because when churches fail to move outwardly they tend to obsess inwardly. Where has your church expended a lot its energy lately? Rancorous business meetings? Expressions of petty church preferences? Worship wars? Power struggles? Those are inward obsessions. Lead your church to an evangelistic priority and watch the focus shift for the better.
6. Because with transfer growth churches become content and complacent. Some churches are growing. Others are adding members without significant numerical growth. However, many in both categories are growing at the expense of other churches. Some may be reaching unchurched Christians. While that is good, that is not evangelism. We can fool ourselves into thinking we are evangelistic when we are simply recirculating the saints.
7. Because evangelistic Christians actually grow stronger as better discipled Christians. Those who are evangelistic are obedient to Christ. Being obedient to Christ means that we are following His teachings and becoming better fruit-bearing disciples.
The great omission
Most churches are busy with activities, programs and ministries. Few churches are truly sending out their members to evangelize those in their communities. The Great Commission has fast become the Great Omission.
Evangelism is dying.
Churches are dying.
People are going to hell without Christ.
It is perhaps the greatest tragedy today.
Which leaves the question:
What are you doing to lead your church to become more evangelistic?
The above article, “Seven Reasons Evangelism Should Be a Priority of Your Church,” is written by Thom Rainer. The article was excerpted from: www.churchcentral.com web site. December 2013.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.