Soul Winning and Retention.

Soul Winning and Retention.
By Tim Downs

First let me explain a few little known facts about soul winning. The first thing we must know is that soul winning is completely separate from discipleship.

Soul winning according to the word of God is when we go and find sinners and compel them to repent and be baptized. Now, I do not know of anyone on this earth that can give the Holy Ghost to anyone … so we must understand that God is in charge of that so we are not!

The scriptures are full of parables, and stories about soul winning and our responsibility to reach the lost. It is absolutely essential for a born again Christian to win other souls!

The Bible does speak of some watering and some planting. Let me help with the understanding of this passage. Yes, we all at times will water and other times we will plant however we are always to win souls! There are times that I plant and other times when I water but that does not say that a person will just be one that waters or a person that will be a planter. Also you are to do both of those and also win souls!

For instance I may go out and pass out a church card. This was planting, than I will do a Bible study with another person this is watering. I did not win a soul yet, only watered and planted. Now, the next day I go out into the streets and find a hungry soul. I compel them to come in and repent and be baptized in Jesus name! That is winning a soul.

Now we must understand the discipleship part. Yes, we are all to do the very best we can to disciple and care for our new converts. However we are not in charge of them staying. This is where the LORD GIVES THE INCREASE! We can teach them, love them and care for them for years and they can still backslide.

What we must understand is the harvests. We are always to go out into the fields harvesting the wheat. Then we must bring it in and allow the winnowing process to take place. Winnowing is when the wheat is brought in and they throw it up in the air in front of a huge fan. The good wheat that has seed inside falls to the ground. The bad wheat is blown away. Yes, we go out and get all of the wheat but only a portion of it is good.

Now take souls. We are to continually go out and get every hungry soul. We bring them in and get them to repent and be baptized. God must fill them with the Holy Ghost. Then the discipleship process begins. We do every thing we can to care for them and train them. Now the winnowing process takes place the word says the Lord comes with a fan in his hand purging the floor. The converts are tossed up in the air to see if they are going to make it!

When we go to a church and have revival we do our very best to train the church to care for the new converts. As stated on several other threads, we teach that a brand new baby cannot survive more than three days without care in the world. So we have new born converts coming into our churches and we expect them to survive with a letter from the pastor thanking them for coming!

We teach that the first three days there should be three personal contacts. Within the fourth day we want to have already had the first home Bible study with this convert. We believe what is taught in the home Bible study is not as important as the fellowship and love they will get from the saints. The teaching will come from the preaching and teaching of the 5 fold ministry.

We also teach that the more spiritual mothers you can make in your church the better care the babies will get. The natural instinct of any mother is to care for babies…. the problem is we have very few mothers in our churches and they are usually left to care for all of the babies while the others neglect them. If we can get more people becoming soul winners or spiritual mothers we can have more people keeping the babies healthy!

The problem is that in many cases saints and ministry never personally win souls. They pray with people in the altars, they teach a Sunday school class, they work with people who are in the church and visit the sick but none of these things are soul winning … these things are what we must do to maintain the sheep.

Soul winning has always been when we go find a lost person and get them to repent and be baptized. The question has been posed about when a person is saved, I believe soul winning is just getting them born again the saved part is up to God and has nothing to do with the initial soul Winning. For instance the Bible in Acts claims there were three thousand added to the church in one day. Were these people discipled? Of course not! Were these people counted as being won? Absolutely!

I believe it would do the Apostolic movement in general a great service to study soul winning as much as we have the oneness of God. We would all be surprised at what we will learn.

We must have a passion to reach our world through personal soul winning. Soul winning is not a special gift for some but it is a command for all who have the Holy Ghost! We cannot look at soul winning as an option but we must look at it as the most important thing in our walk with God. Matt 6:33

I teach that we must seek God with the same fervency for passion for the lost as we did for the Holy Ghost and I promise God will give it to you!


1. Make copies of music CD – The songs should be simple piano or old songs, most backsliders are not aware of the new type of music and it will not affect them as much.

2. Purchase Hallmark Cards, you can get a discount if you buy several at a time. These cards should be simple, the ones that have maybe one Bible verse if you can find them. On the card you want to only say, Hi we are thinking and praying for you! Have a church stamp with the number of the church and possibly church service times. Do not make this anything more than a simple statement of care.

3. Have church members fill out peoples name and address of the backsliders on the list. The Pastor may want to remind the Saints on several occasions to do this. With the list you will want to have this handy and in prayer pray for each person as often as you can.

4. You will want to keep a log of activity. You will only send the CD and card the first time, then each month you will send a card only. The follow up will help keep them thinking of the church!

5. This is a ministry for most likely only one person, so that it will not become confusing on who sent what to the persons on the list.

This article Soul Winning and Retention by Tim Downs is excerpted from