Anytime someone who has not been approached with the Gospel gets that brief moment to hear the saving word of Jesus and the opportunity to obey, it’s a wonderful, soul enriching thing. However, I’m convinced that, in many churches, evangelism is failing and in big, highly detrimental ways. In many churches, evangelism is a train wreck! We don’t reach as many as we could, we don’t capitalize on those people by bringing them to at least an understanding of redemption, we don’t see numerical growth and I believe I know why…

Because You’re Doing It All Wrong

That’s right, many of us have done evangelism all wrong in the past. I can remember a time when my reaching out to people was for one simple purpose, I knew the truth and I knew what they had wasn’t it! So I went into the study or interaction with the intention of getting them set straight on a few main points by the time that we had parted ways. But, my approach wasn’t the Biblical approach.

Not once do we read of Paul approaching the Synagogue with the intent on getting them set straight on worship or even who Jesus was. In fact, what he did was much more brilliant, much more effective and much more Christ like. For instance, when Paul went to Mars Hill, he addressed the pressing point to them (Acts 17:22-34). He didn’t go in with a set plan of teaching them certain criteria of the Christian faith, he addressed their most pressing need and used that to teach them the entirety of the Gospel.

When Peter went to Cornelius’ house, he didn’t sit down and attempt to prove to them water baptism by immersion is the only way to access the blood of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Peter 3:21). No, what he did was use the differences and hatred between Jews and Gentiles to prove to everyone there that Jesus isn’t a respecter of persons and that all are welcomed into the Body under Christ (Acts 10:34-48).

My point is this, let’s leave behind the “talking points” and sit down with people where they are in order to bring them to where Christ wants them!

Because You’re Looking At It All Wrong

I am the first to admit that I am a numbers guy. Each week I record how many people were at services, how many visitors we had, what the approximate average age of worshipers are, etc. Even to the point that I know the numbers from this week last year and can tell you (off the top of my head most weeks) the percentage change from last year to this year. However, I also realize that those numbers have little to do with my evangelism.

Sure, it’s great to know how many you contacted, studied with and were able to baptize each year. I’d even make an argument for the need to know all of those things, but the word of the church isn’t in numbers. It’s in changed lives.

True church success isn’t determined by the number of people in the pews, but by the differences made in those people’s lives. Remember, when recording how many people were baptized, Luke wasn’t worried with the specific numbers (cf. Acts 2:41).

Because You’re Probably Not Looking At Your Jerusalem

Jesus instructed His apostles to start in their own back yard and move out from there (Acts 1:8). I believe there is something that needs to be said about that very fact. A church that does little in their own community ought not be sending funds halfway across the globe to make a difference there. Now don’t misunderstand me. I’ve been a missionary preaching because of the financial support of other Christians, but when we send a check every month and make that our contribution to the church’s mission of preaching the Gospel (cf. Mark 16:15), we have not only done ourselves and disservice but those to whom we send the money and those living next door.

I don’t know how many church’s I’ve seen that are faithful in supporting foreign missions but haven’t tried approaching the housing development across the street from their building. Make sure you’re reaching your own Jerusalem and then start branching out from there!

I know that great things are being done all over the world for the cause of Christ, I’m actually blessed to take part in some of those things. And I know that many churches today are doing evangelism right and are seeing the earthly rewards of such, but I also know that many of us need to really look at ourselves and see if we are evangelizing the way Jesus wants us to.

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