Standard Bearer #8. “Evangelism.”

Standard Bearer #8. “Evangelism.”

I was once told that someone had sent me a letter criticising me for failing to encourage the church to be more evangelistic. Apparently, it was my fault and I needed to be told.

I have, to date, not received such a letter. But assuming that pen was actually put to paper and that the missive was posted, I guess there is a letter slowly making its way to me.

Naturally, I have since given much thought to how I might respond to such a letter, and have decided to share some of those thoughts with you.

1. I plead guilty to the fact that I am probably not as evangelistic as others would like me to be. But I do, as a rule, encourage the brethren to talk to others about Jesus and his church. Also, I do my best to talk about Jesus with everyone I meet.

2. Anyone who has stood next to me when talking about Jesus to others can testify that my focus is on the souls of the lost, not the comforts and benefits that the church offers this world.

3. If my critic wants to share ideas about personal and group evangelism, I am keen to learn, share, and put into practice all I can.

4. However, I do have some of my own longstanding questions to ask those who criticise the outreach efforts of their congregation:

Firstly, do you meet every visitor that walks through the church building door?

Secondly, are you the first to arrive and the last to leave church meetings in order to get to know visitors?

Thirdly, apart from meeting and greeting, do you invite visitors to eat meals with you outside of church meetings?

Fourthly, do you yourself speak to unsaved family, friends, and strangers about Jesus and his church?

And lastly, are you constantly learning from others how to reach out to the lost?

I too have found myself stuck wondering why more Christians do not reach out to the lost. But then I look hard within myself and remind myself that I am here to build up, not tear down. Instead of criticising my brethren for what I think they might or might not be doing for Jesus, I try to make sure that I am not disrupting God’s ongoing work through them.

“So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7).

John Staiger


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