According to a recent survey conducted by Alpha Canada and the Flourishing Congregations Institute (The Priority and Practice of Evangelism – Canadian Church Leader Perspective in 2021), 65 percent of church leaders say that evangelism hasn’t been a priority for their congregations over the last several years. Fifty-five percent say their congregations do not equip Christians to share their faith.
According Thom S. Rainer, the top fifteen reasons our churches are less evangelistic today are:
- Christians have no sense of urgency to reach lost people.
- Many Christians and church members do not befriend and spend time with lost persons.
- Many Christians and church members are lazy and apathetic.
- We are more known for what we are against than what we are for.
- Our churches have an ineffective evangelistic strategy of “you come” rather than “we go.”
- Many church members think that evangelism is the role of the pastor and paid staff.
- Church membership today is more about getting my needs met rather than reaching the lost.
- Church members are in a retreat mode as culture becomes more worldly and unbiblical.
- Many church members don’t really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation.
- Our churches are no longer houses of prayer equipped to reach the lost.
- Churches have lost their focus on making disciples who will thus be equipped and motivated to reach the lost.
- Christians do not want to share the truth of the gospel for fear they will offend others. Political correctness is too commonplace even among Christians.
- Most churches have unregenerate members who have not received Christ themselves.
- Some churches have theological systems that do not encourage evangelism.
- Our churches have too many activities; they are too busy to do the things that really matter.
In his book, “The Gospel & Personal Evangelism”, Mark Dever reminds us that “according to the Bible, all believers have received this commission”. The Commission he talks about is the Jesus Great Commission (Matthews 28:18-20).
Mark points out that “We can all contribute to evangelism simply by building up the local church – helping to organize or lead it. We may teach and equip. We may provide hospitality and encouragement. We may pray and serve and show mercy and give. But we also all have a responsibility to speak of God and the good news both insider and outside of the church…God calls all Christians to share the good news. Our churches need to make sure that we know the good news and to make sure that we can all express it clearly. And we should work to train each other in having the kind of Christian lives and clear understanding that will help us to share the gospel’.
I agree with him that “An account of a changed life is wonderful and inspiring thing, but it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ that explain what it’s all about and how it happened. And it’s the gospel that turns sharing a testimony into evangelism”.
I think Mark has given us a very concise and precise conclusion on evangelism, “a God-given commission and method, a God-centered message, and a God-centered motive (a desire to obedient, a love for the lost, and a love for God) We should all evangelize. Evangelism isn’t all those other things we considered; it is telling the good news about Jesus, and doing it with honesty, urgency and joy, using the Bible, living a life that backs it up, and praying, and doing it all for the glory of God…The Christian call to evangelism is not simply a call to persuade people to make decisions, but rather to proclaim to them the good news of salvation in Christ, to call them to repentance, and to give God the glory for regeneration and conversion. We do not fail in our evangelism if we faithfully tell the gospel to someone who is not subsequently converted; we fail only if we do not faithfully tell the gospel at all”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
I pray all Christians say “yes” to the call to tell people the good news of Jesus Christ,