IT’S NOT ABOUT CHURCH GROWTH

One of my passions is equipping congregations and their people to engage in the ministry of evangelism.  It is, after all, the Great Commission. My motivation can be found in Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5.

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We know that people absolutely need to be reconciled to God, to make their peace with Him.  People need to become new creations so that they can thrive as God intended, so that they can stop living as citizens of a dying planet and become citizens of the eternal kingdom of God.

Evangelism is the ministry to change peoples’ eternal destiny and to open the door to God’s abundant life now. It is what God intended from the foundation of the world.  It is what he has invited us to be a part of as ministers of reconciliation.

Too many traditional churches, with their narrowed inward focus give all their attention to the already persuaded instead of those who are seeking a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing is done to engage in evangelism except to pay lip service to its “importance.”

These churches rarely engage in actual evangelism and have no strategy (or real intention) to do so.

Other churches, who have an organization focus on their survival as a specific group engage in evangelism primarily to gain members to sustain what the present members have already decided is valuable. Instead of being ministers of reconciliation, they are marketers for the best little club in town.

They are not concerned with multiplying the kingdom of God. They are concerned that their particular expression of the Church continue.

If you were a person genuinely seeking an authentic, life-changing relationship with God– wouldn’t you feel more than a little bit used?

And wouldn’t you be right?

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