I have been thinking a lot about the way we evangelize in our brotherhood. SO many times I hear people speaking in ways that imply that the only “successful” evangelism is the acts that ended in baptism. I was recently talking to a guy who made it clear he was only interested in immersing the folks he reached out to. He would NOT be content with planting seeds or sharing some of the truth of Gospel, he would consider it a failure if he didn’t get to dunk the fella’!
Is it me or does this just feel entirely wrong? I think of Jesus’ words in Luke 13. He essentially said many will try to enter into the gates of heaven but few will get in. That statement would not fly in most of our churches’ classes on evangelism. What I think Jesus was essentially saying was we are not to be concerned about the quantity saved but the quality. This is consistent with His actions everywhere we see him in the gospels.
Have we changed His methods to attract unbelievers and altered His message to make it easy on interested hearers. Most often the very truths I read from Jesus that ignited hearts of the lost in His day are left out of today’s mission efforts. It seems to me that he was more direct and willing to tackle the hard parts that we have to do. He forced them to count the costs. And then He never seemed to “share the whole Gospel”. He would leave it to the hearers to listen, decide and change for themselves. I am sure many of those he shared with were later saved and Jesus was nowhere around to witness it. Would we consider His efforts a failure then?
I don’t know. It just got me really thinking. This is a much abbreviated version of my internal dialogue. What do you guys think?