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sonofadam777
Member



Joined: 2006/3/24
Posts: 108
Rochester, New York

 Is evangelism an essential?

My question is, if a church you attend to doesn't make evangelism an essential focus as part of it's life, is this a concern if you are a part of that church?

Here are the issues... what if your church you attend holds only to the "friendship evangelism" model or the "come to church" so you can get saved method... and the church leadership does not waver on this... is it a big deal?

What if their focus is primarly on discipleship only?

What if you talk to you leadership and nothing changes and keeps hoping to reach out to the lost by giving cookies or flowers vs. telling someone they are lost and need to repent?

Would you find a church that believes in open air preaching, sharing the gospel 1-2-1 through tracts, and these similar methods or just stay and go alone and rub against the leadership and others in the church? what would you do?

I am going through this situation, please keep me in prayer. :)

Doug


_________________
Doug Renz

 2006/4/27 21:57Profile









 Re: Is evangelism an essential?

You'll find that most churches support friendship evangelism as the only way to do it. You'll also find (from my experience, at least) that most modern missionaries who go overseas and whatnot do the "friendship" evangelism, 100%.

Most churches do not support open-air preaching as an "effective" measure-- in the sense of getting numbers. You don't get many "results" and "decisions" open-air preaching-- because that is not your goal.

If you are at a church where they do not support Biblical evangelism, then I would advise you to pray about leaving. God can only call you out.

There are other questions to ask. Are you being edified and encouraged in your Walk here? Is there a sense of true fellowship? Is there a sense that God is being glorified? Is Jesus being lifted up?

If your answer to most of those questions is no then it is a red flag that you may need to leave. I wouldn't recommend feeling as if you can change a lukewarm church by your example alone.

You do need to be around a true body of believers that would support and join you in being a witness of Jesus Christ through proclaiming the Lord's reconciliation unto lost men: His Son, Jesus.

Jordan

 2006/4/27 22:19
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re: Is evangelism an essential?

Doug,

Something I was unable to detect through your brief description was whether or not your church leadership was calloused towards open air evangelism or simply unable to focus on this area given current resources, talents and the internal needs of the church. For instance, a church I once attended didn't officially sponsor prison ministry yet several men were actively involved in these areas through parachurch ministries such as Kairos organization. The leadership of the church supported their efforts by allowing these men to make pulpit appeals for prayer and participation to other members of the congregation but otherwise there was little participation from leadership. I actually think this is a sign of a healthy church...ministry bandwidth obviously can't be limited to a few staff members.

Now there are some leaders/administrators who are not interested in outside ministries...everything must be internally branded. I admit I have been frustrated by my church leadership who would be unwilling to even consider lending their support for an outreach effort that was not owned and operated by their own church. I think this is an unfruitful approach to reaching the world. "Strategic" networking is a sound organizational practice...in other words if your heart is set upon prison ministry then perhaps it is an unnecessary to start an internal operation, and instead hook up with brothers from another fellowship who are currently doing what you feel needs to be done. In fact, the experience to equip and train the saints for such an outreach may not even exist within your current church.

In many cases it is simply more efficient for churches to share resources and areas of strengths. One church may have too many unemployed people in their community while another church has professionals who would be great at complimenting existing spiritual ministries by bringing practical counsel to those they would normally be isolated from. Likewise If I wanted to learn more about open air preaching I wouldn't ask my pastor...but I certainly do not hold that against him at all. The solution may not be to leave...but to network with other ministries.

In fact I recently came across a term coined to express this multi-organizational approach...some active Christians are no longer content to serve or be fed from a single ministry...they have "church portfolios" or "ministry portfolios". If you think this sounds strange, then consider why you are here on this website. Obviously SI is becoming a healthy part of your spiritual diet!

On the other hand I agree with Jordan about praying for an exit...but only if my pastor blocks or resists my interest in open-air ministry. Maybe this is the situation you are facing. However, in my opinion, (which is far removed from your situation,) the fact that open-air or door-to-door evangelism is not an internal focus of your current church leadership doesn't have to mean it's time to leave. There are other meaningful aspects of a church body to evaluate...including the maturity of the congregation. Leadership should in the very least support your interest and your desire to network with others who can equip you in this area.

Someone recently reminded me that leadership isn't there for us to be dependent on him or her but to provide seasoned and mature oversight. I think this outlook is freeing for both me and the elders of my church.

I Praise God for your desire to reach the lost bro,

MC


_________________
Mike Compton

 2006/4/28 0:33Profile









 Re: Is evangelism an essential?

Hey Doug...Dont feel alone! Many a church have seemed to have forgotten that there is a lost WORLD to save! With these pathetic Prosperity Gospels going around, everybody is focused on what they can Get From God( Houses, planes, traines, and automobiles!) instead of what can they Do For God. The church still belongs to Jesus, who is still, the HEAD of the CHURCH. Do as God leads you, in spite of what anybody else says you ought not to. I evangelise, and it upsets many pastors. I believe its a control issue, but the streets belong to God, still.
Everybody will give an account on the issue of Evangelism on judgement day. To me, Evangelism is the most precious thing we can do for the Lord, since it recognises HIS DEATH and HIS RESURRECTION. Jesus came to seek and save THE LOST..DO YOU HEAR THAT CHURCH? Forget the Cadillac! :-P

 2006/4/28 5:37
sonofadam777
Member



Joined: 2006/3/24
Posts: 108
Rochester, New York

 Re:

Quote:
There are other questions to ask. Are you being edified and encouraged in your Walk here? Is there a sense of true fellowship? Is there a sense that God is being glorified? Is Jesus being lifted up?



I am edified most of the time, but as it relates to this area of evangelism, no.

True fellowship? Somewhat, lots of clicks in the church. Have a few close friends, but mostly acquaintences, after attending the church for 7 years.

Yes Jesus is glorified in the services, church ministries, etc.

It's difficult to discern... Jesus is glorified, but I feel alone and hunger for true fellowship with likeminded people who believe in evangelism the Biblical way, and it's just very hard to find.

I'm just not sure if it's an essential... when practically all churches and Christians you run into give you that "deer in the headlights" look when you say, hey do you want to go out witnessing, passing out tracts, sharing our faith, and maybe open air preach?

Grace,
Doug


_________________
Doug Renz

 2006/4/29 8:12Profile
sonofadam777
Member



Joined: 2006/3/24
Posts: 108
Rochester, New York

 Re:

Quote:
On the other hand I agree with Jordan about praying for an exit...but only if my pastor blocks or resists my interest in open-air ministry. Maybe this is the situation you are facing. However, in my opinion, (which is far removed from your situation,) the fact that open-air or door-to-door evangelism is not an internal focus of your current church leadership doesn't have to mean it's time to leave. There are other meaningful aspects of a church body to evaluate...including the maturity of the congregation. Leadership should in the very least support your interest and your desire to network with others who can equip you in this area.



I just sent my pastors/elders a link to Ray Comforts, Living Water's sermon, Hell's Best Kept Secret and True and False Conversion asking them to listen to them and to tell me what they think of them, I will wait to hear from them.

The church we attend is mostly christians who have been saved for many years, 10-20 and a few new converts. Most new members are disgruntled christians who leave from another church and come to ours, no new growth.

Their only forms of evangelism or "outreach" has been going door to door around Christmas time to pass out cookies and flowers and inviting people to visit our church.. no one has come yet that I know of as a result of that ministry.

It just doesn't seem right or Biblical or effective. I am all for inviting unsaved friends and family to my church, but not as a tool for evangelism.

Doug


_________________
Doug Renz

 2006/4/29 8:18Profile





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