There are more than 300,000 Protestant churches in America.
Virtually every city in the United States has an abundance of Bible-believing faith communities.
Millions upon millions of Christians attend these churches—and, yet, this country is not reached for Christ.
Why? Here are seven reasons:
1. We have outsourced the work of evangelism.
We have delegated, relegated and abdicated our outreach efforts to those who have the “gift” of evangelism.
We wait for the next festival or outreach to come to town before we even think about this God-given duty. After all, evangelism is the domain of the greats like Graham, Palau and Laurie, not common people like Larry, Curly and Joe Schmo. Right?
Instead of “leaving it to the professionals” we need to take THE Cause of Christ personally.
Let’s stop waiting for the bigwigs of evangelism to roll into town, and start going ourselves to make disciples of our own next-door neighbors, co-workers, family and friends.
2. We have lost our sense of urgency.
Take hell out of the equation, and evangelism seems like a nice, but not necessary, activity. Put hell back in, and suddenly everything changes.
Suddenly, souls are at stake and time is a wastin’. We start to reach out like there is no tomorrow…because there may not be for those who don’t know Jesus.
And simmer down, my dear Reformed friends. It was the great reformer himself (aka, “The Apostle Paul”) who asked, “How will they hear without a preacher?” right in the middle of his longest explanation of the doctrine of election (Rom. 9-11).
It is possible to believe in election and to be motivated to snatch others from the fire and save them (Jude 23).
It happens when we stop trying to connect dots that were never meant to be connected.
It happens when we stop trying to reconcile God’s sovereignty and our responsibility.
It happens when we choose to live in the tension and share the Gospel like lost souls depend on it.
3. We are ashamed of the Gospel.
I believe many Christians are secretly ashamed of this catalytic “narrow-minded” message.
To tell someone Jesus is the only way to heaven and faith is the only means to Jesus is to say, in effect, all other paths lead to hell. We live in an inclusive culture that values every path, so when we proclaim Jesus to be the only path, it can lead to mockery, marginalization and mayhem.
And nobody likes being mocked…so most keep their mouths shut when it comes to evangelism.
But Jesus himself reminds his disciples in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Instead of being ashamed, we need to boldly proclaim the Gospel with gentleness and respect. Let us embrace every sarcastic response to our evangelistic efforts as a hug from Jesus Himself.
4. Many Christians can’t explain the Gospel.
Put a microphone up to the face of most church-going Christians and you’ll discover most can’t clearly explain the Gospel message in a simple way.
It’s hard to share a message you can’t explain clearly yourself. Napoleon had three instructions for his wartime messengers: “1. Be clear! 2. Be clear! 3. Be clear!” We need to heed his advice by mastering the message of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:3, 4) and then clearly articulating it to those we encounter (Col. 4:4).
For a simple way to share the good news, go to www.dare2share.org/gospeljourney. Like chords on a guitar, master the basics of the message and then play the beautiful music of the Gospel with your own style and personality.