Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Substituting Social Justice for Evangelism, and 4 Other Missional Misfires

Substituting Social Justice for Evangelism, and 4 Other Missional Misfires

2. Criticizing “seeker” churches for being all evangelism and no discipleship.

It used to make me mad, now I just sigh at the ignorance.

First, that they would bring out the tired moniker “seeker” when it is so passé, even among those churches that once consciously wore the label.

Second, that they insist that if you prioritize the lost or unchurched in your outreach, you are somehow deprioritizing the existing believers in your community or those who have moved into your area and are in need of a good church home.

Why the insistence on a false dichotomy that it either has to be evangelism, or it has to be discipleship?

The Great Commission makes it clear that we are to do both.

Why can’t people see that if a church prioritizes the lost with outreach, as Jesus said we are supposed to, it doesn’t mean they aren’t strengthening existing believers for life in Christ and the cause of Christ? And why insist on taking shots at churches that are oriented toward the unchurched in their outreach as if they don’t care for the believer, or discipleship?

It’s such a straw man.

Bottom line: If you can’t make evangelism and discipleship a “both-and” instead of an “either-or,” you will never fulfill the “both-and” nature of the Great Commission, which was to “make” disciples and then “teach them everything.”

And if you insist on this misfire, you will end up dropping the ball with one or the other side of Jesus’ marching orders.