An Approach That Works!
The importance of sharing the gospel of Christ with those who are lost cannot be over-emphasized.
■ This was the main Mission of Jesus on earth (Luke 19:10)
■ Jesus wants everyone to hear the good news of salvation
■ Jesus wants us to make disciples and He will be with us in the process (Matthew 28:19-20).
■ God has provided the gospel as God’s power to save all who believe it (Romans 1:16-17).
■ God has assigned as His watchmen and warns us (Ezekiel 33: 7-9).
But what is the most effective way to reach people today?
The Institute For American Church Growth asked over 10,000 people this question: “What was responsible for your coming to Christ and this church?”.
Their replies were:
■ I had a special need – 3%
■ I just walked in – 3%
■ I liked the minister – 6%
■ I visited there – 1%
■ I liked the Bible classes – 5%
■ I attended a gospel meeting – 0.5%
■ I liked the programs – 3%
■ A friend or relative invited me – 79%
What can we learn from a survey like this?
■ It does appear to confirm that gospel meetings as traditionally held have lost their effectiveness in reaching the lost.
■ It also seems to justify churches’ concern to pick their preachers carefully and
■ to give special regard to the quality of their Bible classes.
The obvious point of the survey is this: IF CHURCHES ARE TO GROW, IT WILL BE THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS!
Preachers, programs, classes may help, but in most cases they will only maintain the size of the congregation. Such congregational efforts are worthwhile, however, for they can reach people with whom we might otherwise never come in contact.
But the fact remains: THE GREATEST POTENTIAL LIES WITH THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOME CONTACT WITH MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL CONGREGATION.
Each of us have daily contact with tens of people who need the gospel of Christ.
Two fundamental things are needed to utilize the contacts made through individual members of the congregation:
■ CONCERN for the lost by those members (Matthew 9:36-38; Romans 9:1-3; 10:1; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
■ KNOWLEDGE OF HOW we can increase our opportunities to share the gospel with those with whom we frequently come into contact.
Assuming that the concern is there, I will share suggestions with accompanying “action steps” on HOW anyone who is a Christian can increase opportunities for the gospel to be shared with their relatives, friends, neighbors, and others.