It has to be acknowledged that the megachurches in particular focus on bringing people to Christ, in the manner that they feel is most effective. Whether their methods or gospel are truly effective, is another debate. But surely all Christians, whatever form of church they participate in, desire others to also be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.
Here is a quote regarding personal evangelism – a popular term 20 years ago. Is personal evangelism a dying art? Is it even necessary? Is it effective?
It seems as if personal evangelism is a dying art. Fewer of us are taking our faith beyond familiar circles of friends and family. Witnessing has become intrusive in a culture that demands tolerance and diversity. Knocking on doors is illegal in most neighborhoods. “Soul-winning” is an outdated term. Polls show that few Christians today have ever led a person to faith in Christ.
As our society has become more secular, our faith has become more timid. It is no longer cool to declare Jesus is the only way. So we don’t say it—we just hope people will figure out our message by listening to our music or by wandering into our churches at an odd hour on Sunday mornings.
I am especially disturbed that personal evangelism has lost its importance among those of us who call ourselves Pentecostal or charismatic. Many of our best evangelists have also passed into glory or are getting feeble. Yet when I look at the younger generation, it seems many leaders are focused on the inside of the church rather than the harvest fields.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need prophecies, visions, dreams and spiritual experiences. We also need solid Bible teaching, powerful exhortation and the inspiration that comes from praise and worship. But it seems today our focus has turned totally inward. The church is ministering to the church. The pastor is preaching to the choir. And our message isn’t reaching beyond the vestibule.
When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He read from the book of Isaiah about the promise of the Holy Spirit. The passage in Isaiah 61:1 says: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted …” (NASB emphasis added).
This verse, which so dramatically captures the essence of Jesus’ ministry and ours, clearly lists evangelism as His priority. The Holy Spirit’s anointing does a lot of things—but we are told here that He clothes us with divine power so we can announce good news. In other words, we are not anointed simply to prophesy, receive revelations, experience spiritual goose bumps, shake, quake, rattle, roll, shout, raise hands, take offerings, receive offerings or obtain blessings and breakthroughs. All those things are great, but if we have them without evangelism then our faith becomes inverted and self-absorbed.
I’ve been in some great charismatic meetings where everyone falls on the floor at the altar. Some get up and go back for more anointing. In fact, we are known to pray: “More! Lord, give them more fire!” Then the people swoon again, roll around and act drunk. And they come back three more nights to have hands laid on them again.
We’ve become like actors in a perpetual dress rehearsal in which we repeat our lines over and over but never actually perform for an audience.What good is the anointing if we just wallow and splash in it like hungry hogs at a slop trough? I love the anointing as much as the next person. But when will we actually open our mouths and use it to preach to unbelievers? I want to stand up and scream, “Get off the floor and do something with this power!”
By J Lee Grady, Author of ‘Charisma’ magazine, and republished here.
Are we all to reach our friends and family, and beyond to strangers? It can seem offensive, but is it something we are all called to do? If so, what is the best way to go about it?
Do you know people who have come to Christ as a result of personal evangelism – or have people come mostly as a result of their own search and enquiry when the Lord prompts their heart?