Skip to main content

I Am The 85%

Networking

I Am The 85%


I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for 12 and a half years now. I have been teaching in the local church for a decade. Reflecting on that time I noticed that I have taught more classes on evangelism than any other topic.

And it's not even close.

Evangelism has been on my heart ever since the moment of my salvation. The reason for that was not due to sound theological reasoning. It is not because of a great class I took. It was certainly not because I saw it modeled by the majority of other believers.

It's because I am part of the 85%.

I heard recently that only 15% of those who come to follow Christ do so as a result of being evangelized at an event. Church services, evangelism rallies, and other events do work in peoples lives. People are converted. But this is not where the majority of conversions occur.

The other 85% come to Christ through personal witness. This is when a believer takes the initiative and shares the gospel with a non-believer in their life.

I got saved because a believer loved me enough to tell me the gospel. Even though I was abusing her, mocking her, and making fun of her. She told me the truth. Then she kept praying for me after our conversation ended.

When my heart was changed I was standing alone. In the middle of a rainstorm. Smoking a cigarette and watching the sky. I was born again that night because someone in my life shared the gospel faithfully with me.

I immediately wanted everyone I knew to find life and peace with God through Christ, too. So I started telling everyone.

They were not excited to hear.

The more time I spent in church, the less people I encountered who shared the gospel consistently and faithfully. Most simply invited people to events and hoped that people would eventually give their life to Christ through the proclamation of others.

I questioned my own drive to evangelize. Especially since so many experienced Christians (less than 2% on some estimates) neglect the command to evangelize. I wondered if I was misguided. if I had a zeal that was not according to knowledge. However, reading the Word of God continued to resound with our responsibility to proclaim His excellencies since He has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

So I started teaching classes on evangelism.

Over the years, I have taught a lot of different classes on personal evangelism. I've examined a lot of materials and approaches.

Some are excellent. Others, not so much. Some are downright ridiculous.

I have also noticed that something is even more important than the methods. That's having the right leadership. Without the right leadership evangelism can tend to ebb and flow.

I have taught many groups and individuals to evangelize. Sadly, most of these groups diminished over time. Not all. But many. By far the group that endured the longest wasn't a group that I taught myself. It was a group that was taught by another. Someone who was dedicated to remaining with all who were equipped. Who didn't have to turn his attention to any other topics like I did in my pastoral ministry.

When the right leadership and the right methods are employed, the body of Christ is capable of proclaiming the gospel far and wide.

As I reflect on the past 10 years, I am so thankful that the Lord has worked to show me the importance of the dedicated leadership that Christ has given for the edification and equipping of His church. I am also thankful for the many resources that are available to train and equip the saints for the important work of evangelism.

I plan to write some reviews of evangelism methods and resources in 2017. I am open to any suggestions that you may have to evaluate teachings and/or methods that you know of or think would be an encouragement to the body to grow in faithfulness to the Great Commission.

The world is perishing. But there is good news! God has sent a Savior so that all who come to Him can be saved from the wrath they deserve on Judgment Day!

For those of us who are saved by the blood of the Lamb and who walk in newness of life - let us not be ashamed of our glorious Lord and Savior. Let's tell the world that Jesus saves.

Comments

Popular Posts

Smoking Hookah

Q: This week a young Christian talked with me about the practice of smoking Hookah. They attend a church [which] is reaching out to the many Indian and Muslims in the surrounding areas. Their church also have several ministries that support missions in India and Arab countries. As they spoke with me they said that many of their Christian friends are smoking the Hookah. They said that they have been told that certain types of Hookah smoking involve no tobacco but are simply flavored water, other types of Hookah smoking do include tobacco but in a ‘more pure’ form than that of cigarettes that have additives. The Christians that they know of who partake in smoking Hookah do not feel that there is anything sinful in this practice and believe that it is just a part of certain cultures as a way to relax and socialize. Apparently during certain celebrations some of these culture groups get together as a family and include smoking the Hookah together as part of the festivities. These Chris

Christ Died For Our Sins

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3) The truth of the gospel includes this important phrase: Christ died for our sins . You've probably heard it before. Many times. Sometimes familiarity leads to a diminished sense of importance. The more you hear about something the more ordinary it may seem. Common. Ho-hum. Boring. But this truth is anything but common. Another difficulty arises with this truth. Beyond being common. It may happen in your ears without you even realizing it. When the truth is declared that Christ died for our sins, you may think you hear the truth. But what you really hear is a diminished version. A partial truth. Instead of hearing that Christ died for our sins you may hear a slightly different version of this truth. You might hear this: Jesus died for your sins. Do you see the difference? You should. These statements are similar. Both m

Prayer vs. Petition

Q: What's the difference between prayer and petition? Phil 4:6 for example. A: An excellent word study question! When attempting to study words from the text it is necessary to analyze the word being studied in the original language (in this case Greek) as attempting to look up the words in English will often produce erroneous results. For example, in English the word petition has within its range of meanings things that are certainly not within the scope of meanings for the Greek word (i.e. “a sheet that is signed to demonstrate agreement with some principle or desire for some social action to be taken” is part of the range of “petition” but not of the Greek deesis from which “petition” is translated). The word most commonly translated as “prayer” in our English Bibles is proseuche , which appears 36 times in the New Testament (NT) in one form or another (for the purposes of this study, we are only examining the usage of these words as nouns – the verbal forms will not be

The "Jesus Loves You" Problem

Q: I've encountered a lot of teaching and Christians who believe that saying, "Jesus loves you!" is a valid form of evangelism. Do you disagree with this? If so, why? It seems like a loving way to reach out and to encourage those who are not believers. A: What a great question! There are certainly a lot of materials and teachings that encourage Christians to use the phrase, "Jesus loves you" as an outreach and evangelistic tool. Much of this teaching that I've encountered emphasizes following the lead of the Holy Spirit. It claims that the Holy Spirit will often lead Christians to say this to non-believers to encourage them and try and lead them to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Fourth Year Ministries does not teach or endorse this as a valid evangelism strategy. That's not because we don't want it to be valid! Truth be told, we would love for this to be a good practice for Christians. It would certainly open some more doors for us. I

10 Things An Evangelist Is Not

You've probably heard the term Evangelist before. Most people have. The term most likely brings something to mind. Sometimes positive. Often negative. Does your idea match what other people think of when they hear the term evangelist? More importantly, do any of these ideas match what the Bible tells us an evangelist is ? The truth is that most of the popular ideas about what an evangelist is and does are based on the culture, not the Bible. This is a problem. The cultural idea of an evangelist is so popular that it is beginning to be used by companies. If you go to popular job sites and put the term evangelist into the search bar you will find many non-church jobs looking for evangelists. Many of these positions include the duties of spreading knowledge about a particular company, product, service, or idea. The Bible tells us that Jesus gave some Evangelists for His church. And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as