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 have 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, wondering if I was misguided. 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.

However, 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, many of these groups waned over time. Not all, but many. By far the group that endured the longest wasn't a group that I taught myself but a group that was taught by another - someone who was dedicated to remaining with all who were equipped and 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

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 included…

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 pastors and teachers (Ephe…

5 Keys To Effective Witness

Content is important. But it's not the only thing. Some evangelistic methods are presented as if they are the perfect witnessing method. Some think memorizing a method and mechanically delivering the content means you have effectively witnessed.

Witness throughout the New Testament demonstrates this is not accurate. There is not a cookie-cutter approach that is applied the same way every time.
Content is extremely important. Without the right content our witness cannot be effective. Messing with the content of the gospel voids its power. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Corinthians 1:17) Focusing only on content fails to recognize that we are not preaching to the air. We are preaching to persons.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel,…

Lift Up The Son, Part 2

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Romans 15:4)


(If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.)

The Apostle Paul quoted a verse from Psalm 69 before making his comment in Romans 15:4. When he speaks of whatever was written before he means what we have recorded in the Old Testament. He simply called them the Scriptures.

God inspired the Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament. Paul said they were written for the instruction of New Testament believers. Through perseverance and encouragement in the Scriptures we can have hope. The Old Testament is not supposed to be ignored by Christians.

As we apply this to our task of lifting up the Son, that in and through Christ our Father may be glorified, we encounter a word of caution.

It is easy to agree on the surface that the church ought to talk about Jesus. That's a given. But are we aware that not everyone means th…

Fullness By Design

My wife and I are expecting our 8th child this year. I want my children to grow to full maturity. That's not to say that I want to skip the fun things that accompany young kids. I don't want to skip any of it. As each day passes I realize how quickly these moments are gone.

The march toward adulthood is inevitable. Every day, we all get older. I must be aware that my children are growing up, whether I like it or not.

But maturity is not the same as age. It is possible to get older while never really growing up.

When I say that I want my children to grow to full maturity what I mean is: I desire my children to realize their potential. I want them to grow into responsible adults.

I don't want my three sons to live in my house indefinitely. They shouldn't be expecting their mother to cook and clean for them into their thirties. Part of my responsibility as a father is to steward the children God has so graciously given us. We are to raise them so that they can be delivere…