- 2004 12 Apr
In his book The Coming Revival, Bill Bright reported that "only two percent of believers in America regularly share their faith in Christ with others" (New Life Publications, p. 65).
"A soul at the altar does not generate much excitement in some circles because we realize approximately 95 out of every hundred will not become integrated into the church. In fact, most of them will not return for a second visit." – Charles E. Hackett, the Division of Home Missions National Director for a leading U.S. denomination.
In 1991, organizers of a Salt Lake City concert encouraged follow-up. They said, "Less than five percent of those who respond to an altar call during a public crusade ... are living a Christian life one year later."
A mass crusade reported 18,000 decisions, yet according to Church Growth magazine, 94 percent failed to become incorporated into a local church.
In the March/April 1993 American Horizon, editors disclosed the fact that in 1991, 11,500 churches of a major U.S. denomination had obtained 294,784 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could find only 14,337 in fellowship. They couldn't account for 280,000 of their decisions.
Now, imagine a group of firefighters polishing their fire engine outside a burning building. They are so consumed with what they are doing that they are oblivious to the cries of help from terrified people who are trapped at a top floor window. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with cleaning their fire engine, but not while people are trapped in a burning building!
As ridiculous as it may seem (that any "firefighter" would do such a thing), that's a picture of much of the contemporary Church. The vast majority are polishing the engine of worship, prayer, and praise (each necessary and important), but neglecting the sober task God has given to us to seek and save the lost.
Oswald J. Smith said, "Oh my friends we are loaded down with countless church activities, while the real work of the Church, that of evangelizing the world and winning the lost is almost entirely neglected.“
Why do so many Christians ignore the Great Commission and fail to share their faith? Perhaps the #1 reason is that they are afraid. Many Christians want to share their faith but are afraid of what people will think of them. Many do not feel equipped, and don’t want to say the wrong thing. Others are afraid of not knowing what to say to an atheist, an evolutionist, a cult member, or a backslider, and would rather say nothing than risk hurting a relationship.
You don't have to be an expert in apologetics—or even have any knowledge of them—to effectively reach an atheist, a Muslim, a gospel hardened family member, or anyone with an argument. Living Waters will teach you and your people how to do what Jesus did—circumnavigate the human intellect (the area of argument), and speak directly to sinner's conscience (the area of knowledge of right and wrong). This principle is the key to effective, biblical evangelism used by Jesus, Peter, Paul, Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield and many others that God has used down through the ages…and much of the Church isn't even aware of what it is!
We know this principle works because we have seen it biblically, historically and experientially—both in our own lives and in the lives of those God has touched through this ministry. After hearing this teaching, those who had never before shared their faith are now determined and eager to do so. It has proven to transform the lukewarm into on-fire, disciple-making Christians, reaching out to their unsaved family members, workmates, and friends, thus producing true church growth.
Several members of the Living Waters staff have traveled to churches around the world to share this message. If you are interested in having Ray Comfort, or another staff member, come to share this message with your congregation, you can click here for more details.
Another idea is to use "The Way of the Master Foundation Course" to teach your congregation these principles. The Foundation Course consists of 8 half-hour video teachings on this subject, a study guide, and a book. (Extra study guides and books are available.) You might like to use it as material for a Sunday School class, or even a special Evangelism training group. If you'd like to listen to some more messages that build on this foundation, please click here.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this vital evangelism message. May God bless you in your labors for Him.