Win Arn did a study sometime ago (the actual reference is in my notes somewhere)
- Approx 90% of pastors thought the main purpose of the church was evangelism.
- Approx 10% of lay people thought the main purpose of the church was evangelism.
Is it any wonder why there is a conflict of desire in a congregation about evangelism?
Expectations placed on pastors, particularly in smaller churches, often cause a pastor to set aside intentional evangelism.
The focus is on member care, sermon preparation, worship leadership, and repairing the broken water line. Evangelism: who has time for that?
As I continued to think about tips for pastors who are overwhelmed with other responsibilities, I’ve encountered a few more to share with you.
These are certainly true for everyone, but certainly geared towards pastors
1. Confess your lack of concern
For some pastors, there may be a realization that with all the other responsibilities, your own passion for evangelism has slipped, melted away, or has been simply drained out of you. You don’t care any more. Your passion for evangelism no longer burns as brightly as it did.
Start with a confession before God. Let God put his finger on the cause and allow His Spirit to help you fan the flame back to a intensity that is appropriate. If you feel guilty, allow that guilt to move you towards repentance and a godly response. Do not allow it to beat you down.
2. Live a life worthy of your calling.
Is following Jesus truly the best way to live?
As you live your life day in and day out, does your life reflect this conviction?
To have a love for people who don’t know Christ, you yourself need to know that following Jesus is the best way to live. You see God’s activity in your life, and you can talk about what God is doing in your life today that makes the gospel “Good news?”
Spend time in God’s presence regularly. Developing a sensitivity to God’s voice so you can follow the promptings of His Spirit.
3. Spend time in Worship.
The fuel for missions is worship, according to John Piper. At first, I didn’t believe him. However, the more time I spend in the worship of God in my devotions, in my church, or even as I walk the streets of my city, I find that my heart connects with God’s heart for those outside the kingdom.
The more I worship, the more I want to share. The deeper I worship, the more propelled I am to share God’s love and grace.
Robert Coleman, author of The Master Plan of Evangelism, wrote “I believe that the real incentive for witnessing comes from the worship of God.
4. Stay in God’s word
There are many passages in Scripture that reflect God’s concern for those who don’t yet know him. What passages fire up your heart?
For me, it is the lost parables of Jesus in Luke 15, about the lost son, the lost sheep, and the lost coin. For others, it might be about
- the prostitute who anointed the feet of Jesus
- Nick at Night (John 3).
- Zaccheus in the tress (Luke 19).
- Lydia on the beach
- The Phillipan Jailer
- The blind beggar who was healed.
- King David’s experience of forgiveness (Psalm 32, 51).
- God’s heart for the nations (God’s Heart for the Nations – Part 1)
There is a correlation between spending time in God’s word and keeping your personal fire lit for evangelism. As you spend time in God’s word, you will connect with God’s passion for the lost.