Today I read a post at 9 Marks about the corporate role of the church and its support of personal evangelism.
The writer asks:
What is the role of the local church (i.e., corporate witness) in our personal evangelism (i.e., individual, personal witness)?
Consider the ethos of your church.
- Are you proud to invite a non-christian to attend one of your services?
- Do you love your local church?
- Does your church help you share your faith?
- Does your church support the work of personal evangelism?
Let me give you two examples from my life, one good, another one not so good.
One Great Example:
We attended a little Spanish language church for the last 8 months that welcomed us with open arms. We were adopted quickly by that church family and it was hard to leave when we moved.
During my 8 months there, I was always telling people about my church.
Christians, non-Christians, didn’t matter.
Everybody knew where we were going to church.
I had these little invitation cards written in Spanish that I could give to people.
I knew that my church often explains the gospel as part of every service. I would give away 10 or so a week to people that I met on the street.
The church provided the invitation cards, showed us how to use them, and we used them.
The church has grown with people finding faith and joining.
The church supported our personal witness and we were proud to invite people to our church.
An Embarrassing Moment
On another occasion, I was embarrassed to invite my unchurched friends to a church I loved and served.
It was very inward focused and did its own good in its own way, but it was clearly geared towards mature Christians.
We were having a larger number of unchurched people attend our evening service. I was preaching simple biblical messages, and we were providing space for people to explore their faith. People were beginning to belong and build relationships.
Then they attended a morning service with the “normal” church.
Almost every time, the sermons were inappropriate for people seeking faith. The sermons were for mature Christians. The sermons were not relevant.
I can’t go into the details, but it killed every relationship that had been forming.
Every seeker from our evening service who went to the morning service never returned to our church.
I stopped inviting people to my church.
I also never invited my friends to retreats, because the topics were for mature Christians.
I never invited my friends to the morning service because I was never sure what Pastor would ruminate on. Please don’t misunderstand me. My pastor taught good stuff.
Excellent stuff, but for mature Christians.
This church didn’t have an ethos that supported my work of personal evangelism.
Let me ask you this?
- Are you proud of your church?
- Can you think of someone you could invite to your church this weekend?