Why don’t older Christians evangelize?

    Today I met with a fellow brother and we discussed why many congregations are no longer interested in evangelism, especially older congregations who have a history of 30, 40, 50 years or more. They still talk about evangelism. They love the Lord. They love Bible Study. But it seems their love for lost people has waned. What’s wrong?

    We concluded that the problem is that many of these congregations have had a multitude of well meaning pastors who “preached” about evangelism endlessly, yet never modeled it. They cajoled the gongregation to invite their friends and neighbors to church, and yet the pastor was never able to get his friends and neighbors to come. The pastor would hold revival meetings and even use church money to pay for a prominent pastor who has become a traveling preacher now callling himself an evangelist to come from distant parts to give the congregation a message on the need for evangelism, and yet nobody actaully went and did it. Pastors would come and go and retire and yet nobody was ever trained and equipped to actually share the Gospel. Those that were able to seek out training and become equipped and would actually do evangelism would soon find themselves feeling like a fish out of water; fellow Christians looking at them strangely and not being very excited when they told stories about going out and sharing the gospel with people in the park, at the mall, or at a family gathering.

    The problem is pastors and churches do not equip the saints for good works. They preach to them and convince themselves that sermons are equipping. Jesus didn’t just preach and teach with words. He spoke with ACTION. He modeled ministry. He didn’t hang a sign up in Nazareth and tell the disciples to go get some people to hear him preach. He was on the move constantly. Sermons alone will never equip Christians to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It must be modeled. Sermons can make converts, but they willl never produce disciples. D.James Kennedy said, “Evangelism must be CAUGHT, not taught”. But if the pastor doesn’t do it the people won’t catch it. Most pastors don’t so most Christians don’t either, and the next thing they know is they have invested 25 years of their life and money into a church and a couple of pastors and they have never been trained to share the gospel. It’s a shame.

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