“Why Are So Many Christians Not Sharing Their Faith?”
By Brent Hunter
In the previous issue we looked at three barriers that must be overcome to be successful at soul winning. In this issue three more barriers will be analyzed.
4. We are not prospect conscious. We get busy and allow ourselves to become distracted. Too often we get involved in many worthwhile activities that may even be strengthening to us spiritually, but they can fill up our time and use up our energies so that there are no resources available for outreach. Maintenance is important, but so is mission! An individual's discipleship must go beyond just showing up at worship and doing Bible lessons. While these are vital, they are not a substitute for winning souls. Every Christian needs to see himself as a soul winner. Should we not care enough about the souls of the lost? It is a privilege to share our faith. Should we not constantly be looking for those who are in the need of Jesus? Let's make it a top priority to pray for God to send us seekers. We should be looking, asking, and cultivating relationships along the way. We should also be eager to share the gospel with anyone who is willing! Are we focusing on the right things, or are we distracted from what really matters? We must become prospect conscious if we are to be successful.
5. A lack of joy and assurance of one's salvation. Sadly, many Christians don't possess assurance. John tells us, "These things I have written to you, that you might know you have eternal life" (I Jn. 5:13). God's intent was for His children to have peace and joy in their hearts. We possess joy when we come to trust in Him and God's grace as we "walk in the light as He is in the light" (I Jn. 1:7). Obviously, if Christians don't possess the assurance of their salvation, they can't have joy in their hearts. Beloved, it is this joy that should naturally flow out of us! Our words should not be cold and mechanical, but warm and heartfelt. Criticizing people for not doing "personal evangelism" and trying to get them to be motivated primarily from guilt is not a long-term solution for changing the culture in a congregation. We must be insightful enough to deal with the real underlying issues, and not just deal with symptoms. A better course is to encourage and strengthen personal commitment, and the Christian's faith in the promises of God, and the "joy of your salvation" (Ps. 51:12). It is noteworthy that after God promises us that His word will not return void, He says, "For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace" (Is.55:12).
6. A lack of a model. Perhaps the reason why many congregations do not offer classes on "How to do Personal Work," is that it is rarely being done, so consequently, there is no one to teach the class. It is true that soul winning is the privilege of all mature Christians (Heb. 5:12), not just the preacher, but if the local evangelist is not willing to set an example and spend a good share of his time teaching the lost, how can he expect the members to do so? Who is going to teach good training classes if the leadership is not engaged, and it is not a part of the lifestyle of those who are to be an example to the flock (1 Tim. 4:12, 1 Pet. 5:3)? One has to look hard at the congregational culture of which we are a part. If winning souls is not an expectation of what mature Christians should be doing, and there is little or no model of this by church leaders, is it any wonder that in this type of environment, personal evangelism becomes rare or non-existent?
Beloved, let's make it a top priority to pray for God to send us soul seekers