There are certain things in life that get on my nerves.
– Such as people who drive slow in the left lane on interstate.
– Such as people who push their overflowing shopping cart into the express check-out lane at Wal-Mart.
– Such as people who chew ice and talk and text during the movie.
– Such as people who talk on the cellphone and don’t answer their child who, for 28 solid minutes, keeps saying “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy…”
You may be thinking, “Dude, get a life and just deal with it.”
Which makes me assume you have also been talking with my wife.
But here is a dirty little secret.
While I have not done anything in the above “pet peeve” list, I have on occasion, while serving as a pastor of a church, done something far worse.
I violated then the very pet peeves I now embrace about church evangelism, such as pastors who get frustrated with their church members for not sharing the gospel when:
1. They haven’t equipped them to share the gospel.
2. They haven’t provided venues for them to share the gospel.
3. They haven’t provided a great example of sharing the gospel themselves.
And here’s a big one:
4. They haven’t taken the time to learn why they don’t share the gospel.
What Changed All That for Me?
Before you shout, “J’accuse, monfrere,” let me tell you what changed all that for me.
Over the past several years, when leading equipping conferences I have been surveying church members by asking one simple question:
“Why do you think most church folks don’t tell other folks about Jesus?”
Now, my methods are about as scientific as hitting my finger with a hammer to determine if it creates a painful sensation.
But at least I’ve gained insights into that great, mysterious void known as the church member psyche.
Want to know the top five reasons church folks don’t tell other folks about Jesus?
Here are my survey results and scriptures that you can use in preaching the cure:
1. They are scared
- II Timothy 1:7 and Acts 4:31
2. They are scripturally shallow
- II Timothy 3:15 and Acts 8:35
3. They have shame due to sin
- Psalm 32:1-5
4. They are self-centered
- Colossians 3:1-4…and explaining Ephesians 2:8-9 wouldn’t hurt, either
5. They are not saved or not sure they are saved
- This is a huge one, and my next blog is devoted solely to this one issue. But a good starting point would be John 5:24
For a saved church member to not share the gospel means they actually have to work against the leading of the Holy Spirit in their life.
And the devil has no problem providing them with an abundance of fear and trepidation to resist the prompting of the Holy Spirit to tell others about the Christ who has redeemed them with His blood and transformed them by the power of His resurrection.
So, shepherd those sheep whom God has entrusted into your care with love and understanding. Understand their fears and reservations, and feed them the truth that will dispel their doubts and turn their evangelistic dread into fervent delight!