by Dr. Steve Parr
I was honored recently to meet with the pastor Johnny Hunt and the staff of First Baptist Church of Woodstock. The Evangelism staff recognized churches from four different categories based on the size of the church to express appreciation for their evangelistic effectiveness. We enjoy rejoicing together with congregations that are blessed with great years of evangelistic harvest. Not only did First Baptist Woodstock lead in baptisms for large churches, they had a banner year baptizing 828 new believers. Many churches had a great year evangelistically, as did First Baptist, increasing their baptisms over the previous year.
At the same time, baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention have been down and Georgia experienced the first decrease in over four years. Is it harder to reach people than it was a decade ago? [pullquote]Georgia churches were baptizing about 6,000 more per year back in the nineties[/pullquote]I am encouraged on one hand that many churches are actually seeing more of the lost reached than in recent years. On the other hand I am seeing some emerging barriers that did not seem to be as formidable a decade ago.
The purpose in identifying barriers is not to make excuses for evangelistic effectiveness on any level. However, once identified, church leaders can begin to seek Godly wisdom to discover or implement approaches to overcome the barriers. I have some ideas and some research that speak to the issue.
But, before sharing, our staff would like to hear from pastors and leaders in local churches to glean from your perspective.
What are the barriers to evangelism that we face today that is or may be having an effect on the total number of people we are reaching in our Southern Baptist and Evangelical Churches?
Leave your comments below…