It seems that each year in my denomination (Southern Baptist) we lament the fact that we remain stagnant in the number of people we baptize during the course of the year. That number has remained flat lined for the better part of a a decade or more. We develop new methods of telling the old, old story.
The simple conclusion I’ve come to is that we are suffering from E.D….Evangelism Dysfunction. We don’t do enough of it, we don’t plan for it, we don’t believe that the message of "Jesus Saves" is important enough for the world to hear.
We come up with all kinds of convenient reasons and excuses for not going as the Great Commission tells us to. It’s too hot, too cold, too late, too early, too far, too close…the list goes on.
At the heart of it though, I don’t believe the church really has an E.D. problem. Not telling others about the One who saved our souls is merely a symptom of bigger problems. Our hearts have grown cold. They need revival, pure and simple. When our hearts are warm, we won’t be content to let people spend eternity apart from Jesus. We’ll say something, ANYTHING, so they have a chance to hear. More important, they will SEE the life of Jesus flowing out so richly, they will be drawn to Jesus in us. There is no better witness than the joy of Jesus in us.
Oh, if it were only so easy to take a pill to solve our E.D. problem. However, the solution is spelled out by God all throughout Scripture. Pray, repent, sell out to Jesus, get rid of all that distracts and entangles us in this world, don’t compromise, open your mouth, let your light shine before men, strive to know nothing but Christ crucified, die to self.
Are we willing to pay the price to see the world saved? If we were, most of our churches wouldn’t be stagnant or shrinking in size, and our baptisms, which are supposed to reflect lost souls saved, would be skyrocketing through the roof.