In the book of Acts we read about the evangelism efforts of the early church. They were excited! God had changed their lives and they wanted to let everyone know. In many countries this is still happening, but not in America. We’ve developed a watered down Christianity. It’s preached and practiced in most mainline church whose leaders wonder why membership is declining.
Jesus sent us on a mission: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. – Mark 16:15
I feel God is saying to the church in America: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17
Some people and churches are passionate about reaching those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior, but the vast majority of Christians and churches are not really interested in reaching out to unbelievers.
Are churches passionate about evangelism?
You can tell by looking at their budgets: 58% for church staff, 18% for facilities and 3% for evangelism. Source: 2013 church budget allocations.
If you want to know the passion of someone, it’s real simple, just look at where they spend their money. Our mission statement should clearly define what is important to your ministry and our budget should be a reflection of that mission statement.
I am a member of a United Methodist Church and our evangelism budget is just .2% on a budget which is around a million dollars. I don’t think we are an exception. Our church is consistently recognized for being one of the few that consistently have positive growth. To be fair there are other items in our budget that could be included in evangelism such as children’s and youth outreach.
Jesus called us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. The great commission was Jesus’ last commandment yet the American church has lost its call. We are so focused internally that it is hard to focus externally. Jesus said preach the Gospel and make disciples. Everything we do should come out of that mission.
It is passion that will make the difference. There are plenty of available resources, which we’ve written about in previous posts. It has never been easier or less expensive to share the Gospel even with all the noise out there. Most church members are probably on Facebook with 500 or so friends. If there are 100 members they could potentially reach 50,000 people, minus the duplicates. It could be as simple as sharing a verse or what is going on at the church with an invitation. Besides Facebook there are other social media and the USPS has a program called Every Door Direct Mail which lets churches reach every single person around their church and they even offer a 50% discount to non-profits.
Resources are not the problem, passion is. I encourage you to pray for your church and the church in America. Pray that we may realize what an gift we have been given and start acting on it. If churches and individual Christians started doing that a fire would be lit. It’s not to late. Let’s not complain about the way America is going and the decline in our churches. Pray and start acting on the mission Jesus gave us: Go into all the world, preach the Gospel and make disciples.
Here are a few resources that can help you get started.
- The 10 Second Rule – Following Jesus made simple.
- Simple Gospel tracts for sharing your faith
- Evangelism and the US Post Office
- Summer Family Mission Trips
- Church outreach ideas – 10 fun summer projects
- What is the best social media for growing a church
Post your comments below. Is it to late for the American church? Are we heading for the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah?