We cannot always measure effectiveness by visible fruit. Some of my favorite testimonies of salvation are of people who trusted Christ after repeated witnessing attempts by multiple people.
Even the Apostle Paul experienced times when he witnessed and the fruit wasn’t immediate.
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.—1 Corinthians 3:6
So if we try to measure the effectiveness of our witness on fruit alone, we may miscalculate. Perhaps during a season when we are diligently sowing seed, we won’t see fruit. On the other hand, we may be in a season when we are reaping another man’s labor and are seeing great fruit although our own witness may or may not be effective.
The bottom line is that God grades on faithfulness, not evident fruitfulness.
So how do we measure faithfulness? Is it simply by our heart to continue? Is it because we are open to sharing the gospel if the opportunity arises? (more…)
I believe the Great Commission is worthy of—and even calls for—purposed times and strategic plans for spreading the gospel. Thus, we have several times and locations each week available to members of our church to meet up with a partner for the purpose of saturating our community with the gospel.
And yet, there is a danger in using only those times for sharing the gospel.
In reality, we are surrounded by people who need the Lord—some of which are our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. We want to lead them to Christ as well, even if not on a Thursday night at 6:30 or a Saturday morning at 10:00.
Acts 8:4 tells us of the early Christians, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”
How do we also develop this “everywhere mentality” where we are ready to share the gospel at all times and are seeing fruit among our friends and family?
Over the past thirty years of ministry here in Lancaster, we have attempted to reach our community for Christ in many ways—including billboards, television ads, promoted Facebook posts, radio programs, community newsletters, gospel-centered acts of community service, and more. And we’ve seen fruit through these methods.
But of the hundreds of people saved and baptized in our church over the past twelve months (or any twelve month period), the single greatest tool for reaching them for Christ has been simple—a personal witness.
Whether it be through door-to-door soulwinning, a coworker, or a follow-up visit, fruit comes when people personally take the gospel to the lost.
I love the testimonies in this video because they underscore the value of personally sharing the gospel.
(If you can’t see this video in your email or RSS reader, you can watch it here.)
Think again of those three stories, and ask yourself what if?(more…)
If there is one thing that is clear in the New Testament, it is that the gospel doesn’t end with receiving it. It is a truth to pass on to others.
From the woman at the well who immediately “left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:28–29) to the Thessalonicans who told everyone they came in contact with about Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:8), it’s clear that spreading the gospel is the normal response to receiving the gospel.
Many spiritual leaders who lead others to faith in Christ stop a little too soon—they miss involving a new Christian in the Great Commission as well.
Our responsibility does not end with leading a person to Christ and seeing them baptized and on their way in spiritual growth. We are to teach them to likewise share the gospel and lead others to Christ.
What can you do to obey the Great Commission by engaging new Christians in it? (more…)
Special days, such as Easter Sunday, are a great time for extensive soulwinning in your community.
But sharing the gospel is not just a once-or-twice-a-year responsibility for the local church. It is to be our great priority. It is the mission with which Christ left us.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.—Matthew 28:19–20
If your church is going to be consistently focused in soulwinning, thorough in saturating your community with the gospel, and diligent in follow up, you will need a soulwinning director—someone to coordinate the soulwinning efforts of the church family.
This may be a paid staff member or a layperson. It may even be, as it was for our church in the early years, the pastor.
How can a soulwinning director effectively engage the church family in outreach? Below are seven practices: (more…)