December 9, 2008
Taking Ownership in Evangelism
I found a 1996 Presbyterian Panel Survey
that made a summarizing comment: Pastors and laity tend to have different
perspectives on which group has major responsibility for membership growth and
decline. Pastors are more likely to see laity in that role, while laity are
more likely to see pastor’s in the role.
onder if the survey occurred today if the result would be any different? I would imagine not much has cha
ed in 12 years. There seems to be a clear divide between who is responsible for the growth and decli
ne of the church. We love to blame everyone else than to look at ourselves to see if we are the problem.
In our own constitution, it says, "The Church is called to present the claims of Jesus Christ. leading persons to repentance, acceptance of him as Savior and Lord, and new life as his disciples." (G-3.0300b) Evangelism with respect to church growth must be done first, and church growth will be the natural outcome of our Church's faithfulness to the evangelistic call. If we have done our evangelism, church growth would not be a problem. But it is a problem. We are declining rapidly. Membership growth through evangelism must be the call to the whole church both elders and pastors. Let's stop pointing fingers, and point more people to Christ Jesus.