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Reclaiming The Gospel

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Eric Hoey is the Director of Evangelism and Church Growth for the General Assembly Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He hopes to build a culture of faith sharing among individuals in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who have a passion for church growth. This blog considers what the gospel asks of the church in the 21st century.

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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.

73329568I wonder if the survey occurred today if the result would be any different? I would imagine not much has changed in 12 years. There seems to be a clear divide between who is responsible for the growth and decline 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.

Categories: Church Growth