Most Christians do not share their faith or invite the lost to attend church. LifeWay Research reported in 2012 that 61% of Christians had not shared their faith in the previous six months; in 2014 that number rose to 78%. Furthermore, 59% of Christians have not invited an unchurched person (one who does not regularly attend church) to church.
Yet, most church leaders and members surveyed believe they and their churches are intentionally evangelistic. They hear the slogans, see the programs, participate in the events and therefore conclude that they and their churches have a vision and intention for reaching the lost. But slogans are not a vision and programs do not invite people to engage with Christ, only the people can do that.
We can also make this same mistake on the state level. We can see the slogans, themes, programs and events that are focused on evangelism and assume that we as a denomination, like our churches, are intentionally evangelistic. The truth is, however, we do not become an evangelistic denomination until our churches become evangelistic churches and our churches will not become evangelistic churches until individuals within our churches are telling others about Jesus and/or inviting them to church.
Because evangelism depends upon the involvement of individuals our vision for the Evangelism Team must start with the individual, not the denomination or even the church. Our vision must comprise of a specific strategy to move individuals from passive participants in programs and events to engaged personal evangelists. We must assist churches to disciple individuals in how to share the gospel and discover the necessity of incorporating evangelism in their daily lives. In short, our vision is:
To challenge, equip and train Texas Baptists, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to passionately fulfill God’s call to reach all people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the Great Commission, Jesus called each one of us to be a disciple-making witness (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). His commission to “go” means that one is to live with the purpose of sharing Christ as part of daily life. Church leaders must challenge church members not to be content with passive attendance but help them discover the joy of reaching others for Christ.