Dying "Sound" Churches
September 23, 2020
Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
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A great many of the churches that are still sound in the Bible, music, etc., are dying, and a major reason is that evangelism has fallen into neglect in so many churches. There is still a bit of evangelism going on, but there is no great vision, no leadership, no zeal, no passion, no proper organization, little to no prayer for the most important business of the church, which is gospel preaching. Only a tiny number of members are involved in evangelism. In many cases, the pastor himself has little zeal for it.

The following is from
21 Steps to a Stronger Church for the 21st Century -

Double Down on Evangelism

A mixed multitude church is not going to be changed overnight. If a church has been overly hasty in proclaiming people saved without clear evidence and has been careless in baptism and receiving members, this will usually be reflected in a low level of spiritual life across a significant portion of the congregation.

Unsaved and carnal people do not respond readily to the type of preaching that will increase the spiritual level of the congregation, to say the least!

What such a church needs is new members who exhibit new life. A pastor who is trying to move a church beyond a mixed multitude condition must give a lot of attention to evangelism, while also being very careful about baptism and receiving members going forward (looking for clear evidence of salvation).

One pastor friend talks about putting out a lot of fishing lines. The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely it is that you will catch fish. Evangelistic fishing lines are things like the following:

• An aggressive, well planned door-to-door visitation program to reach one’s entire area

• An effective tract distribution program (obtaining quality tracts, keeping them in stock, teaching the people how to use them, exhorting them to use them, teaching the people to set personal goals of tract distribution)

• Preaching on the streets and in the market places

• Using the church’s web site or Facebook for evangelism (gospel material, apologetics material)

• Gospel Bible studies in homes (see the
Seeker’s Bible Study at the Way of Life web site)

• Gospel ministries to nursing homes, schools, truck stops, prisons, etc.

In a typical church today there won’t be many members that will join the pastor in aggressive evangelism, but a man has to start where he is and use whatever resources he has. If he can start by getting one or two people enthused about this business, that is better than none.

The ultimate goal is to get every member involved. Every child of God has been appointed an ambassador of Christ (2 Co. 5:20). Every child of God is to put on his gospel shoes (Eph. 6:15). And the pastor must lead in this and not leave it to someone else. When a preacher starts a new church, he is usually very visionary and aggressive in evangelism. If that vision has shriveled, it must be revived.

Following are materials that can be helpful for this task:

SOWING AND REAPING: A COURSE IN EVANGELISM. This course is unique in several ways. It is unique in its approach. While it is practical and down-to-earth, it does not present a formulaic approach to soul winning, recognizing that individuals have to be dealt with as individuals. The course does not include any sort of psychological manipulation techniques. It does not neglect repentance in soul winning, carefully explaining the biblical definition of repentance and the place of repentance in personal evangelism. It explains how to use the law of God to plow the soil of the human heart so that the gospel can find good ground. The course is unique in its objective. The objective of biblical soul winning is not to get people to “pray a sinner’s prayer”; the objective is to see people soundly converted to Christ. This course trains the soul winner to pursue genuine conversions as opposed to mere “decisions.” The course is also unique in its breadth. It covers a wide variety of situations, including how to deal with Hindus and with skeptics and how to use apologetics or evidences in evangelism. There is a memory course consisting of 111 select verses and links to a large number of resources that can be used in evangelism, many of them free. The course is suitable for teens and adults and for use in Sunday School, Youth Ministries, Preaching, and private study. OUTLINE: The Message of Evangelism, Repentance and Evangelism, God’s Law and Evangelism, The Reason for Evangelism, The Authority for Evangelism, The Power for Evangelism, The Attitude in Evangelism, The Technique of Evangelism, Using Tracts in Evangelism, Dealing with Skeptics. 104 pages,

SEEKER’S BIBLE STUDY is an evangelistic Bible study. It begins with a study of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, dealing with the Bible, Christ, sin, Jesus’ atoning death, Jesus’ burial and bodily resurrection. This is followed by practical studies on repentance and faith. The last section answers the question, “When Is Jesus Coming?” There are review questions for each section. The Seeker’s Bible Study is designed especially to be used as a multi-week, one-on-one course. In our church, we assign a qualified believer to go through the course with every willing visitor. The teacher is instructed to try to grow the class by involving family, neighbor’s, and friends of the original student. The Seeker’s Bible Study is available as a free download at https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/seekers_bible_study.php. The teacher’s notes can be found in the file “Seeker’s Bible Study - Teacher’s Notes” at the same page.

IDEAS FOR EVANGELISM. This book is packed with practical suggestions for evangelism. Following are some of the topics that are covered: The Importance of Pastoral Leadership, Training and Challenging the People, Discipleship, Standards for Church Workers, Training the Church to Be Visitor Conscious, The Church Services, Prayer, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Door-to-Door Visitation, New Move-ins, Religious Surveys, Advertising, Church Papers, Correspondence Courses, Adopt a Bus Kid, Testimony Gospel Tapes, Gospel Tracts, Telephone Calls, Christmas Plays, Targeting Special Community Events, Tragedy Outreach, Campus Ministry, Foreign Exchange Students, Immigrants, Foreign College Students, The Deaf, Ministry to Military Personnel, Creation Science, Evangelistic Bible Studies, Tent Meetings. Fourth edition, 236 pages


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