Why Evangelism Doesn’t Happen

Roger Bear

Campus Minister at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Indiana State

By Roger Bear

I think I’ve figured out why evangelism doesn’t happen, or I might say, doesn’t work, much of the time.  Since few people want to read long blog posts, here you go.

First, I think we are hesitant to tell others about a message or belief of which we ourselves are not adequately convinced. Think about something you’re convinced of:  the best way to drive to Indy; the name and description of the neighborhood or hometown you grew up in; your favorite style of music (blue grass, country, southern gospel, etc.); that Chicago or Branson or Holiday World (or wherever) is the most wonderful place to visit in the summer.  Being convinced of something makes it easy to tell to others, even if they’re skeptical, even if they remain unconvinced. If or when we are confident that God in the Person of His Son has invaded this planet and has given Himself as the only adequate and perfect sacrifice for the disease of humanity’s and my sin, then sharing the gospel (evangelism) should flow as least as winsomely as  telling someone how the latest diet has changed my life! How about you? Are you so convinced of John 3:16 that when you talk about it you’re convincing?

Secondly, we instinctively know that when/if we share our relationship, our saving friendship in Jesus Christ, with another person, we are also sharing our own lives, our selves, even our time and stuff!  I will admit (will you?) that I have held back in sharing the message of reconciliation in Christ (are you ready for this?) because I didn’t have the time for any more people to be a part of my life! (I hate admitting this.) If someone trusts the Lord Jesus as their Savior, Lord, and Friend, then I have to be willing to be their friend as well! (And what if it’s a homeless person, or someone from, you know, that neighborhood you can’t stand?) I think this has to be called selfishness—of the worst kind!

And this actually leads to a third reason I think evangelism fails so often.  I may very well talk to and lead someone into becoming a follower of Jesus. Then, this new believer will need the fellowship of many followers, many friends, a family of faith – a church!  But, what if I don’t really like my church? What if I think, “I need to get this new Christian involved somewhere, but, oh, my church is too (fill in the blank), or my church doesn’t (fill in the blank)?”  At times in my life, I have felt this way. In other words, I have been hesitant to talk to others about eternal life because my own church family wasn’t very cool! Is this the case with you?  What can be done?

I could be wrong here. (I do reserve the right to be.) But this much is certain: all around us are people needing everything that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us and offers us. We must look within and among ourselves and come to terms with why the faith we profess isn’t flowing from us more easily and readily.

Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13)

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