One quick Google search of the word evangelism is quite revealing. Upon deeper investigation, one will find schools that can be attended to be a better evangelist. There are “how to” seminars available for purchase that even include lists of prospects.
While I get that the marketing methods of this world are often quite effective at selling goods in the market place, should we be selling God like that?
Regardless of the answer, one thing is certain:
“No believer is exempt from the responsibility of sharing the gospel.” (www.evangelismtraining.org)
Here are some startling statistics taken from Growing True Disciples by George Barna:
- Nearly 85% of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as Savior do so before reaching the age of 13.
- 8% of Americans are saved after the age of 50.
- 95% of people in church have never led anyone to Christ.
- The majority of church members are not saved.
The first two I became aware of as a young wife of a seminary husband. However, the last two are just dumbfounding.
But are the really?
I’m not part of that 95%, but it doesn’t happen often enough, I’ll tell you that.
It’s easier when you’re given the stage at church with the salvation message for children several years running.
It’s easier when you’re teaching at private Christian school and the young man is a professor’s son.
It’s easier when the opportunities are handed to you.
But, it’s never easy.
The truth is, I can’t name one adult that has come to Christ because of me. They have all been children.
Why my heart aches when I read this is that, I live in the “other 7%” world.
(Does anyone else see the irony in that number?)
A lot, if not most of us, probably do.
If just a few more of us would put on some spiritual boldness and be empowered by our experiences of Christ’s love, lives would be changed. And, I’m not just talking about the lives of those who meet Jesus for the first time.
And, looking at those stats again, I’m pretty sure that a lot of that 7% is in my church.
What’s the excuse now? Especially when prospecting means just going to church like I usually do.
Relating evangelism to selling a product gives people an easy out. Most people will just say that “I’m not a salesperson” and go on with life.
However, the best sales people in life are the ones who are passionate about how their lives have been changed by whatever it is they are selling. In other words, great sales people are often great story tellers. Hmm…Jesus was the greatest story teller ever and people followed Him around everywhere, would we call him a salesman?
Whether we would or wouldn’t is irrelevant. However, I invite you to answer this question: Where do you fall into these stats and what are you going to do about it?
Evangelism isn’t an option (Mark 16:15).
So, how are you selling God? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.