Thursday, May 03, 2012
REALLY Reaching Out
Years ago, studies circulated that showed that new churches tended to be more evangelistic than older, more established ones. The axiom followed, “The greatest form of evangelism is the planting of new churches.” The fruit of this has been the proliferation of new churches across America. The question in the West is this: Why hasn’t the number of new Christians increased over this same period of time? (compared to population growth)Brooks has a point there, what has primarily resulted is the employment of a lot more people in church work. Not to mention that much of what passes for church planting is just para-church work, but that is a different story all together. Brooks continues:
So what is the greatest form of Evangelism? Preaching the Gospel. What else could explain the overall growth of Christianity in history but the preaching of the Gospel? The reality is that it is being obscured. That explains our lack of impact in spite of all our energy and activity.Here I would change emphasis a bit. Changing lives in the context of a preached gospel is the greatest form of evangelism. Many are the ministries that preach themselves silly with the same sort of results as church planting. The preaching needs to be within a context that it creates. That context is one in which the truth of the words being preached is evidenced in the lives of both those preaching and those receiving the words.
Christ and the apostles did miracles to add credence to their words. The greatest miracle of all is the miracle of a life that in the modern world is lived in humility and contentment. Such will grant deep power to the preaching.