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? (compared to population growth)
I pastor a church in Nashville and watch church plants here start on a regular basis.
The reality is you can start a new church and never win one new Believer in the process.
Just because someone uses the word “missional,” in every other sentence doesn’t mean it’s actually happening. Don’t get me wrong – we need new churches. In our city, if every church were filled to capacity on a Sunday morning, that would represent only 30% of the population. We must plant new churches for the 70% that would not have a seat.
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.
The Gospel is the only thing that can tell a person what’s really wrong with them.
If you go to a doctor who can show you why you are sick and offer you a real cure, that’s good news! We are broken as people because God’s moral law has been broken. Man’s sickness inside is spiritual.
God became man in Christ to rescue us from our sin and selfishness. His death and resurrection provided for our freedom and forgiveness. As we repent and believe this message, we can receive a spiritual rebirth. Once people experience this, they can’t help but spread it to everyone. This is how the Church grew in Scripture as well as history.
My goal this decade is to preach the Gospel. If the men and women of God return to that simple commitment, we will see entire nations awakened in this generation.
“Preach the Gospel – and please use words.”