The Spiritual Resources Of Faithful Witnesses -- By: T. M. Moore

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 10:1 (Winter 2001)
Article: The Spiritual Resources Of Faithful Witnesses
Author: T. M. Moore

The Spiritual Resources Of Faithful Witnesses

T. M. Moore

It is no secret that the evangelistic fervor of the contemporary evangelical Church has grown cold. In growing numbers, churches are embracing the idea that reaching people for Christ can be done most effectively on Sunday mornings by highly-skilled professionals in carefully orchestrated settings. As a result, increasingly, we are seeing the conversion of corporate worship for the visible church into the semblance of worship for the potential church. In such a situation, the work of evangelism in the local church becomes the job of the worship team and the Sunday morning speaker, while the role of the laos of God is reduced to little more than encouraging their friends and associates to come have a look.

Thus, it should not surprise us that the Body of Christ, when scattered throughout the community, has become more and more ineffective at proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Gospel, which the first Christians so urgently and confidently noised about wherever they went (Acts 8:4), hardly ever escapes the lips of seeker-friendly believers today. After all, why should they risk getting it all wrong or offending someone close to them, when they can bring those same people into a comfortable, theater-like environment, where they can move to a familiar beat, join in the singing of happy songs, and hear a word of spiritual exhortation delivered in winsome, engaging words, carefully calculated not to offend, by the congregation’s master communicator?

I suspect, however, that even the leaders of our megachurches recognize that this situation, which they have helped to create, is not what the Book recommends. And I further suspect that it will not be long before we will once again be hearing cries and urgings for the people of God to become more active in the work of personal evangelism.

The question then becomes, “How do we best get them witnessing more consistently, boldly, and effectively?” There is no shortage of evangelism training programs, and many churches will no doubt turn to one or more of those in an effort to jump-start their lay witness. Others will opt for the view that recommends the “big tent” approach to evangelism: Contract with a reputable evangelist for a series of meetings and enlist large numbers of the laity as “counselors” in the hope that some of the skills they acquire during that experience will transfer into their everyday lives afterwards. Still other churches will try to make their existing programs more open and warm to the unchurched, enlisting lay men and women throughout the church for a kind of “friends...

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