Breaking the Evangelism Code and the Declining and Dying Church

Posted: September 30, 2008 in Conversational Evangelism, Evangelism Dynamics, Evangelism techniques, Missional Evangelism, Personal Evangelism, Uncategorized, Understanding Biblical Evangelism

Have you noticed that churches all across the country are plateauing, declining, dying and closing their doors? As a follower of Jesus Christ, I hate to hear about a church that use to reach its community with the gospel dwindling down to nothing.  Some of these churches are down to just a handful of people and have to cease functioning as an extension of Jesus Christ. Maybe that is the problem that the churches stopped functioning as an extension of Jesus Christ ministry which He began when He was on earth doing evangelism.

The other day my son found a Christian church about 5 minutes from his home that is for sale. I thought it was funny that the community has not gone low income, maybe a little middle income. Also just around the corner from his home is a subdivision of “Mac Mansions”, homes in the 700,000 price range and this church is for sale. What could have gone wrong?

I have discovered since I have been in ministry for the last 18 years that when a church, when believers stop reaching out with the gospel of Jesus Christ they will eventually die out. (Victor’s quote). A church’s mission is to evangelize the community it is “planted in.” Then it is to seek to grow by putting out a root system into the lives of the people around its church with the gospel seed. When the church plants the gospel seed the church will see a harvest. Sounds too easy? Will that is exactly what Jesus came to teach His followers and then He showed them by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Unless a seed dies, it cannot reproduce. It must be planted in the ground in order to see a harvest.

According to the 2007 Annual Church Profile/ACP put out by Southern Baptist Convention, their baptisms were down for a third year.  Although the SBC added 473 new churches and gave more than $1.3 billion to support mission activities around the world, there’s no escaping the disappointing fact that Southern Baptists are not reaching as many people for Christ as they once did. The numbers show that baptisms were down again 5.5 percent, 345,941, compared to 364,826 in 2006. (Lifeway. com)

Their goal for the last three years and soundly promoted and sounded by the denomination has been to see one milion baptisms in a year. Praise God for godly leaders who accept God’s call to lead a denomination to return to its roots of evangelism and making disciples of Christ. If Jesus came back today, would He scoll us for forgetting out first love? I think He would. We seem to talk about everything else except the One who loved us unconditionally.  

According to Lifeway Christian Research findings “Unchurched adults interested in finding a congregation aren’t nearly as likely to visit one in person as a church member who is shopping for a new congregation. That means effective evangelism must begin outside the sanctuary in relationships between Christians and unbelievers.” 

 Jesus commanded us to go and tell. Churches all over the country for years have had an attitude that the go and tell approach did not work as well, some even alluded to that it was counter productive. Jesus never makes mistakes. He is God and we are not. I guess it all boils to just plain obedience. We just need to go and do it.

In my book Breaking the Evangelism Code, I deal with methods of evangelism, approaches that I have used since  the days of being discipled to witness. The very approaches that some believers mocked because they were used to see hundreds of people come to faith in Jesus, I discuss in my book. 

The book Breaking the Evangelism Code reveals that evangelism is not in some type of code that we must first decode and solve before we can go tell someone about Jesus Christ. We just need to read the Bible, believe what it says and then go do it. Imagine that, believing the Bible like a child and just obeying our heavenly Father’s words.

Could it be that the church today is in the state it is in, decline, and dying because of a simple thing like obedience. We do not need any more evangelism tools, methods or strategies, we have enough to go and tell  the entire world about Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I have written my own witnessing approach that I hope to get out soon. We just need to pick one, two for three and then just go and tell.

Will you have resistance to the gospel? Sure you will, I have been reading through the book of Acts and then are many instances where the discisples were met with resistance. LIike said in my book, Breaking the Evangelism Code, the main thing is that they did not quit proclaiming the Good News. The problem with today’s church is we encounter some elderly lady or some young business who resists us and we tuck our tail between our legs and we want to go home and quit. I praise God that Jesus did not quit half way up Calvary’s hill and go home. I am glad that He went all the way to the cross and then rose from the dead.

Let’s follow in Jesus’ footsteps and let’s go all the way and go and tell as many people as we can about Jesus. That is how we can impact our community, our city, and our country and the world with the gospel. let’s stop the hymerging, the declining and dying churches. We can turn it around in Jesus name! Amen!  

To order a copy of the “Breaking the Evangelism Code” email Dr. Victor Benavides at evangeman@comcast.net. $25.00 plus Shipping and Handling.

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