Recently I received a text from a friend who is a seminary professor. I have known him for several years. I can say that he has always had a heart for evangelism but with a focus to reach lost people. His text was very encouraging. I have had numerous conversations with professors of evangelism over the years about the wave of students entering our seminaries over the last 5 years. It seems they feel that evangelism and specifically mehtods of evangelism do not work.

On several mission trips I that I have worked with seminary students I heard some of the students make statements like, “I just don’t know if this (evangelism approach or method) is going to work,” “I did not want to come on this urban mission trip because I just don’t thin it will work.” “Most of my friends in ministry do not think evangelism works anymore.” When I asked what did work they couldn’t give me an answer.

Statements like the above give you insight into what people think or if they have had any evangelism training through the church they came from or the staff they were under.

Here are some hard facts that one of our seminaries reported:

1. Almost none of the incoming students from the U.S.A.have had evangelism training 

2. Incoming Koreans have had evangelism training.

3. Students (except Koreans) have had no models of evangelism from pastor, staff, or lay leaders

No wonder our churches are declining and dying. It is estimated that thousands of church plants that were started over the last 10 tens had a short life span and died out. Note, of the 16,000 SBC church plants that were planted in the last ten years, of that number an estimated 3,000 were in existence at the time of an internal survey conducted by staff.

So if we continue on the same path, that is recruiting church planter who have no passion for lost souls, and are not evangelistic at their core, then we will continue to see church plants have a short life span. There is a principle, I recently saw play out. “If you keep doing the same thing over and over, keep using the same process, and if you do not make necessary changes, you will continue to get the same results.

I know sevreal of our professors of evangelism in our SBC seminaries. I have met with them and heard their burden for training students how to share Christ. I have heard their passion for equipping students, that they would develop a heart for reaching our lost nation and nations. I have been on the streets and in the communities with them witnessing in hard communities across our country. These men have a heart for God and are sold out for Jesus. These men get it!

One seminary professor reported some great numbers through their evangelism classes last year, 227 professions of faith by students through practicums. I am grateful that I was instrumental in helping three seimnaries mobilize students into the urban mission fields for the last three years. The school I am referring to was one of the schools that has made a major emphasis and a much needed one in equipping students live out evangelism.  We saw many students personally experience that evangelism still works as they won several people to the Lord in one week.

The Lord laid upon my heart in 2006 to write a book “Breaking the Evangelism Code” based upon my experiences with urban evangelism and leading a mission team into the urban centers across our nation. We have seen over 22,000 recorded professions of faith in Jesus. We also saw many baptized in places like Binghamton, New York, and West Los Angeles, CA.

What I am saying? What we need is a movement of believers to become intentional in sharing Christ. By intentional I mean starting a conversation with a total stranger and inquiring if he or she knows that they are going to heaven or what do they know or believe about Jesus Christ. This is what refer to as engaging a lost person with the gospel. Then you transition into your testimony or a presentation. I say use whatever method, find one or two and use them.

  Image  “Breaking the Evangelism Code” (go to www.m28evangelism.com)  gives insight to the process and strategy working with churches to strengthen and equip them to be evangelistic, pray for the lost, develop a presence in the community and follow-up or connect with new believers. I wrote Breaking the Evangelism Code because I was tried of people saying in meetings that evangelism did not work anymore.

Can I make a definitive statement? Evangelism does not work because you have to work it. Evangelism is hard work. Here is a thought, how much work did Jesus exert to pay for your sins? He gave until the point of death. But praise God Jesus did not stay in the grave He rose!

Evangelism is hard work. Join Jesus and go work your mission field. Learn how to share your faith. You can go to our new website,WWW.m28evangelism.com, which by the way still being updated, and schedule training in how to share Jesus Christ, connecting with your community through prayerwalking, and connecting with new believers (go to www.simplediscipleship.com. We have not lost our first love, Jesus. We hope you have not lost yours.

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