Churches aren’t growing
Many “soul-winning” churches are not growing. One pastor in Colorado said his church won 200 souls to Christ each year. This continued for about 10 years. At the beginning of the 10 years the church was running about 200 on Sunday morning. At the end of the 10 years, the church was running about 200. Don’t you think something is wrong with this picture?
A friend from a great “soulwinning” church told me that his church averaged winning 50 people to the Lord every week. When I asked him if his church was growing, I knew it wasn’t, he told me that it was only our obligation to win souls, not to get them into
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Notice that there are three parts to this commission. The first is to teach all nations. What are we to teach them? We are to teach them that there is a holy God to Whom they will answer, and when they understand this, we are to teach them the Gospel. I will expound further on this later in this book.
The second part is baptizing them. Baptism is only for those who show credible evidence of salvation. We are not to baptize everyone, we only baptize those who are saved. At baptism, the saved person becomes a member of the church under whose authority he was baptized. This means that the second part of the commission is getting the saved into a church where they can grow.
The third part of the commission is teaching the saved to observe, that means keep or put into practice, all things that our Lord has taught us.
When we carry out all three parts of the Commission, our churches will grow, both numerically and spiritually. The problem in many of our churches is, they are so busy “winning souls,” they forget to grow Christians. The purpose of the church is to bring Christians to maturity.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:11-14)
When a church takes this seriously, soul-winning becomes a natural part of the lives of its members. This will cause good, solid growth, and will cause the community around the church to know there is something different happening in that church.
This growth may not be as rapid as that of those who use modern evangelistic methods, but it will be solid. I speak from experience because I took a church from an average attendance of 28 to an average attendance of over 70 using the principles I will give you in this book. When the new pastor came in, the church did not lose one member. The new pastor thanked me for leaving him a doctrinally sound church.
To be continued…