Lost or Cost?

Sometimes with our evangelism it feels like we are running in place. Honestly, that’s mostly, in my opinion, because we’ve been using the same methods with minor changes since the 1980s—40 years ago.

Why is that?

Not because we don’t know that there’s better methods. It’s not because we don’t know of any other methods. I can promise you it’s not because pastors don’t care about evangelism.

We do.

But we also see that we’re spending months getting ready, working hours with our members prepping them, and spending weeks preaching—all of which costs $20,000 in the Carolinas—with little to no results.

So why haven’t methods changed?

For the same reason that conferences are excited that tithe has gone up, while membership and attendance has gone down. “Oh! The faithful are becoming more faithful!” Last time I checked, Jesus didn’t come to win the faithful. He came to save them. The healthy (if any of us qualify for spiritual health) don’t need the doctor, Jesus said.

So why do we spend money on evangelistic series that aren’t innovative? Because it pleases the saints. Those already in the church like them. Doing new things upsets the current people in church. So we do nothing. We walk on evangelistic eggshells.

Can’t proclaim the undying and unqualified love of Jesus, because someone might get upset that we’re talking too much of His Love. We can’t change this or do that…

Because it might upset those already in the church (the money givers).

Maybe our church isn’t growing as fast as it used to because our focus has shifted off of showing and introducing Jesus to the lost, and onto keeping the saints we already have happy.

Maybe a church designed to please only itself will never reach outward.

I don’t think any of us signed up to keep those who already know Jesus happy—pastor or lay member.

Maybe a church designed to keep its self happy—a church who counts the cost and never the lost—can’t succeed.