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Brother Stafford

When your church forsakes soul-winning

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Hello all,

There is something that is weighing heavily upon my heart and I am uncertain about what I should do and the timing of the ideas that I do have.

I finally joined an IFB church in my city last April and have been attending every service steadily just recently.  I have been reading literature and watching/listening to online sermons about the importance of soul-winning and I have been deeply convicted that it is something that I absolutely must do, but I have never been soul-winning or even passed out Gospel tracts.

On my church's website, it says that they do "visitation" every Monday evening and that "soul-winning" is scheduled for Saturday mornings.  The fact that they had soul-winning on their schedule is one of the big reasons that I wanted to explore this church.  

I learned that, on Monday evenings, between 4 and five men choose a few streets and simply deliver a bifold flier that contains an invitation to the church first, information about the pastor second and then a short plan of salvation at the end.  Then they do a face-to-face visit with anyone who inquires by calling the church.

I have asked three deacons and the pastor if they ever do door-to-door, face-to-face soul-winning and they all have told me that that is something that they never do.  One of the deacons even told me that he thinks that kind of soul-winning is a bad idea, that it doesn't work and that he hates doing it anyway.  This absolutely shocked me seeing that it is an IFB church.

I got into a conversation with another man who has been a member there for about four years.  He said that, many years ago, he used to be on fire for soul-winning and would do it anywhere he possibly could and at every opportunity.  He faded away from the church for a while, but eventually returned, but has not been soul-winning since.  He said that he wished that our church did real soul-winning and that he doesn't understand why they don't.  He seems like the kind of man who might get excited about it with me and whom I might be able to talk into approaching church leadership about this issue.

As I said earlier, I am very new to the church and am not even, technically, a member yet (I will be joining within the next week or so).  I don't want to come across as the excited new troublemaking face, stirring things up.  I also hesitate because I have never been soul-winning and I have no Idea what I am talking about.  I also don't wish to come across as disrespectful to the pastor, church leaders or the church body.  (I am total that membership consists of about 70 people and that, at 43 years old, I am one of the youngest there; with the exception of a handful of children.)

Forgive me if this is a bit long winded, but I need advice from more seasoned brethren than I about how to deal with this.  I believe that God commands every one of us to go soul-winning.  I don't want to just find a different church who does go soul-winning because that seems to just leave the issue to someone else.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

(Romans 10:13-18) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. {14} How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? {15} And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! {16} But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? {17} So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. {18} But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."

Sincerely and respectfully,

Brother Stafford

Edited by Brother Stafford

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I am personally happy to see that you are really interested in door-to-door visiation and soul-winning efforts.

The scriptures plainly teach, "And the lord said unto the servant, God out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be full." Luke 14:23 

"And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." Acts 5:42

Our problem in this day and age is that we do not visit and soul-win enough.

It is commendable that the church that you are considering joining is an IFB church that does go out on active visitation efforts (at least with flyers). But, it seems that the actual soul-winning efforts has been curtailed through some people either abusing it, not liking the idea of soul-winning, or just plain scared.

I do not know the reason, but, I do know that if people look at reasons for not soul-winning there is a problem. "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." Ecclesiastes 11:4 If a Christian looks at the problems of soul-winning, the hindrances of soul-winning and observes the problems thereof, he will find an excuse for not soul-winning.

In your case, I am not sure what to advise. Take it slowly no matter what you do. If there was another IFB, King James believing, church that is actively out soul winning than I probably would go there for awhile and pray about the situation. It is hard to imagine a good IFB not actively out soul winning.

Keep us informed. We do hope that best for you and that God will lead you.

 

Edited by Alan
your to you (grammer)

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Thank you for your thoughts, Brother Alan.

19 minutes ago, Alan said:

If there was another IFB, King James believing, church that is actively out soul winning than I probably would go there for awhile and pray about the situation. 

 I was thinking about visiting the pastor of an IFB from a neighboring city that does soul-winning (and annual, week long, old fashioned tent revivals) and ask him if I could go with them to learn how to go soul-winning and for his advice as well.  I really don't want to leave my present church because of this issue.  I feel so strongly about this that it almost feels like God calling me to help Him wake this church up to soul-winning.  I don't presume to be anything special; I just want to be obedient to God's commands.

I think I would only leave if, after eventually discussing the issue for a period of time, that they absolutely refused to do it.  If a church, and its leadership, was being willfully disobedient to the word of God, then that would be my cue to find another church.

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While fliers are great getting the word out about a new church, its far too easy to toss "that garbage" off the door into the trash and not give it a second thought. 

On average only 1 in 1,000 flyers will get a person to visit your church while 1 in 100 friendly face to face invitations with that flyer will get a visitor. Also an average 1 in 10 people accepting Christ's salvation at the door will visit. The more personal the visit the more likely they will come back. The flyer visitor is less likely to come back and the personal salvation visitor is the most likely to join the church and become active.

The main reason actual door knocking is not done is because one has to endure 99 rejections to their personal invitation to get the one visitor to church and when giving the gospel at the door one has to endure 9 people declining to hear the gospel to get the one who will accept. Flyers on the door with no personal interaction gives the feeling of witnessing for Christ and eliminates the feeling of personal rejection but gets the least lasting results.

Its probably not that the church does not want to witness but they just need a jolt of encouragement of one or two who will commit to doing it. Once the initial nervousness at the start is overcome, it will be more comfortable to do. The key is to be prepared for what to say at the door visit and always default to it in a friendly manor.

1,000 flyers about the church = 1 visits (More will come if it is for community awareness of a new church or special activities that draw people to an event)
1,000 Personal invitations just to the church = 10 visits (best for building community relationships and getting people understand a special program the church may have like Bus, Addictions, financing, etc. that they may not get anywhere else.)
1,000 Gospel presentations, with an invitation to be baptized at the church the following Sunday = 100 visits (best for saving souls. More people will be saved then will visit. Some will already have a church or decide to go to a family or friends church.)


Praying for you and your church!

Edited by John Young

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4 hours ago, John Young said:

Also an average 1 in 10 people accepting Christ's salvation at the door will visit. The more personal the visit the more likely they will come back.

John Young,

I agree.

In the last month we had two men visit the church that we won to Christ while on visitation the previous month.

Most of our faithful members at our church came due to a personal visit at their home.

Alan

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Those who say soul winning doesn't work need to repent of their laziness and lack of faith. 

I have been going door to door for about 5 years and I am telling you I have been able to give out the Gospel by mouth uncountable times, and I have seen instances where professions of faith were made and where people came to church. It's a whole lot more effective than doing nothing...I wonder honestly how many professions of faith or visitors to church those are against door to door have actually had...

I put together a course on evangelism if you are interested I will send you the audio files if you message me.

I recommend:

1. Talk to the Pastor about it and express your burden and desire-If he doesn't change then I would strongly consider finding another church that does soul winning.

2. Try to find someone in the church and go out with them and knock doors with them and witness to people.

Edited by Jordan Kurecki

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Also another thought...it's not our responsibility if it works or "doesn't work". Our job is to preach the Gospel. Therefore if we can get people to just listen to the Gospel, or if we are at least attempting to give people the Gospel door to door...then we are doing what we are suppose to do.

God is probably more pleased with the person who gives the Gospel 1000 times and sees none saved than, than with the person who gives the Gospel ten times and sees one saved..

plus we have no idea of knowing if it's really working or not..but we do have a promise that Gods word will not return void, and of course you already mentioned Romans 10... 

"A sower went forth to sow...the seed is the word of God".

Seed takes time to grow... I imagine these people either A. Think sowing doesn't work because it doesn't yield immediate results or B. Are too lazy to sow the seed and want an excuse.

James 5:7-8 KJV
[7] Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. [8] Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Get out there and sow the seed my friend and God will bless.

 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki

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1 hour ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

Also another thought...it's not our responsibility if it works or "doesn't work". Our job is to preach the Gospel. Therefore if we can get people to just listen to the Gospel, or if we are at least attempting to give people the Gospel door to door...then we are doing what we are suppose to do.

I agree.  God is the one who gives the increase and we may never even get to see it ourselves.  It may be ten years down the line and at a different church in a different state.

(1 Corinthians 3:6-7) "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. {7} So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."

When someone says that verbally sharing the Gospel with people no longer works, it would seem that they are, probably unknowingly, saying that God's words has lost their power.

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Acts 20:20-21 KJV
[20] And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you , but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, [21] Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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4 hours ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

Those who say soul winning doesn't work need to repent of their laziness and lack of faith. 

I wonder honestly how many professions of faith or visitors to church those are against door to door have actually had...

1. Maybe, maybe not. Try not to paint with such a broad brush.

2. None, most likely. That's why they're discouraged.
 

11 hours ago, John Young said:

The main reason actual door knocking is not done is because one has to endure 99 rejections to their personal invitation to get the one visitor to church and when giving the gospel at the door one has to endure 9 people declining to hear the gospel to get the one who will accept.

You have one in 10 people who hear the gospel accept?! I've heard of maybe 1... or 2 people accepting at the door.

 

Brother Stafford, why don't you and the other fellow who would like to go set a time and start going? I doubt your pastor would be against it.  It can be unofficial or you could set a time on the church calendar - even if it ends up being just the two of you. And as they see your excitement (and hopefully results), eventually others may be interested. Just don't try to make a thing of it or force others to participate. People forced to participate in 'soul-winning' aren't going to be any use anyways, and not everyone is called to service in the exact same way.

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For may years after I became the pastor where I am surving, we did door-to-door, face-to-face witnessing and soulwinning. From time to time we had 'decisions' made, but the bottom line was, we never saw anything happen. No one ever came to the church to learn, no one wanted Bible studies, zero-zip-nada. That is why I stopped here.

Now, there is a little more to the story here: first we live in an extremely small community. I mean, seriously, we could hit every house in the area in maybe three to four weeks before we began to repeat. You can't go back to every house every month to two months-people get tired of you really quick. There are a lot of people who have been here for many years and have already decided whther they will be saved or go to church or not-and with only three churches to choose from locally, and a few more many miles away, there isn't much choice. In a smaller town like this you have to be creative. everyone knows we're here, many have heard me in some shape or another.

We also held two tent revivals-the first we might have had 35 people, the second, no one outside of our own church came. We held the meeting in what could be considerd the middle of town-accross the parking lot from the post office, the one place everyone goes to daily. yet many people told me they never as much as noticed the huge tent sticking out like a sore thumb. Now we no longer have access to the tent so we can't do it anymore anyways.

It is about time to hit some doors again as its been a while, but there is no one way to do it-the area, the size, the type of people, (we are very agricultural here), all need to be considered when deciding on how to reach them.

I am working on a creation vs evolution meeting that I hope might bring some more in when I do it, another method to reach and to give the gospel.

 

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I think I'm going to play hookey from my church tonight and visit that church in the neighboring city to speak with the pastor there.  

2 hours ago, Salyan said:

Brother Stafford, why don't you and the other fellow who would like to go set a time and start going? I doubt your pastor would be against it.  It can be unofficial or you could set a time on the church calendar - even if it ends up being just the two of you. And as they see your excitement (and hopefully results), eventually others may be interested. Just don't try to make a thing of it or force others to participate. People forced to participate in 'soul-winning' aren't going to be any use anyways, and not everyone is called to service in the exact same way.

In order for me to stay in this church, the leadership has to be more than just "not against it;" they need to be enthusiastically for it.  If the leadership of my church, after making my case for soul-winning, does not have a change of heart and be for, not only the membership, but for leadership doing it themselves, then that would be a sign of blatant disobedience of the word of God and I would not feel confident in receiving instruction from such leadership.

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Maybe you should try to figure out why they don't before you blast them like this.

There may be good reason not to - like maybe the pastor wanted to but was worn out by having to constantly push just to get some interest, and eventually gave up out of frustration?

Talk to the pastor about it - you may be the encouragement he needs to start again. 

 

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2 hours ago, DaveW said:

Maybe you should try to figure out why they don't before you blast them like this.

There may be good reason not to - like maybe the pastor wanted to but was worn out by having to constantly push just to get some interest, and eventually gave up out of frustration?

Talk to the pastor about it - you may be the encouragement he needs to start again. 

 

My apologies if I came across as unkind or "blasting" toward my church or its leadership; that was not my intention.  Sometimes the written word betrays our emotional intentions.

As I stated in my original post, I have spoken briefly with my pastor and two of the deacons and all three of them show absolutely no interest in soul-winning whatsoever and that one of the deacons says it's a bad idea.  Another deacon said that he's too old to even pass out the fliers.  When I was invited to pass out the fliers with them, I asked them if they ever "knocked on doors," and they all said no.  I asked each of them if they would be open to the idea of "door knocking soul-winning" and they all said no.  I asked the pastor if they ever used to go soul-winning, and he said that they have not gone in the fifteen years since he has pastored the church.  The deacon who said that he was too old to go has been a member since the church was built in 1956 and they the church has never done door knocking soul-winning since it was built.

I called the church in the neighboring city earlier this evening and the pastor was rather brash, disinterested and sounded a but drunk.  He told me that they no longer do soul-winning.

Edited by Brother Stafford
Grammar

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6 hours ago, Brother Stafford said:

I think I'm going to play hookey from my church tonight and visit that church in the neighboring city to speak with the pastor there.  

In order for me to stay in this church, the leadership has to be more than just "not against it;" they need to be enthusiastically for it.  If the leadership of my church, after making my case for soul-winning, does not have a change of heart and be for, not only the membership, but for leadership doing it themselves, then that would be a sign of blatant disobedience of the word of God and I would not feel confident in receiving instruction from such leadership.

I agree with this.

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12 hours ago, Salyan said:

You have one in 10 people who hear the gospel accept?! I've heard of maybe 1... or 2 people accepting at the door.

On average one in ten will accept the opportunity to hear the gospel. So for every ten people you offer to present the gospel to, one is willing to listen. Some try to give the gospel even when they are not willing and that turns some people off. But the fact that you offered and then kindly leave them with a one verse gospel if they decline will go a long way in helping for future contacts.

The stats I gave is what I've experienced over the years for if someone just went out and did the work somewhat impartially but personal experience can vary depending on the location and attitude of the worker. Particularly if the worker works at being sociable and someone people would enjoy talking to and being friends with.

Edited by John Young

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As for me and my local church, visitation means that members go out and visit recent visitors, new converts that have not been baptized and the parents of children that attend our academy for example.  Soul-Winning is for Saturday when Pastor feeds the congregation a hearty southern breakfast and then in an organized and structured way the members go out and proclaim the good news door to door.  My pastor hates going door to door and even prays for nobody to be home!  But he does it because he loves the Lord and God commands it and because he's a terrific soul-winner.  He's the shepherd of our flock and he leads by example.

If you were lead by the Spirit to this church, then the Holy Ghost has placed you there because of your special gifts.  You might just be the match that'll convict the hearts of your pastor and deacons to get them on fire for winning the lost for Christ again.  By all means get with that other fella and do it on your own; get the preacher's blessing of course.

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10 hours ago, Brother Stafford said:

and sounded a but drunk.  .

My father-in-law sounded a bit drunk (slightly slurred speech) for 20 years. Hmmmn, could be a result of the stroke that he had at that time.

He also sounded rough to borderline rude. Hmmmn, like a full blooded man of German descent who spent 20 years in the USMC.

It's not just the written text that can be emotionally misleading, the phone can too.

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9 hours ago, swathdiver said:

As for me and my local church, visitation means that members go out and visit recent visitors, new converts that have not been baptized and the parents of children that attend our academy for example.  Soul-Winning is for Saturday when Pastor feeds the congregation a hearty southern breakfast and then in an organized and structured way the members go out and proclaim the good news door to door.  My pastor hates going door to door and even prays for nobody to be home!  But he does it because he loves the Lord and God commands it and because he's a terrific soul-winner.  He's the shepherd of our flock and he leads by example.

If you were lead by the Spirit to this church, then the Holy Ghost has placed you there because of your special gifts.  You might just be the match that'll convict the hearts of your pastor and deacons to get them on fire for winning the lost for Christ again.  By all means get with that other fella and do it on your own; get the preacher's blessing of course.

You don't need the preachers blessing to do what the Bible already commands you to do

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That's right and my suggestion was made so as not to create any contention between this new member and his pastor.  For if he forbade it for some reason and he wasn't led by the Holy Spirit to another local church, to continue on his own, with his own material (if he uses any) and not the churches flyers (if they have any).

When I'm out and about I stick Chick Tracks in the gas pump handles and anywhere else I think they'll be seen and read.  We also have a stack of $1,000,000 bills with the gospel on them that the kids love to hand out and we leave them with the real cash tips at the restaurant.  Also have some Good Person tracts too but when soul-winning on Saturday, my family uses the church tracts as it has a direct invite from our pastor on it.  They work too as Sunday morning after soul-winning Saturday usually brings a dozen or more fresh faces into the pews to hear the Good News from our pastor. Or maybe it was our pretty ladies in their classy dresses and heavenly smiles?  Either way, they got a biblical presentation of the Gospel and the seed planted for the Holy Ghost to wrought his work.

Edited by swathdiver

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Brother Stafford, Chick Tract has a safe and friendly soul winning program that may interest your church as well. It may be less intimidating for those nervous about cold calling with the gospel. It involves having two people going to a house near the church, giving them cartoon tract and stating that they care about their church neighbors and would like to get to know them and will be back next week with another tract. Over about five more weeks or so they will return each week with another cartoon tract and as they are led can give the gospel and encourage the person to attend the church as well. The same two would do this with at least 10 homes at a time and only return as long as the home is receptive. I have not used this method but it seems to be a good way to meet those in the neighborhood and one day we might try it at our church as a special effort to encourage our members.

http://www.chick.com/OSC/osc_howto.asp

 

Practical Tips —Operation Somebody Cares

Go to Operation Somebody Cares home page

osc_logo.jpgMany people don’t trust Christ the first time they hear the Gospel.  It often takes hearing it over and over.  The families in your community are no different.  But we must not view them as “targets,” for us to attack like we are on a mission.  To reach the people around your church, you must convince them that you actually care about them.  The only way to do this is through repeated visits, that don’t put anyone under pressure.  You are just there to serve.  In this easy little program, you are going to deliver six gospel tracts with different approaches, on six different visits to the same homes.

This simple program can motivate your people into evangelizing.  Most churches just don’t do it.  You can begin to win your own community, and the people around your church, if you are willing to be consistent for just a short time.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Get teams of volunteers in your church.
    One team, two teams, it’s up to you.  But they should go two by two.  One person gives the tract, the other prays for the person receiving it, and record the house and name (if the person offers it).

  2. Get a map (Google maps can help you).
    Choose 50 homes near your church.  Map out the streets and assign them to teams.  Assign 10 homes to each team.

  3. Get permission to display the map at church.
    Show your church your progress through the neighborhood, with a headline over the top of it that says “People Matter.”  Maybe more of your church will join in when they see how easy it is.

  4. Meet at the church and pray before you start.
    Pray that people will receive the tracts, that the message will touch a responsive chord, and that they will begin to understand they are more than a number or address...you care about them and their problems. 

  5. Visit each house, once a week, and deliver the tract with a smile.
    Introduce yourself: “Hi, I’m __________ from ___________ church and we just want to drop off this little cartoon.  We hope you enjoy it.  We’ll drop off another one next week.”  If they aren’t home, insert the tract in the crack of the door jamb just above the latch.  Don’t press anyone.  If they don’t want the tract, don’t push.  Just cross that house off your list.  Go to another house.  You are looking for people who are receptive.
     
    1. Be well dressed, but casual.  No suits.  Don’t look like a JW or Mormon.

    2. If there is a sign that says “No soliciting,” don’t make waves.  Go to the next house.

    3. Teams should be one man and one woman.  That is less threatening.

    4. After you knock at the door, stand an arm’s length back.  Hold out the tract with a smile.  This is less threatening.  People want their space.

    5. Don’t go into the house.  Keep it simple, stay on the porch.  If they ask for prayer, do it right then on the porch.  There is safety in this.



    6.  
    7.  
  6. Tell them you will be back!
    Let them know you will be back with another one that they will enjoy.  Then they know what to expect.

  7. Return to meet at the church to share how it went.
    Pray over homes where you saw problems.  The whole thing shouldn’t take even an hour.

    Each succeeding week, deliver a different tract to the same homes.  Maybe start with a soft approach like Love Story or maybe even one of the cute children’s tracts like Charlie’s Ants. Then follow next time with something a little more pointed such as Creator or Liar or Somebody Goofed.

    By that point, you probably would have some feedback from the person about their spiritual background and present state. Tracts could then be chosen to address their need. This Was Your Life should definitely be included at some point.

  8. IMPORTANT:  the tracts need to be delivered by the same two people.
      Folks need to begin to recognize you.  They will see that you care.survey_card_tn.gif

  9. Week 4 - Give survey card
    By this time, they realize you are coming regularly for them.  Give them the survey card and ask, “May I give you this survey card?  We would like to know how your family likes the little books.  We would appreciate it if we could pick them up from you on the next visit or two.  We want to hear from you.”

  10. Deliver six different tracts to each home.
    Try to pick up the survey card if they will give it to you.  On the last visit, ask if there is anything you can pray for.  Give them your church’s brochure and invite them to visit you.

Some of the people you will meet will already be believers.  Be sure to take a moment right there and pray for them and their needs. Then go on to the next house.  But make sure everyone, including these people, get a church invitation.  Sometimes folks are really “between” churches, and they just won’t tell you.

Remember, NO PRESSURE.  People are fed up.  They don’t think anyone really cares.  Show them you are different.  The gospel message in the tracts will convict them of sin.  That’s not your job.  You are not there to win an argument, you are there to care for souls.  Your repeated visits will show them that they are important to you.

BENEFITS

  1. These people will get to know your church as a group of friendly people... a “safe” place.

  2. You will know you have obeyed the Lord and given them the gospel.

  3. People will be more likely to visit your church later, because they “know” someone there.
    1. Be sure to say “hi” to them when they come.  They need to see your face again.

That was easy, wasn’t it?  Now get ready for the next 50 houses.

Things to remember:

  1. You’re in Satan’s territory.  Don’t be surprised about rejection.  They are rejecting Jesus, not you.

  2. Each family is different.  They are going through different messes: fear, sickness, prison, family problems, financial problems, drug problems, etc.  People are uncertain and scared.

  3. By the 4th visit, they will get to know you.  It’s okay to ask them if you can pray for them for any need.

  4. Pray for God’s full armor.  This is a spiritual war.  Satan will try to discourage you.
Edited by John Young

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I've been thinking about this, and I'd like to throw something out there for you to think about, Brother Stafford, if you don't mind. I don't know if God wants you at this church or somewhere else, but supposing He does want you here... I'm sensing a good deal of disdain and 'how dare they not be soul-winning' coming from your posts. It's very possible that some in the church (not all) should be door-knocking, and are either lacking faith, or discouraged - or just never seriously considered it (since the church has apparently never done this)! Perhaps God wants you there to come alongside and encourage them in that ministry. If so, be an encouragement. Be an encourager - and that means not beating them over the head with 'why aren't you doing this' and 'how dare you not' and 'everyone needs to'. Be gentle with them, and don't expect too much of them before God has a chance to work it. After all, it's Him that works in us both to do and even to want to do His Will. And remember, please, that God calls people to different ministries. I can sense this particular outreach is incredibly important to you - and that's great! Just remember that not everyone will serve or evangelize in the exact same way. 'Diversities of operations' and all that. ;-)

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4 hours ago, Salyan said:

I'm sensing a good deal of disdain and 'how dare they not be soul-winning' coming from your posts... Be an encourager - and that means not beating them over the head with 'why aren't you doing this' and 'how dare you not' and 'everyone needs to'. 

Saylan, 

Please accept my apologies if I came across disdainfully in my posts.  In no way did I mean to imply that the church leadership or membership is not worthy of my respect, or to come across as holier than thou.  I have merely come asking questions about this issue that seems to contradict Scripture as I understand it and what others might think of the situation.

Thank you for your thoughts.

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