9 Reasons Christians Don't Evangelize

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In the Ministry Today magazine, they recently had an article entitled 9 Reasons Christians Don't Evangelize. Here are 3 of the 9 reasons the author listed:

  1. We have few evangelistic role models.
  2. Some churches have provided no evangelism training.
  3. Pastors aren't taking the lead in evangelism

The above reasons are a good description of the evangelistic duties listed for a pastor in the CRC. The Manual of the CRC Government (article 12-a) shares that one of the duties of pastors of congregations is: Engaging in and Promoting Evangelism. It states: Both the pastor and elders are called to participate in and promote evangelism, giving leadership as well as setting a zealous example for the congregation in the promotion of this work.

The Go and Tell evangelism seminar is one way to equip the pastors and elders to engage in and promote evangelism with their congregation and helps them to set a zealous example for their congregation. Go and Tell is a three hour seminar and is an easy and practical way to equip you to become a fisher of men (Matthew 4:19) based on the Heidelberg Catechism. The Go and Tell evangelism seminar is a free online seminar and includes videos, audio, booklet, and additional free resources.

Here is a "Go and Tell" testimonial from Steven Van Zanen (Christian Reformed World Missions): "Many are concerned about the future of Christianity in America, and with good reason. The most important cure for what ails the Church is a renewed appreciation for the heart of the Gospel message and the ability to communicate that to others. The kind of training in evangelism offered by Go and Tell will not only enable people to effectively witness to Jesus Christ, it will deepen the faith of those trained and encourage them in their walk of faith."

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This is good, evangelism one of our biggest roles as church leaders, and frankly, something we're not very good at.  Thanks for the nudge. 

Exactly what is the purpose of evangelism in Reformed theology? To invite the elect/possibly regenerate into the fellowship of the earthly Church or to convince strangers to "invite Jesus into their hearts" (or whatever) so that God can regenerate them?

Doesn't regeneration proceed conversion? We respond because the Holt Spirit has regenerated us? Many Reformed pastors and members seem to be contaminated with dispensational theology. Reformed practice began in Reformed communities where infant baptism welcomed them into the Church.

There's obviously better places to find an answer than my answering in a comment section.

But I think at the very least as a short answer evangelism done for the purpose of obeying and honoring God. Gospel proclamation is commanded. In Reformed theology the end result is out of our hands, but the act of proclaiming the gospel is something that we should do regardless of the perceived outcome. I think the Reformed distinction between the visible and invisible church places this task at a more central role than in a dispensational atmosphere.  It is at the very least one of three marks of a church in the Belgic confession. (which I hope is fairly uncontaminated by dispensational theology) 

 

The purpose of evangelism in Reformed theology is the same as the reason in other branches of Protestantism -- 1) to be obedient to the Great Commission, and 2) because God has set it up so that the preaching/teaching/sharing/what-have-you of the word precedes regeneration.  See Rom. 10:14-15.  Also see Canons of Dort, "First main point", Article 3: "In order that people may be brought to faith, God mercifully sends messengers of this very joyful message to the people and at the time he wills. By this ministry people are called to repentance and faith...".  Even if one limits this to those who were not baptized as infants, it is still a massive call: go, make disciples, and baptize.  We must be looking everywhere, including outside our church walls, to find the elect, since God hasn't told us who they are.

Exactly! Logically, we don't evangelize so that people can be saved (can become regenerate) but to welcome the regenerate into the many benefits of the Church in this world. For years I heard sermons about my neighbors all going to Hell if I didn't pester them about "inviting Jesus into their hearts." One preacher said that we (I) would have to push our neighbors over the edge into Hell if I neglected to "evangelize" them.

I am already to discuss the matter if the topic arises but I hate to pester people. If they come to my door . . . .

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