Note to all my non Southern Baptist readers: please don’t let all the big words in the first sentence keep you from reading further.
Three weeks ago I spent my days at an Intentionally Evangelistic Church Strategy seminar sponsored my local Baptist Association. In it, we focused on the need for our churches to be more intentionally evangelistic. In other words, we need to learn to make whatever we do as a church be focused on sharing the message of the gospel.
This seminar obviously got me thinking about my own witnessing habits and the effectiveness of my own ministry. I used to make this comment somewhat regularly:
“I always hear about all these churches that don’t baptize anybody and I can’t even imagine that. I’ve been in ministry since 1997, in nothing but small churches, and I’ve never gone a year without someone in my youth ministry being saved.”
It’s true. I have never gone a calendar year without anyone in my youth group getting saved.
So what brought about this post. No one in my youth group has come to Christ since July 2007. I have been blessed to lead two people through the sinner’s prayer in that same period, and I am thankful to God for that privilege. However, I consider it my main calling to work toward the spiritual growth of the students in my youth ministry. (There are some students who do not know Jesus there.) You can see why this is troubling for me.
I do share the gospel regularly, I do pray regularly for my students, and I understand that being faithful with the gospel is not equal to leading others to Christ. As they say we have to love fishing, not catching. I have this fear that students (not necessarily the ones in my ministry) do not think that being a believer matters, that, since it doesn’t affect the behavior of their [Christian?] friends, it’s not important to live differently from unbelievers. Therefore the message is compromised if not completely undercut. I do know this, the best thing that ever happened to me was asking Jesus to save me from my sins and be my Lord.
I’m not really sure why I wrote this post, maybe it should be a prayer request, maybe it is just me venting, or maybe it is time for some serious questioning the of way I do things. Sometimes I post things that I should probably keep to myself.