Thursday, October 5, 2017
One Big Mistake Churches are Making
Unfortunately, most churches today aren’t on the soul-winning program Jesus and the Apostle Paul were on, which involved taking the Gospel to every town and village. Soul-winning efforts are often limited to a church’s own city or zip code. Churches send missionaries overseas to the uttermost parts of the earth, but what about reaching their Judea and Samaria?
The typical Baptist church is supporting foreign missionaries and maybe even a church plant in a distant city, but who is going to reach the people who live within a few hours of the church? There are tiny towns all across America where there isn’t one Baptist church in the entire town, or if there is, it’s a dead-as-a-doornail church that doesn’t knock doors.
FWBC’s Small Town Soul-Winning Program
People in big cities are more likely to have had their door knocked by a soul winner at some point than someone who is living in a one-horse town. Here at Faithful Word Baptist Church, we are taking responsibility for every small town and Indian reservation in the state of Arizona. It would be great if other churches in our area did the same thing, but I just don’t think it is happening. An elderly man living on a remote Indian reservation recently told me that it has been 15-20 years since a Christian has knocked on his door, but that the JWs and Mormons come by on a regular basis.
Of course, we concentrate on our own local area, which is our first responsibility. Local soul-winning is important for church growth, but we also need to reach people in places that aren’t getting their doors knocked at all by anyone other than false prophets. When we go soul-winning here in Tempe, Arizona, there is a much better chance that those people will show up to our church, but soul-winning is about getting people saved, even if they will never come to church.
Do You Live in a Small Town?
If you live in a small town that doesn’t have a soul winning church you probably have a decent church within driving distance, and I hope you have the character to make the drive. It's even better if you show up to one of your church’s soul winning times, but most likely that church you are commuting to will never reach your neighborhood. Just because people in your town may not understand why you drive so far to church doesn’t mean you should let them all die and go to Hell. Do some soul winning of in your own area, perhaps with a friend who lives near you.
When you knock doors in an area that is kind of far from the church you are representing, go ahead and hand them the church invitation as an icebreaker, but maybe don’t focus so much on inviting them to church. Most of the time they won’t fixate on the location if you just name the church and don’t mention the city. If they do notice and balk at the location, you can say something like, “I know it’s far, but to us, it’s worth the drive..." "Hey listen, more important than church, do you know for sure if you died today that you would go to Heaven?”
Does your Church Reach Small Towns?
I challenge Christians everywhere to get a burden for small towns. When you reach out to people who will probably never do anything for you, you are demonstrating true biblical charity. Perhaps you can show up to one of our soul-winning marathons, or maybe you can help your church organize its own small town soul-winning event.
Here is a sermon to go with this article.