FORT MYERS, Fla. (BP)–What is the main business of the church? It’s to be a witness for Jesus Christ.
Southern Baptists’ own recent baptismal statistics show that we only increased 2.2 percent over the previous year. Our ranks are swollen with those who are unable to articulate their salvation testimony. This is the result of walking by sight, not by faith. It’s time to return the church to her rightful owner.
What the Lord said of the church at Sardis is unfortunately true for the majority of our churches: They have a reputation for being alive but are actually dead.
What can we do to turn this around? We have to be completely and totally dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We have to start by offering prayers of repentance for our own sinfulness of silence, our own unwillingness to reach out into our local communities and to the world.
I often do “Share Jesus Without Fear” seminars in churches. My own experience is that when I deal first in the morning services with the sin of silence, we get a tremendous amount of repentance. When I ask the question — how many of you have shared your faith in the last year? — it’s never been over 5 percent. There’s a lot of repenting that needs to take place, and by the grace of God, it does. When an average of 70 percent of the adults come back to the seminar that afternoon, they are taught a highly interactive seminar and given a simple assignment: They have to go out, share their faith, and report back to the church. The average response: not less than 30 percent and as high as 100 percent will go share their faith that week. What is so exciting is that we get back to being the church we are called to be. That following Sunday, oftentimes testimonies are given of people coming to Christ. New believers are introduced.
It’s time to go back and become a New Testament church. Have you ever thought that miracles have stopped? We just don’t see miracles because we don’t share our faith. If you don’t believe God can save somebody, why would you believe He could heal somebody?
Over the next several months, we will look at some very simple ways of how we can do that. Every one of these will be biblical, every one of these will be simple, and every one of these will be inexpensive.
Bill Fay is an evangelist and author of “Share Jesus without Fear.” To contact him, visit www.sharejesuswithoutfear.com.