Thursday, July 15, 2010

Evangelism Myth #6: More = Better

One of the things that comes up when looking at the Evangelism/Outreach schools of thought is the normally unstated assumption that more people is always better. "Well Pastor Brown," one might say, "Of course MORE people is better - isn't that the whole point of Evangelism and Outreach, to bring in MORE people?"

Yes, while the goals of Evangelism is to bring Christ to more people (note - not more people to Christ, that's the Holy Spirit's job), the simple fact that more people show up to something doesn't mean that it is good.

Partially this is because we forget that in the Scriptures good preaching will often drive people away. Read John 6. Read John 8. Remember, most people want to kill Jesus (and don't try this, "Oh, most people liked Him" stuff. . . really? Then why were the people so willing to stone Stephen and look upon Saul with approval for ordering it?) Paul preaches - and how often does he get reject, hounded out of town, and then finally killed?

"Growth" or "Everyone liked it" isn't the biblical sign of quality. Nor is it the sign of quality in this world. Consider food. Lots of people eat at McDonald's. It's the most popular restaurant we have. Would anyone say that this means that McDonald's is the best food in America? The healthiest? Is it even the best fast food, or the best hamburger? No. It's just the most popular.

This is the thing - we aren't simply to be concerned with getting people in the doors and doing whatever we have to in order to make them stay. We are to be concerned with preaching Christ - and you know what - sometimes that means people don't come. Sometimes it means people revile you. Sometimes it means your family and friends lambaste you for your "backwards" beliefs.

But this isn't bad. "Success" isn't a fruit of the Spirit. Faith is. Let us consider being faithful being more important than being successful. Then let God tend to the results of His Word that we simply proclaim.


Rev. Josh Sullivan said...

I love John 6 when Jesus asks the Twelve, "Do you want to go as well?" Isn't in great that Jesus doesn't run after all those people, saying, "Okay I can tone down this eating of my flesh and drinking of my blood stuff!" Jesus would be kicked out of Fuller Seminary today.

I might have missed it, but have you done an evangelism myth that talks about the doctrine of election and how that comes to bear on the task at hand?

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I haven't done one directly - but Myth 5 - We Can Save Everyone

sort of touches on it.