Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
Last week I read a book entitled, “The Gospel Conversational Church: Cultivating a Culture of Engaging in Gospel Conversations” by Sam Greer. I like the thought of Burlington Baptist being a Gospel Conversational Church (means we are regularly talking about the gospel in our daily activities). Sharing the gospel is part of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). Barna Group did some research in 2019 and found that 51% of U.S. churchgoers said they do not know what the Great Commission is. 25% said that the Great Commission “rings a bell” while only 17% knew exactly what the Great Commission is.
One of the most interesting pieces of information I found in the book came from research from the North American Mission Board and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary that suggest that “one out of every ten gospel conversations result in a lost person being saved.” If we had a baptismal goal of 50 (basically one a week), it would take approximately 500 gospel conversations. If we were all intentional about having a gospel conversation with our “one” then we could easily have 500 gospel conversations a year. If we train and equip 250 to share the gospel, you wouldn’t think it would be hard to have 10 gospel conversations each week (which would likely yield around 50 baptisms a year).
As your pastor, I would personally like to have more gospel conversations each week. Again, I’ve struggled finding opportunities to interact with lost people. I try to interact with people who come to our monthly food distribution. I hope to be able to interact with people who participate in Upward basketball this fall. I try to interact with waiters or waitresses when I go out to eat. However, I have not found many other opportunities to engage lost people with the gospel. If you would have suggestions for me, please let me know. I have thought about taking my laptop and going to a coffee shop and working on sermons and also looking for opportunities to talk about Jesus. I’ve thought about inquiring about being a chaplain for the fire or police department. I realize the necessity of finding ways to connect with people outside the church. What have you found helpful???
Let me share some statistics I found in the book.
- 96% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited (only 2% of the churched ever invited the unchurched to church).
- 95% of all Christians have never won anyone to Christ.
- 80% of all Christians do not consistently witness for Christ.
- Less than 2% are involved in the ministry of evangelism.
- 71% do not give toward the financing of the Great commission.
- In 1993, 89% of Christians believed that every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith. In 2018, only 64% of Christians believe the same.
Some of those statistics are very discouraging and I think our plans to take the Gospel to every home will help us reverse those statistics. Not only do we hope to have lots of gospel conversations when we distribute the gospel materials, but I really want us to become a people who are regularly looking for opportunities to share the gospel. I want us to wake up asking the Lord to give us opportunities and going throughout the day looking for open doors to plant gospel seeds. Jesus is the greatest news in the world and we want to share that good news. David Platt once wrote: “Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell.” I agree!
I hope you are praying for laborers and making plans to participate in this gospel work. We will start packing materials this Sunday at 3:00 PM. You are invited. We will equip you! Are you in?