Jesus gave us our marching orders before He ascended into heaven—“Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The Book of Acts and the Epistles show how the apostles took this command seriously and spread the Christian faith throughout the region, establishing a solid foundation to share the good news with all humanity.
These days we seem to lack the zeal to share the gospel with our friends and neighbors—our attitude seems to be that we’ll just invite them to church and let the pastor do an altar call, hoping our friends will feel compelled to surrender to God and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. But is this an act of laziness on our parts, pushing the work of evangelism on the pastor?
The local church is a patchwork of people—some on fire for God; others just attending out of habit. Some there to learn God’s Word and others there just putting in their time. I wonder if our attitude as Christians has morphed into thinking our call from Jesus is to get people to attend our church instead of making disciples? Are we placing an unfair burden on our pastors, asking them to do the work we are charged with by Jesus?
Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see the role of the pastor as primarily an evangelist, but rather a teacher of the Word and shepherd of the flock. The pastor and church leaders are responsible to teach, lead and challenge the flock in their walk toward holiness. We as individual Christians are charged with reaching out to friends and neighbors with the gospel message. But more and more our message to friends and neighbors is not sharing the gospel of salvation, but rather “Hey, why don’t you come with me to church this week?” Once there, we expect the pastor to do an altar call, hoping our friends are inspired to come forward.
It’s as if we ourselves find the gospel either intimidating or too hard to explain, so we just invite our friends to church and abdicate our responsibilities to the “hired gun”—the pastor. This is not fair to the pastor. As individuals, we need to take our responsibilities seriously, not look to pass that responsibility on to the pastor.
There are plenty of opportunities to share the gospel in a world that is increasingly ambivalent, even hateful toward God. Are we taking our responsibility seriously? Do we even know how to share the gospel story effectively? Are we lazy, fearful or uncaring that many we know risk eternal damnation? Do we love them enough to risk being seen as foolish by sharing the gospel? Or would we rather shirk our responsibility, expecting our pastors to do all the work?
- Entire Mosques Coming to Christ in North Africa, Says Former Church Planter (christianpost.com)
- David Platt – The Gospel demands radical sacrifice (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)
- The Theological Responsibility of Pastors (thebereanway.wordpress.com)
- In the Word: Gospel of John (steakandabible.com)
- Life Change is not the Goal of the Gospel (pulpitandpen.com)
- When it comes to sharing the gospel, is there ever a time to be silent? (defendingcontending.com)