Fifteen Reasons Our Churches Are Less Evangelistic Today

By almost any metric, the churches in our nation are much less evangelistic today than they were in the recent past. In my own denomination, we are reaching non-Christians only half as effectively as we were 50 years ago (we measure membership to annual baptisms). The trend is disturbing.

We certainly see the pattern in the early church where “every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). In too many of our churches today, the congregations are reaching no one for Christ in the course of an entire year.

The Poll

I conducted an unscientific Twitter poll recently to see what church leaders and church members thought of this trend, My specific question was: “Why do you think many churches aren’t as evangelistic as they once were?”

The responses arrived quickly and in great numbers, both in public tweets and in direct messages to me. Indeed, I was still receiving responses four days after I sent my Twitter question.

The Results

The response was highly informative for me. Here are the top fifteen responses listed in order of frequency:

  1. Christians have no sense of urgency to reach lost people.
  2. Many Christians and church members do not befriend and spend time with lost persons.
  3. Many Christians and church members are lazy and apathetic.
  4. We are more known for what we are against than what we are for.
  5. Our churches have an ineffective evangelistic strategy of “you come” rather than “we go.”
  6. Many church members think that evangelism is the role of the pastor and paid staff.
  7. Church membership today is more about getting my needs met rather than reaching the lost.
  8. Church members are in a retreat mode as culture becomes more worldly and unbiblical.
  9. Many church members don’t really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation.
  10. Our churches are no longer houses of prayer equipped to reach the lost.
  11. Churches have lost their focus on making disciples who will thus be equipped and motivated to reach the lost.
  12. Christians do not want to share the truth of the gospel for fear they will offend others. Political correctness is too commonplace even among Christians.
  13. Most churches have unregenerate members who have not received Christ themselves.
  14. Some churches have theological systems that do not encourage evangelism.
  15. Our churches have too many activities; they are too busy to do the things that really matter.

So What Is the Solution?

I received hundreds of responses to this poll. There is obviously widespread concern about the lack of evangelism in our churches and among Christians.

First, let me hear what you think of these responses. Second, and more importantly, offer some solutions to the challenges. Make certain those solutions include what you can do as much as what they should do. I look forward to hearing from you.

photo credit: people talking in paris via photopin (license)

Posted on February 23, 2015

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • Joe Pastor says on

    For several years, our lack of consistent, effective evangelism has been HEAVY on my heart, both for myself and also for our church. On the personal level, I can do much better, and I want to do better. And on the church level, virtually everything I’ve led us to do in this direction has been met with a “deer in the headlights” look. Even worse, my chairman of deacons recently said to me, “My wife and I are thinking about leaving the church.” I asked why. His response, “Because of this over-emphasis on evangelism.” (I might add that this is a long-time, “strong” church member). I felt crushed in hearing him say those words.

    Ultimately, this is a HEART problem. There are many “excuses” and rationalizations, but it always comes back to the heart. Only God can change the heart. For myself, a part of my response to my own challenges in this area has been the recognition that I have a heart problem. In the final analysis, I don’t love lost people like Jesus loves lost people. This makes me sad. So part of my response is this: Each day, I pray for myself, “God, please help me love lost people the way you love lost people.”

    I am also talking with church staff and small group leaders in the development of a strategy to go beyond the walls of the church with a desire to connect with pre-Christians is some type of missional way. Something is better than nothing; we cannot continue to sit back and do nothing.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Your prayer should be the prayer we all have. Thank you so much.

      • David Jonescue says on

        I am not a pastor, nor a leader in a church. Because of my job, I only get to attend church 2 weeks out of 8. But for the longest time, I knew I was supposed to be out there. I got into this mode thinking all of these other Christian activities voided my need to evangelize. But there is a big difference in doing things that edify saved people, and bringing the message of salvation to those headed for Hell. Then I got into this funk of thinking, “I need to order Bibles, I need to watch lectures, I need to study, I need to master that method, or that tactic, I need, I need, I need,” but, the Lord pressed upon me; “just go.” So, I went to my local thrift store, and there just so happen to be 10 NT’s I bought for $3.50, and a little travel bag for $1.00. I have no car, so I simply walked to the local Wal-Mart (which is the shopping hub of our small 20,000 country town,) and asked people pointedly “have you heard the Good News of Jesus Christ?” After about a week of doing this after I get off work, I have realized it is just that easy. Someone does not need to have an M.Div to share the Gospel. What I really think, is it is fear. And the question then begs: if God says that “one little bird will not fall apart from His will, and we are worth more than many of them” either it is true, or God is not in control. We either believe in (what) God (says about himself,) or we don’t. If God ultimately decrees all events, what could possibly happen to me that God hasn’t allowed? So many people will quickly respond with how they would never forsake Christ in the event of climactic martyrdom; yet I don’t think that’s where the fear lies in Christianity today. I think the fear lies more in living a long life enduring lesser harms. So the question now is: do we believe in God? And if yes, do we believe in Him enough to live for Him?

    • Robin Baldwin says on

      Amen Brother. I love your honesty, now God can use you because you have pulled the plank out of your own eye. First things first, gather and begin praying with as many people who are willing to pray. It is best to have a few healthy members gathered with you, than a church full of spiritually dead people. Leave your comfort zone. Blessings to you… and prayer too.

  • A lot of Christians have misconceptions about what evangelism entails.These misconceptions act as a major inhibitor to evangelism.

    The participants in my small group which includes university students as well as middle-aged couples and one older guy–myself–report that for them social anxiety is a major obstacle to meeting people, investing in relationships, and eventually sharing their faith with their new friends. They also struggle with various mistaken ideas about what is involved in “doing evangelism”–and I shrink from using that phrase!

    For myself the biggest hurdle to being evangelistic is that most of the people I know go to church. I am retired so I no longer meet people through my work. I am also in my sixties so my relationship network has shrunk. Almost all the people with whom I have social contact are in my church.

    One of the most useful books on personal evangelism that I have read is Irresistible Evangelism: Natural Ways to Open Others to Jesus by Steve Sjogren, David Ping, and Douglas Pollock. It helps people to develop an evangelistic mid-set and an evangelistic way of life. It looks at where people go wrong when they are endeavoring to be more evangelistic.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks for the resource recommendations, Robin.

    • Robin Baldwin says on

      Hello Robin, I am an evangelist and my name is Robin also. I am about your age too. The good news is I go out and meet new people on a weekly basis on purpose. I think that is what Jesus and Paul did too. Jesus went to the temple as well as away. The people in the temple thought they were religious too, but Jesus told them they were not. God has blessed my efforts, all HE is looking for is a willing soul. Even when we were church planting with a little community, every body said they were Christians too, however they were not. It is not enough to say it, you have to live it says the Word of God. Pretty simple really. Find someone not living the Christian life and you have your mission field. By the way when we were planting the new church, we did not have a building (biggest problem to evangelism), and went into the community and held sidewalk church. Because we were the leaders, the people followed us and they did what we did and there was no more fear. As God directed our efforts, our church won an award from the Billy Graham Association for winning hundreds of souls to Jesus in one year. We continued on that pattern, and people came to Jesus. Amen!

    • Try “The Way of the Master” by Ray Comfort. Living Waters has a ton of videos and books to help make evangelism invigorating.

      I learned what they taught, and my first encounter was with a man on a cruise ship. When using the Law in evangelism, I saw his jaw drop when he was confronted with his sin. His wife was approaching, he introduced her to me, and then told her that she needed to listen to what I was saying.

      I then shared the Gospel to approximately 40 people that cruise. Only one man walked away from me, and he claimed to be a Christian from California.

      Evangelism is not for those that are gifted. It is for every one who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

      If you are scared, weak, not persuasive, you are qualified. 1 Cor. 2.

  • Raymond Grabert says on

    I agree with the reasons why God’s church is not evangelistic. My solution: Personally get involved in evangelism. As a pastor of one of God’s churches, I am battling a church which refuses to reach beyond its four walls. I realized that I have to stop getting on my soapbox and start sharing my faith. I have intentionally started creating a climate of evangelism. Some see it and want in, others want nothing to do with it. My choice? Take those who get it and are moved by God and get busy sharing, caring, and reaching. I cannot force others to be witnesses, BUT I can disciple those who do! I encourage all of our members to share, care, and reach. I leave God to call the laborers into His field. I simply work in the field with those who show up! Ultimately, I have taken responsibility for my lack of leadership in evangelism and am changing with the help of God.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Well said, Raymond. Let’s be responsible for own obedience first.

    • Greg Shlapak says on

      I believe this sounds like a solution! We have to “Just do it” starting with the church leaders.
      WE have to find ways to preach the gospel in public, we are under a Great Commission!

    • Natalie & Peter says on

      My son & I are born again Christians and been praying & asking for our home help to Christian pastors all over Australia over 9yrs as I’m suffering with Chronic IBS and my son is suffering Chronic Obesity with heart disease simply because of what these Christian pastors put us thru and I’m not very well and have bad health and not one single Christian has reached out to help us. We even tried our local council but no one intervened. We are both been neglected by our family and very isolated for 9yrs and we have been praying but Prayer without people’s good hearts in helping us is no help when Christians HEARTS have hardened and make petty excuses that they are busy with their church dinners and conferences. Our house is a Pigsty and unrecognisable and still no one bothered to help us!

      • Natalie & Peter,

        I’m writing from Nairobi Kenya and sorry to hear what happened to you and your son. I just wanted to know how you and you son are doing right now? I know I am not able to physically help. But knowing you were helped and fine will give me joy. Kindly let me know.

  • Kris Theobald says on

    Number one breaks my heart, because I’m afraid it’s all too common. It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!”
    I fear that many in our churches today have a head knowledge of Christ, but no changed heart. We will not love the things of God if we belong still to the world. Perhaps rather than looking for ways to improve evangelism, we should pray for an awakening within our churches first. When this happens, evangelism must increase. Thanks as always Thom!

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Love your heart, Kris!

    • Managing the wind and waves once in Saginaw Bay I had navigated for safety of the break-wall of the harbor while sailing in a freshening breeze. I noticed two heads (thats all I could see) floating in the channel and reported swimmers on Channel 16 (emergency frequency) to warn other vessels of this safety concern. The USCG station replied after a few minutes asking the current situation with the swimmers and I replied that I didn’t know and could not see them. I was requested to search for them which required to leave the safety of the harbor and go back out through the long restricted channel into the open waters with the building waves. Lives were rescued that day. I’ll never forget, the young woman that asked looking up from her swamped kayak as I positioned the sailboat abeam her, “Are you here to save me?” The hope and desperation in her voice still haunts me even years later. Thankfully she and her companion were able to later return their rental kayaks. But today is a new day, a different day, and it is a storming. Father forgive my inattention to those that are perishing without Jesus as I sit in the safety of the harbor.

  • Chris Gilliam says on

    Number 11 and 13 are together. When we become a disciple and then disciple. It will solve the others.

  • I agree with every reason listed here. Also, many churches have abandoned the tried-and-true method of harvest crusades and revival meetings.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks, Mike.

    • Robin Baldwin says on

      We need to consider discipleship classes in the classroom and evangelism in the sanctuary or gather other churches to join in a community evangelistic outreach.

    • Revival in the church is NOT a rah-rah session where people get their emotions manipulated by an itinerant preacher. Revival happens when true Bible believing, born again followers of Jesus Christ get the courage to go out on the streets and share the Gospel to the lost. When the Holy Spirit converts someone and they repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ, then bring them into the church for a lengthy discipleship program. You want revival in the church? Go and make disciples.

    • The problem with these harvest crusades is that many people may come forward and make a decision for Christ, but a year later you can’t find 95% of them.

      You’ve then given those people a false sense of security that they are saved, when in fact they are a false convert.

      Try connecting these people into a lengthy discipleship program that last at least a year. If they stick to it, great. If they will commit to that kind of training before they are made members of the church, you will know who the church can commit to as well.

      The goal is spiritual growth, not numbers.

  • Thank you for this article, Dr. Rainer, and for the way you are calling us to reach our world with the Gospel today! I too sense that the overall church has become less evangelistic for the reasons you have stated above. However, I am very optimistic that God is calling us to revival.

    I think, in many ways, we have been deluded from worshiping Jesus to worshiping ourselves in many cases. Even though we may know Jesus personally, we are spending a lot of time worshiping ourselves and our earthly lifestyle. As church leaders, we need to call people to ask God to help them see themselves through God’s eyes, to experience confession and cleansing, to be revived and restored, and to live lives on mission to reach people wherever we go.

    I sense a growing hunger for revival here at our church in Southern Illinois, and among you and all our leaders. God is calling us to experience revival, restoration, and to be a part of a great soul harvest among all nations. This will happen if we will set aside our carnal hunger to get, get, get, and allow God to use us to accomplish His work and to experience true fulfillment in our walk with Him.

  • Many of our church members are simply scared. Many of our church members have heard of the responses from younger more educated individuals and fear they can’t answer all the questions posed by this group of individuals. Some of the horror stories of the aggressive nature of this people group causes church members to fear putting themselves out there.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      We must be reminded again and again of Acts 4:20, where even the threat of death could not stop the earlier followers from speaking of Christ.

      • Grant O'Dell says on

        God told Jeremiah “I will be with your mouth”. The promises that we have through out the scripture is that it is not our strength but His.

    • We have to be open to admitting that we don’t have all the answers whenever we meet people. Sometime an “I don’t know” is more powerful than a pseudo-answer or a redirect. I think that we also have to be comfortable with the idea that we may not be the person who was intended to answer that person’s questions. You might be planting, you might be watering… there should be no pressure to seal the deal. We ourselves can often have the reputation of being too aggressive in these conversations.

      Sometimes these skeptics are put there to help us and not the other way around. When I was first reading through scripture and discovering things for the first time, I had a friend who was going through a rough time and was frankly headed in the opposite direction, reading a lot of the popular atheist authors of the time, but also reading the scriptures in a highly cynical and critical way. This was extremely helpful for me, because I couldn’t peddle any soft theology around him, he would challenge everything that I had to say.

      As far as I can tell, he is no closer to the Lord today than when our journeys first started, but God used that relationship to grow me much quicker than I would have otherwise.

      I have also seen the interactions that you are speaking of used to “puff up” those of us who are more quick with an answer, so the occasional question that really stumps us might serve for some good humility as well.

      In the end all of this should drive us back into the scriptures to learn more of the God which we serve. If people are afraid of looking dumb, maybe God wants them to look dumb, so that they find the drive to be less so.

  • Jody Sneed says on

    What did the great commission say? Enroll, entertain, placate, coddle or manipulate?
    It said make DISCIPLES

  • As a pastor in small towns in Texas, the biggest thing discouraging me from evangelism is that everybody thinks they are already saved. Often they made a profession at some kind of evangelistic crusade (I have been to some of these, and the gospel has not always been clearly presented, and the altar calls have often been emotional and manipulative. As a counselor at some of these crusades, I have felt overwhelmed by the number of children and teenagers who didn’t seem to understand what they were doing). These people never subsequently attended church and show no evidence of being regenerate in terms of lifestyle. But they are totally convinced they are saved and are deaf to anything I say about the gospel.

    I suspect that this a big problem throughout rural areas in the Bible Belt, and it may explain why so many churches in these areas are in decline.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks, Jeff. Good point.

      • Jeff, it is not just a problem in the rural Bible Belt. It is a problem up the road from Hollywood.

        People love the idea of heaven, but reject hell. The prevailing attitude, though with different expressions, is that everyone eventually gets to God or get annihilated.

        So, being saved has little meaning in society at large.

        It is frustrating. The phrase, “I’m a Christian,” has no real objective value anymore.

        I shared the gospel with several people in the past few days–one for two hours. They were very interested in discussing “religion” and we had a good conversation it seemed.

        It is like they were wearing armor and the gospel simply did not penetrate to the heart.

        So, I share your frustration and I’m far from the Bible Belt.

    • I would add that in small towns everybody tends to think that everyone else is saved.

    • Grant O'Dell says on

      Thom I think Jeff has a very real problem pinned down with his point. I have been observing the same thing in Kentucky. The leaders of many churches are not mature in their faith therefore are not creating an environment of growth in the church. With out this they only want a place to gather to “WORSHIP” because that is all the time they have to give the Savior. As long as we are in need of REVIVAL this will be the experience in the future.

      • Eric Young says on

        If anyone wants to know how the true church should be like they need to read the first few chapters of the book of Acts, there you will findgo the answer. They increased daily in numbers. There was something happening during that time period and lives were being instantly changed. The spirit of God was apon all those who called on Jesus. People where selling everything they had and distributed to those that where in need. The churches today preach on a prosperity gospel, that is a false gospel. Jesus came for the poor in spirit and those who were physically poor. How hard is it for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus also told the rich man to sell all that he has, give to the poor, and follow me, the rich man walked away in tears. His trust was in his wealth. Our true riches are in heaven not on earth were rust and moth do corrupt where thieves break in and steal. But most of all we must have love not the type that compromises our faith but God loves.

    • Yes, Jeff raises an excellent point. I ran into that quite a bit when I was a pastor in Missouri. People think because they walked down the aisle and went through the baptismal waters, they’re saved. Many of them have no idea what that really means.

    • I have to agree with you Jeff but would add, not only in evangelistic meetings but the same happened (may still happen) in church services too.

    • Keith Abramowski says on

      In reply to Jeff, as a (now part time) pastor in a historic mainline church, where evangelization was very de-emphasized, my experiences would be very different.

      However, your reply reminded me of something I read in a book by Leonard Sweet: “We live in a ‘Bible-based’ country, full of people who never read the Bible.” In essence, we’re surrounded by people who think they know what’s in the Bible, yet have never truly read it.

      And because I think too often the church mimicks, not the Kingdom of God, but the powers of the world, most people don’t feel the need to go.

      But, again, that’s my experience.

    • Jeff I agree with your assessment. The ‘altar call’ method is one that has been used typically by Calvary churches. The method doesn’t ask parishioners to acknowledge their personal sin before it is received. It does not ask believers to live a life for Christ – denying their former lusts. The Pastor usually says, If anyone hasn’t received Christ, or wishes to renew their walk with Christ, please come forward, or please raise your hand and I will pray for you to receive. Jesus said the woman who washed his feet with her hair had many sins forgiven, and hence, loved him much because she was forgiven much, whereas those forgiven of little, appreciate little.. So many walk up for the altar call – are they consciously taking their sins to purge with them? Do they even understand? Then these altar call saints become the ‘Un-correctibles’. Nothing they do is wrong, because all have sinned, and Jesus’ blood covered my past present and future sins. This is how gay people receive salvation too.. they just decide to accept Christ and magically they’re sins are covered and they can keep being gay… Maybe this is what Jesus meant by, ‘Don’t cast pearls to swine, lest they turn and thrash you’.. because those that receive that easy salvation are often the ones to tell you you’ll go to hell for judging them..and that all have sinned and fallen short, and that salvation is only by grace.. True words, but taken out of context; they lead to living a lie. As bible readers, we know that ‘as we judged others; so we will be judged’. IF we judge others that are lacking a virtue foretold in the bible belonging to those that inherit the kingdom of heaven; then we are trying to bring back the wanderer. and cover a multitude of sins. Having once all been wanderers and/or outsiders of the church ourselves; we should know who we should witness to.

    • Natalie & Peter says on

      These people are selfish and when in church they act HOLY. But the minute they are out if church they are good at picking on others mistakes when they don’t look at their own. They are also very good at JUDGING and putting others down & mind u when you try to CORRECT them they always say that they are right and you are wrong! This is what it’s like 4 me and my son. Believe me brother, Christianity isn’t only about Salvation it also involves giving out a lending hand to someone such as if an old lady needs her house cleaned whether on a daily basis or weekly, Christians are supposed to be DEDICATED with a HEART to go out and help the elderly ladies needs not make petty excuses that they are busy etc. It’s not about a Church Building it’s about the Church(Christians )reaching PHYSICALLY out to the Community with needs. It’s not only SPIRITUAL it’s also PHYSICAL. Jesus went on FOOT when he was helping the needy and HEALDED the SICK . But Christianity today dosen’t exist because of MEGA CHURCHES with big Plasmas and Rock Bands to get pleasure for themselves and get up on the pulpit to say jokes and then they think they are GLORIFYING GOD when they are really glorifying SATAN. That’s why today a lot of PROSTITUTES/DRUGGIES are out there doing these things while the so called Christians are ENTERTAINING themselves with Church Corporate Meetings and Dinner do’s when in REALITY are supposed to not only Witness about Salvation but to reach out and give them a helping hand!

      • Well put Natalie & Peter. I came across this page because I was looking for the reasons why my church, and most churches today, are more concerned with growing their church than they are helping people. We as Christians are called to be doers of the word. Most people are going to church to be “fed” not so they can learn to “feed” others. I used to get mad when people would tell me that churches are just big business in disguise. But its pretty clear that they are more concerned with getting tithes and making money than helping the lost, hungry, poor and homeless.

      • It is true that if you look at the structure of large churches they are very much set up like a corporation. In order to do all the things that churches do you almost have to. They are just to big for a handful of people to do. Is it true alot of churches have entered the entertainment field,unfortunate for them for they have lost there vision of God and focused on the world. I have been told by pastoral staff that bible studies are no longer needed because they don’t work anymore,that be careful what you do in church so you do not scare the new people away. I’m sorry maybe that’s the problem no one preaches about sin or its ramifications tolerance is what rules the day now.

      • Eric Young says on

        When we all stand before the judgement seat of Christ, Jesus is going to say to you what did you do for my kingdom to reach the lost, were you to busy pointing your finger at everybody else but you yourself did nothing. Trust me I do the same thing complaining about everybody else, just look in the mirror. Are you making an impact on peoples lives are you bringing people to Jesus. We all need to be a watchman for the lord. We see that the end is getting closer and do not have time to be focusing on the negative, rather need to be bringing people to Jesus.

    • Theodore A. Jones says on

      “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13

  • I agree with #4. Too many churches (or denomination head offices) are opposed to what seems like everything. I wondered for a long time if anything could be right.

    I want to add one more. There is a fear of bringing in new members because they might not meet all the desired criteria for a “good” member. They might be liberal, single, and/or transients, basically all the people who aren’t really wanted in churches. They also might be highly educated young professionals with experience in non-profit organizations who could dilute the power of the long-time church rulers and might want to ask questions. Also, the rulers might feel threatened.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks for the input, Mark.

      • Prior to my calling into the Pastorate. I went to several churches from various denominations. All had no evangelistic outreach. But one common denominator was present in each of these churches. They failed to help lead their congregations to a right understanding of their identity in Christ as a disciple. The identify that was taught was one that would embrace the Theological persuasion of the particular church or leader. When people would engage it was always favoring the distinctive of one group over/against the other.

      • It is my belief that there is one major reason more! I agree with all the
        Ones listed but what about the lack of love in general? Can one be an evangelist without the love that is required? I think not… in the true spirit of Christ, that is.

      • Sharon Toah says on

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. In more recent days, I have heard more than one pastor say that they did not want just any and everybody and that they have a right as to whom they ‘allow’ to. Fellowship with them. My first thought that it is not theirs…Jesus said, “upon this rock I will build My church”, showing a progressive, continual action and we are admonished to not to neglect meeting together to ncourage one another especially the more so as we see the Day drawing near.

      • I find that the only people that are recognized at my church are the missionaries. They only set on the front row on Sunday’s and guide people back to their seats or try to control who they want to get into God’s presence. I sometimes bring people to church but am not recognized but I know that one of my gifts is to evangelize. I don’t see the word missionary in the bible and and it was it would be someone that goes out and do more that sat on the front row and pick only their click group to participate in their so called group. We went out one time with them to feed the poor and they never said anything about God to the people I had to witness to some of them myself. The church was right in the area as well.

      • I am so sorry that. I am an evangelist/ Missionary. To hear this it aches my heart. We are all called to evangelize the word of God. But their is the five fold ministry. Paul was and evangelist/ Missionary. In this word. I pray that God open doors for you to evangelize the true word of God. This world needs to see the true Love of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Blessing to you. Evangelist Lorena Enix Saylor Founder of Outside The Walls International Ministries.

      • I find that the only people that are recognized at my church are the missionaries. They only set on the front row on Sunday’s and guide people back to their seats or try to control who they want to get into God’s presence. I sometimes bring people to church but am not recognized but I know that one of my gifts is to evangelize. I don’t see the word missionary in the bible and and it was it would be someone that goes out and do more that sat on the front row and pick only their click group to participate in their so called group. We went out one time with them to feed the poor and they never said anything about God to the people I had to witness to some of them myself. The church was

      • Don’t worry if you are recognized by your efforts. God will truly bless you.

      • So true… that has to be the underlying motivation for evangelism for us as Christians
        Love God and out of that should come a love for (lost) people.
        As Jesus said; “This is the first and greatest commandment: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your might, and the second is like it; ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22: 37, 38

      • Angela Tanner says on

        Hi Tom, I hope you get this ?.
        My reading lately points me to …Hirelings. Pastors have started out as this or have become this once they have settled into their “position.” They have turned church service as a whole to Sunday, 10am to 1:00 and Wed. 6:00 to 7:30 etc. I took a pic today of a sign that had Sunday only. 8 am service 9:45 Sunday School and 10:30, second service. This was it! Today I read …Eph 4:11-13 which states, ” … So Christ gave Apostles, the prophets, the evangelist, preachers and teachers……to equip His people to works of service….etc.”. The Pastor is not paid… when going to Prison Ministry, Assisted Living homes, or to the Street…. So the building is a monument. Just sitting there not performing the ..” Let your light … men can SEE your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Refuse to ” Go into the highways and byways…”
        Sad ….really sad. I go to their neighborhoods, talk to the kids, the gang mbrs, the prostitutes, etc.
        I want to just start an official outreach…. Sorta a REAL “CHURCH”… ? I will also try to keep up with you.
        Maybe I can learn more. Writing a book about this all now. God Bless you for helping everyone. Love your sis in Christ.

      • AMEN ANGELA!

      • Veronique Bianoni says on

        Hello Angela,
        I have created a facebook page that is dedicated to Christians from all over the world (I am French) whose working on site or would like to or tried to. I also would like Christians to testify, if they want to.
        Please check it out : Christians in the Field (fb page).
        I am a born again Christian since june 2017.
        God bless you

      • Angela Tanner says on

        Ps. Tom, of course I do not mean …”ALL” Pastors.
        However in my city…. There will be 15 churches in the “hood” area and all closed except for the Schedule I gave you….Sun. Few hours. Wed. 2 hours.
        And going out to evangelize as one reader suggested “all feel they are already saved” …is not about just “telling” them. The bible says to “Let them SEE your good works…” So this is …a free community car wash offered to relieve their stress w a glass of lemonade. A movie nigh every Friday night for neighborhood kids. A visit to see about the neighborhood’s elderly. A ice cold water bottle given out on the intersection of the church corner on a burning up hot day. The bible says, “He that winneth souls is wise.” Jesus says, He came to serve, not to be served. And we are to the same works he did. We as a whole are not “serving” really anyone, but ourselves. It’s sad, we SAY we have the ANSWER! Hmmmmmmm . God Bless you ! Thank you!

      • I am in a small church their is gifts .the congragtion is of five elders eleven members of several yrs. There is no evangelising only teaching. I been vivisting two yrs . and the elders never bring visitors . I have brought 11visitors . I have been insulated by the pastor three times from the pulpit and she never apologised and it happened when I brought a visitor to church . the Pastor is Female.I have the baptism of the Holyspirit and I do not feel after I have been told by an elder that I was to Minister when they pray for the sick or other occasions. But not happened. We have church sunday twice Wednesday teaching. No evangelising. Only teaching. I have not been made an official member yet. I asked if they would baptise my daughter in their pool in the church but was told to do it in a lake or other pool. They Never spoke to me about it again. No speaking or praying in tounges . no interptetor . I was told. Should I find añother church?

      • I a not one those people who believe in going from one church to the next, however if the behavior of the leaders are as you described, then find a church that you can be sharpened. with 20 people in the church getting baptized should not be forgotten

      • In my honest and Bible based opinion, a woman has no business holding the position of pastor at a church. Teacher/spiritual leader and counselor , absolutely. Even if things were beautiful and kind, it is bad theology.

      • Robin Baldwin says on

        Dear one.
        First, the word pastor is only mentioned once . Ephesians 4:11-12
        Secondly, Jesus called some to be Apostles, prophets (prophetess), evangelist, pastor, teacher. Now in the bible, women were used as bringing forth God’s Word, in the old and in the new. Just to name a few, Deborah, leader of God’s people, leader of God’s army, (man chickened out), and a great evangelist was named Priscilla, and she is named before her husband. You are confusing Elders with the word pastors. The church was not founded by pastors, it was founded by Jesus Christ, using His disciples, both men and women to evangelize and make disciples. Acts, upper room about 120 up there waiting for the arrival of the Holy Spirit to baptize them… and it said, both men and women. Sadly women prophets, in the bible are called prophetess, did a lot of speaking God’s truth. Read Joel Chapter 2, in the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on both men and women, and Peter spoke this prophet’s words from God on the Day of Pentacost. Apostles are those who go out, plant churches, plant ministries, and those prophets/prophetess, speak boldly God’s word to the believer, and the lost, and Evangelist, goes out and teaches the Gospel to whomever will listen, and that is all of us, for Paul said, do the work of an evangelist, and then comes two other teachers, they are pastors, and teachers, they are the last ones on the call list. They are all to equip the Saints for the work of the ministry. YES… Jesus called women to minister and when you see that Priscilla correcting a important man, Apollos, who was also an evangelist, you will see Jesus uses us all. Now Elders as we see in 1 Peter 5, are men and they only oversee, not equip the Saints, they are able to teach however, but this is an appointed position, like Deacon/Deaconess (also in the bible with Phoebe
        being named). Those who are appointed, are Elders and Deacons/Deaconess. Those who are CALLED by JESUS are both men and women under the caring overseers of Elders, are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors, Teachers, and remember Jesus said that you are to call NO man teacher, rabbi, or father. For you have only ONE Teacher, Rabbi, Father who is in heaven.
        By the way… Deacons do not run the church either, they are at the bottom, foot washers, and they wait on tables the bible tells us taking care of those in the body of Christ who has need. Especially the Widows and Orphans.

        We all have our places; and I am called to be an Evangelist, with a call to plant churches and ministries, which is as some says “Missionaries” which are Apostles. I also have the prophetic gift as well. It takes all three of those to plant a church and or ministries. YES God loves women, and seems like many men don’t that are in leadership in the church. Depends on the church denomination.

      • Cassius Collins says on

        I agree with # 12, Churches these days are more focused on collecting money than getting members. We as believers should be ready at anytime and anywhere to evangelize. Evangelism is the pillow of Christianity.

      • Bob Helms says on

        A good topic as we are to repair our churches. The Book of Revelation letters to the 7 churches are very pertinent to our current times. Whatever GOD has purposed us to be in the body of Christ I pray we each of us find it. We all must prepare our Armor of GOD for the times ahead.

        Mathew 3-2 “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven has come near.”
        Mathew 3-3 “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

    • I think that many younger believers have become focused on social causes (which is not bad in and of itself), but sometimes at the expense of things that have eternal consequence.

      I also think that being a “disciple-maker” requires that we invest in the lives of others, and that takes a level of commitment that often intimidates people.


    • John Hayworth says on

      The main reason that churches don’t evangelise the lost is because Christians don’t really believe the Gospel anymore!

      They seek to get people to accept Christianity through various courses and programmes, when in reality it is not Christianity that people need, it is CHRIST that people need.

    • I’ve also seen too much of #4. I know what and who the Church Elders dislike, I’m not really sure what they’re in favor of. During the past election cycle I was told, both privately and from the pulpit, who I shouldn’t vote for because they were “ungodly.” I’ve been specifically counseled that some of my political beliefs are too liberal for God. When did God become a member of the Republican party?

      I’m seriously considering leaving my church, not because I disagree with the theology but purely for political reasons. I will make the reasons for my departure known to the rest of the congregation.

      • Eric Young says on

        Jesus Christ does not pick sides with any political party, though what i will say is that i myself lean more to the republican side because they are against murdering innocent babies, gay marriage, and many other issues that i will not get into. God gives us that conviction when we know when we do wrong. I will also tell you that God does not approve of those issues that i just mentioned. There is a scripture that tells us that those who practices those things will have there part in the lake of fire and not only those who practice them but also those who have pleasure in them that do practice them.

      • i know what you are saying but dont repay ignorance for ignorance

    • GRACE BESSONG says on

      churches have become too involved with activities rather than preaching the LOVE of Christ and also teaching members to do same. some pastors have turned the gospel to money making ventures thereby making members feel SALVATION just doesn’t matter anymore, rather just stay in his prosperity , not teaching them the appropriate way to behave in GOD will not give you the results you want.

      • Sounds just like the Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus day, they made rules upon rules and considered themselves the most holy, they made a living making up all these rules when the only rules anyone needed to follow were the 10 commandments. The Scribes and Pharisees felt threatened by Jesus. Same as some church rulers of today that follow tradition and self wants instead of what the gospel actually says. Thx Wayne

    • John Raeside says on

      The major problem… the preachers are not leading in this area of evangelism and they are not preaching an evangelistic/discipleship message. How many ministers actually follow the practical patterns Jesus established for us in the New Testament? Jesus led… he went with his men into the village square and met the people where they lived. There he helped them and preached of his kingdom. Our pastors have been trained to “profess” the doctrines of the faith within a four walled environment called college or seminary. Upon graduation they locate another four walled environment called the “Pastor’s Office”. There in comfort they sit and study… envision etc. while the world around them moves on.
      They are now focused upon “their people” the people who pay them, their particular needs. Therefore when we listen to much of our modern preaching it rarely motivates or educates the congregation toward consistent, personal evangelism. Why… It makes them feel uncomfortable and we want everyone to feel comfortable when they come to our church, Amen! Besides they may not return, or they will search for the comfortable church. One that feels… right for them! Therefore the preaching is often about meeting the emotional, felt needs of the congregation. Helping them to fell better about their lives, being successful, how they can benefit from their relationship with Jesus.
      So, of course Christians care, but to actually live out the Gospels and the Book of Acts… well the very thought intimidates them… besides that’s not their gift, or that what we pay the pastor to do etc. It all begins with the preacher and if he refuses to live like Christ and the apostles and preach the need to reach others… well… welcome to the comfortable, convenient church of 2017 America. Yaln…..

    • Jason Rhodes says on

      people see christian faith as a list of things to do because the church has required you to complete the list of things before you are accepted by man in their church. God has chosen you to go forth and be the vessel where he is glorified in faith their is a maturity. You will not be accepted by Godless man. we fellowship in spirit and truth

    • I have been in ministry since 1969 and since 2008 have been in door to door evangelism. It is difficult to grasp why how nearly 100 percent of the churches I have visited have next to zero interest in any kind of intentional evangelism. The idea seems to be that people are supposed to come to church where magically they will hear the gospel which they will understand and the become converted, whereas nearly every church I visit here does not ever or rarely share the plan of salvation. I have often offered to begin a new converts class where I would single handed bring people into the group, but there are no takes as all. So I am left to do evangelism on my own outside the organized church.

    • A Church, pastor, Christian, should be talking about Jesus’s sacrifice at the cross, being equal with God that the shedding of his blood, thru acceptance of Jesus being God, anyone can pray to have their sins washed away complete and receive the holy spirit, saving them from hell and eternal separation from God, being born again, the true belief is that anyone who died without being born again, saved, is lost forever and the urgency should be the most important service of any Christian, I have personally prayed with individuals who after accepting Christ, all felt like a 100lb weight has been lifted off their shoulders, why would anyone not want that power offered to them, we are not guaranteed tmrw

    • I see 12, 13, and 15 as main reasons

1 2 3 17