How Evangelism Means Minding Our Own Business
In the business of sharing God’s Word with others, it’s helpful to remember that we Christians need to mind our own business.
Christians often make the mistake of taking ownership or responsibility for the success of converting lost souls. When a person rejects the gospel, perhaps we think that it’s our fault. When a person receives the gospel message and comes to faith in the real Christ, perhaps we take too much credit. The pressure we place on ourselves for success and failure can often cause us to not say anything at all.
God has commissioned all believers to go, teach, baptize, and proclaim to the world what Christ has already done for us. That is our responsibility. That is our privilege. That is our joyful business — delivering the message of salvation and being God’s ambassador to the world.
Our business is to deliver the message. God’s business is to work a miracle of faith.
This means trusting God that He will do his work – according to His purpose, His timing, and His divine will.
In the business of sharing God’s Word, Christians tend to focus on the end result rather than the process. Instead of planting seeds of hope, we tend to plant seeds of discouragement when we do not see the end result of a lost soul coming to faith as a result of our prayers and efforts. When God doesn’t meet our timetable, we have trouble processing the disappointment.
When I travel and make presentations, Christians will ask me, “How many Mormons have come to faith from the Utah campaign?” (Please visit Truth in Love Ministry – www.tilm.org – to learn more) Or, they will ask, “How many Mormon missionaries have come to faith since Please Open the Door started last fall?” (Please visit Please Open the Door – www.pleaseopenthedoor.com – for more information about this initiative.)
These are good questions. Sometimes Christians will use the fruits of conversions to judge the success of a program, church, or ministry. But that is not a reliable barometer. Sometimes Christians are hungry for success. The best barometer to judge ministry is by faithfulness. This includes a strict adherence to God’s Word to guide our methodology and to accurately proclaim the gospel message.
Questions about conversions is like asking a missionary, “How many earthquakes have you caused this year in California?” or “How many people did you rise from the dead?”
I can’t control earthquakes, nor can I resuscitate people to life. Only God can.
In the meantime, I can give messages of warning on how to respond to earthquakes. I can also give messages of God’s Word and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the spiritually dead to life. These are activities I can control.
A Christian cannot win lost souls. That is God’s business. What we can win is their attention – by treating them with love and respect. Once this bridge is crossed, we are granted opportunities to present the true teachings of God’s Word to listening ears. That is something we can control.
That is minding our own business that God calls us to do.