The convert is teaching me

The church needs more evangelists. I’ve said it before, and I say it again: The church needs, more than anything, more personal evangelists. It doesn’t need better buildings. Nor does it need more pulpit preachers, which puts me in a category of almost one. Nor does it need more mass media — this from one who works both in print and online, in both Portuguese and English.

Yes, what the church really, really needs is more evangelists.

That’s what the Lord told us to pray for.

We don’t need slicker and prettier programs, either. We need the people of God talking to the people of the world.

I don’t — or didn’t — have the gift of evangelism. I have prayed long and loud to the Lord about this.

Don’t tell Paulo, my neighbor, gym owner, friend, and, now, brother in Christ, but I’m learning from him how to be an evangelist. (The photo above is of the two of us.)

When he moved into the house in front of me, I taught him the gospel. He was baptized February, 2019. And he’s teaching me evangelism.

He talks to everybody. Absolutely. Everybody. All his students at the gym know he’s a Christian, that he lives by the Bible, and that he meets with the saints in my house.

Two people from the gym have been baptized. Two more of his students are studying with us. Every other Thursday night at 9:30 pm we have a Bible reading (study) at the gym.

He’s setting the pace for our congregation. He’s providing a needed example.

Here’s what every single congregation needs to be doing, ours included.

  1. Pray for more workers in the Lord’s vineyard. Workers who know how to teach one-on-one.
  2. Each one learn some method of teaching others God’s plan of salvation one on one.
  3. Go low-key, as Jesus did, in calling others to follow the Way. No trumpets in the temple needed.
  4. Find the true personal evangelists among us — not the good public speakers — and give them rein to be able to work and train others.
  5. Trust that the gospel is God’s power to save, that it can save, that it will save, if we but speak that good word of Christ. Brethren, we really don’t believe this.

I used to say, tongue in cheek, that if I were God (we can all be glad I am not), I’d take away every church building, every school, every full-time pulpit preacher and all other positions we’ve invented, and leave the church, like Gideon’s 300 men, with a dedicated core of people whose job is to watch God work among us and through us.

You can take me to task for that. But here’s one example: We love our schools, but they have been one of the worst corrupting influences in the American brotherhood. Over time, few resist the influence of false teaching.

The point in this tongue-in-cheek comment is this: We have all the material advantages, but the American church is hemorrhaging numbers. What’s that ironic definition of crazy? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Why don’t we do, for real, what we say we do: Follow the Bible. Even when it comes to the way Jesus and the early church evangelized.

Then we might see some amazing results in every place.

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