Definition of Successful Evangelism

Posted: July 7, 2013 by Dillon in Evangelism
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We live in a numbers based society.  The way we determine something is through quantifying it and interpreting numbers.  Sometimes that’s all fine and dandy, but very often it misses the point.  I definitely think that America focuses too much on numbers.  The problem is that we’re using a limited perspective instead of stepping back to appreciate everything going on around us.  I’ll stop being general now and talk specifically about the world of evangelism.

I’m starting to see more and more Christians fall into the trap of using numbers to determine  spiritual success.  This is dangerous for a number of reasons. 

First, using a man-made method of determining success skews how we view God.  By definition, God works in ways we can’t understand.  When we try to quantify God and how He works, all we do is create a misrepresentation.

Second, when we use numbers to determine our success we are saying our efforts are more important than God’s efforts.  How backwards is that?  There is an underlying idea that we are the ones who determine success, instead of Him.  

Third, we devalue each individual.  Evangelism isn’t about dealing with the masses; it’s about loving individuals.  When we look at the numbers and try to find value in that, our focus becomes cloudy.  “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)  If one person coming to know Christ is enough to cause a celebration in Heaven, shouldn’t we view people the same way?

Jesus viewed each person as just that: a person.  Too often our love affair with numbers throws out everything we know about this truth.  At the beginning of my trip to the Middle East, I was wrestling with how I determined successful evangelism.  I knew it wasn’t about just the numbers, but I felt so discouraged if an encounter didn’t go how I wanted.  Thankfully, one of my team members provided a definition that rings true and needs to be shared.

Successful evangelism is:
1. Taking initiative with the power of the Holy Spirit
2. to share the Gospel and
3. leaving the results up to God.

Leaving this in mind helps keep my focus orientated on what really matters.  It’s not about my power, and the results aren’t up to me. But it is our job to share the good news.  As long as you can do that, you’re already successful!


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