While standing at the gas pumps yesterday, I heard a voice calling out my name. I turned to see a new believer coming my way. She spoke and then went around to the other side of the car to talk with my wife. What caught my attention more than hearing my name was her broad smile and joyful attitude! There is something special about new converts, new babes in Christ! They are excited, uninhibited about their Savior, and contagious!!! May their tribe increase! Even as I was driving home last night listening to a sermon on the radio, I heard the preacher say, “The sign of a dead church is that it lacks evangelistic zeal. If new converts are not coming into the church, it’s only a matter of time until that church stagnates and is spiritually dead. New believers are the life-blood of the church! We should want them. We should pray for them. We should embrace them. We should encourage them.” Yes, yes, yes, and AMEN!!
Having said that, I want to share with you something I read yesterday afternoon that further ignited my heart for evangelism and new converts. May this be true of Boones Creek Bible Church and the gospel-preaching evangelistic incubator where you are a member and serve! Let’s want this! Let’s pray for this! Let’s embrace this!
I long for a church that understands that it—the local church—is the chosen and best method of evangelism. I long for a church where the Christians are so in love with Jesus that when they go about the regular time of worship, they become an image of the gospel. I long for a church that disarms with love, not entertainment, and lives out countercultural confidence in the power of the gospel. I long for a church where the greatest celebrations happen over those who share their faith, and the heroes are those who risk their reputations to evangelize.
I yearn for a culture of evangelism with brothers and sisters whose backs are up to mine in the battle, where I’m taught and I teach about what it means to share our faith; and where I see leaders in the church leading people to Jesus. I want a church where you can point to changed lives, where you can see people stand up and say, ‘When I came to this church two years ago, I didn’t know God, but now I do!’ I long to be part of a culture of evangelism like that. I bet you do, too. (Evangelism, Mack Stiles)