Often there are concerns that must be addressed before a congregation can grow. Sometimes the way the Christians think and act makes it difficult to teach sinners and edify saints. All too few of the lost are rescued anywhere, but perhaps a greater tragedy is the mortality rate of those who are rescued. What are some of the matters that must be tended to if a congregation is to expect solid, enduring growth through personal evangelism?
First, we must be close with God and close with each other. We must live as those who genuinely know the Lord and who enjoy a closeness to Him. Others must see in us the blessings of walking with the Lord. Furthermore, in studying with prospects, we need to portray the Lord’s church as a loving family which supports one another (John 13:34-35; Acts 2:46-47). In this busy age, the same situation is occurring to our spiritual family that is happening to our physical families: we are merely coexisting under the same roof without any real closeness. We desperately need to become involved or intertwined with one another.
Second, the assemblies of the church must be edifying to the outsider and to the babe in Christ. To our shame, the services of the Lord’s people are not always such as would move an unbeliever or a new convert in God’s direction. In our assemblies, unbelievers ought to experience courtesy, warmth and genuine interest in spiritual matters: real love for God, His truth, and man. We need to, for their sake, be more mindful of the presence of visitors and more deliberate in our efforts to worship God reverently and enthusiastically.
Third, we must be prepared to nurture babes in Christ. In addition to the hard work of grounding a babe in Christ, there is the additional difficulty of converting someone who is not from our socioeconomic group and dealing with their problems (Matthew 9:9-13). One reason we have not grown more than we have is that we have limited our evangelism to individuals who we think would “fit right in” with little work on our part. Until we have Paul’s attitude it is unlikely that we will enjoy new converts (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8). If we leave the Lord out of His own work, we do not deserve to grow. Work in the strength of the Lord and to His glory. Set your house in order for the work of personal evangelism.