I’m a professor of evangelism and missions, but I still need reminders that I must intentionally choose to lead the way in doing evangelism. As I’ve read these quotes below, my burden has only increased to do this well as a professor and a pastor—both in modeling evangelism and equipping others to evangelize:
- Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, 337: “If we do not win souls, we should mourn as the husbandman who sees no harvest, as the fisherman who returns to his cottage with an empty net, or as the huntsman who has in vain roamed over hill and dale.”
- Mack Stiles, Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus, 97: “If it is important that the members be ‘on game,’ it is doubly important for the elders and pastors to lead by teaching and modeling evangelism. . . . If you are a pastor, it’s important that you set aside a place in staff meetings and elder meetings to talk about your personal efforts to share our faith. Look for ways to pray and encourage evangelism in other church leadership gatherings.”
- Nathan Lorick, Dying to Grow, 85: “A pastor must lead by example if his people are to follow. If a pastor does not have a heart and burden for the lost, neither will the people he leads.”
- Sam Chan, Evangelism in a Skeptical World, 39: “If people can’t swim, there’s no point in yelling ‘Swim!’ at them. But this is exactly the way many well-intentioned pastors and Christian leaders try to motivate Christians to evangelize. They talk and command but do little to equip people in the act of evangelism.”
- Mark Dever, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, 118: “Through all this, we must lead by example. As pastors, we are called to lead by our teaching but also by our actions. . . . In everything, from our personal prayer life to conversations with family and neighbors, we should work to present Christ well.”
- Thom Rainer, “Nine Reasons Christians Fail to Evangelize,” https://thomrainer.com/2019/08/nine-reasons-christians-fail-to-evangelize/. “Too many pastors are not taking the lead in evangelism. . . . Pastor, if your church is not evangelistic, look first in the mirror.”
Pastors, what are the obstacles that keep you from leading the way in doing evangelism? How might we pray for you?