This is a follow up post on why someone may not have seen as many adult baptisms in a Presbyterian setting as in a Baptistic church. One reason, and I don’t think its the only reason, is that there just might be fewer conversions.
However, I want to depart from comparing denominations or convictions on baptism. Comparing theological differences, particularly when they deal with gospel truncations can be helpful. And comparing evangelistic strategies can also be helpful as we have much to learn from each other. But comparing the “results” of evangelism, which are ultimately the Lord’s work (Acts 13:48), can lead to either pride or jealousy. So I’ll focus particularly on why we don’t see more conversion than we would like, and not on why we don’t see more conversions than them.
All Presbyterians-and when I say that I don’t mean folks who necessarily subscribe to the polity or theology of the P.C.A., but who are currently attending/members of such a church-should at least consider why we don’t see more conversions.
Here are a few possibilities. In no ways am I zeroing in on evangelism to the neglect of other ministries of the individual believer and the church; it just happens to be the a pertinent issue when dealing with a dearth of conversions. All of these particular possibilities are couched in lack of desire.
1.) We don’t care that much, so we don’t pray that much. This sounds un-spiritual, and that’s because it is. But it may very well be a good representation of our hearts-mine included. Perhaps we just don’t care as much as we say we do. If we’re not regularly praying for specific people to come to faith, we should probably not be surprised when specific people don’t come to faith. If we don’t have specific people we would like to see come to faith, and plug into the life of the church, then we need to ask God for specific people to come into our lives. God is cool with that: He’s opened some doors for us recently.
Then open up your eyes and see who’s there. And if you need the faith to believe a specific someone could come to faith, you can ask for that too. I think we all have people we deem “un-reachable.” I guess sometimes you could say our lack of conversions may stem from lack of faith as much as lack of desire. It has for me.
2.) We don’t care that much, so we don’t prioritize any time for such relationships.
Time is precious. We have family. We have work. We have hobbies which help burn off stress or help us spend time with family. You can’t invite your friends to work, but you can invite them to things that are currently in your schedule. Checkers motto, “You gotta eat” rings true. Invite them to things you already do and you’ll find you actually do have the time.
3.) We don’t care that much, so we aren’t inentionally trying to move our non-Christian relationships to the next level of verbally sharing the message of the gospel. This is where I stink. I’m great at building relationships, pretty good at inviting folks to church, but often don’t find myself being as intentional with my questions that till the soil for personal gospel sharing. Praying for desire is still a legitimate prayer in this stage.
4.) We don’t care that much, but we never recognize our apathy. As a result, we don’t repent of it. None of us probably care as much as we think we do. Again, I’m not highlighting evangelism above leading your family, honoring Christ at work, mercy, discipleship, but simply want to raise the point that many of us probably don’t care as much as we think we do. Perhaps that’s one of the main culprits.