And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)
In his book, Evangelism in the Early Church, Michael Green reminds us that when Jesus was crucified there were only 11 men left to carry on his work and bring the gospel to the entire world!
Undistinguished, poorly educated, and with no influential supporters, they were nobodies living in a second-class province on the Roman frontier.
How could they possibly succeed? And yet, they did. By one estimate, Christianity grew from about 1,000 believers in 40 AD to 5 to 8 million in 300 AD — a growth rate of 40% per decade and the dominant religion of the Roman Empire! Today, Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with about 2 billion followers.
The rise of a secular judgmental culture challenges our efforts to spread the Good News. When it comes to discipleship, today’s church-going American Protestants often struggle in their efforts to share Christ with non-Christians. A recent survey of 2,930 Protestant churchgoers in the US revealed that a majority agreed it’s their duty to share their faith. Yet, over the preceding six months just 25% had shared their faith once or twice, 14% had shared at least three times.
The survey also asked how many times they personally “invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program” at their church in the last six months?
- 48% of church attendees responded, “zero”
- 33% had personally invited someone one or two times
- 19% at least three invitations
Inviting someone to join you in attending church is probably the easiest form of outreach. And it may be one of the most effective based on the findings from a survey of 15,000 Americans who were asked to list the best of 13 approaches when a church wants to be heard.
Getting them to visit a church:
- 67%: a personal invitation from a family member would be very/somewhat effective
- 63%: a personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would be very/somewhat effective
Get them to receive information about a local congregation or faith community:
- 63%: very/somewhat willing when it comes from a family member
- 56%: very/somewhat willing when it comes from a friend or neighbor
Bent Creek Baptist has a history of commitment to missions and community outreach. As we gear up to increase our efforts it might be best to remember that a simple straightforward invitation to come to church is one of our best God-given tools.
That said, please consider this an invitation to our neighbors living in the Bent Creek area, as well as residents in Buncombe and Henderson Counties to join us for Sunday worship service at 11 am.