I have been guilty in the past of adhering to flawed thinking and due to some life predicaments which have drawn me closer to the Lord, I have been rethinking some things that I once would have affirmed. One of the things that I have been considering is some approaches I have had in the past when evangelizing individuals. I have, in the past, while sharing the gospel, told the person to whom I’m speaking of the glorious salvation of the Lord Jesus that I was not there to get them to join my church. I was telling them the truth since quite honestly I wasn’t trying to get them to visit the place where I worship but I wanted merely to present the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to them. When I began thinking about this approach I had to really consider what is was I was saying to them when I told them that I wasn’t there to get them to join my church.
Firstly, the statement “I’m not here to get you to join my church” presents semi-dishonesty since the reality is that I want them to become a Christian which, if they are truly born of God, will result in them joining at least a church. The scripture tells us that those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:41-42) The result of those who receive God’s word in repentance and faith are lead to baptism, reception into the church and all that is associated with that. In other words if I want to see them saved then I want to see them continue in these things by joining a God-fearing, Christ-exalting, Spirit-lead Church.
Secondly, by stating “I’m not here to get you to join my church” almost gives the church a negative connotation. It almost implies that there is something wrong with joining a church! The church of Jesus Christ is His bride which He loves and is in the midst of her (Revelation 2-3). The church is precious to Him and should be precious to those who make up the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the earthly expression of the Kingdom of God and the New Covenant people which is the greatest of all organizations on the face of the earth. To give any sort of negative tone to the church as a gathering of people in Christ’s name in this manner is simply wrong.
I appreciate that all I was honestly attempting to say to the person I was evangelizing was that it is more important that they believe the gospel than join a church but in doing so I feel I had been wrong in my approach. I desire to see people saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ but I also long to see these individuals join the people of God in remembering their Saviour, fellowshipping with other Christians, studying the bible, praying together and evangelizing others alongside each other.