“What can we do to make our churches stronger salt and brighter light in the 21st century?”
Lee Strobel, author, apologist and speaker, recently visited Southeastern Seminary. (You can watch his first chapel message here.) In this chapel message, he continues a conversation about evangelism and how churches can increase their evangelistic effectiveness.
Watch Strobel’s lecture above, or read a handful of excerpts below.
How evangelism changes the Christian life.
“I am very concerned about the state of church in America. I have a fear. And that fear is the value and practice of evangelism is dissipating in far too many American churches. We all know of churches who are growing; they have great teaching, they have great worship. But here’s my question: Are we seeing atheists walk in our doors and ultimately walk out our doors of our churches as missionaries? Are we turning irrelegious people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ? Are we consistently seeing large numbers of spiritually confused people find God and seeing their lives and their eternities revolutionized?
“Here’s the truth: It takes 86 church members 1 year to lead one person to Christ in America… At that rate, we’re not going to change the world or the nation. At that rate, we’re going to go extinct. No wonder that 60% of protestant churches in America are either plateued or declining. No wonder that over half of the churches in America saw fewer than 10 conversions last year….
“How are we going to be salt and light… to lead more and more people to Christ? I think there are answers to that question. I think those answers are in this book.”
Lost people matter to God.
“Leaders of churches must own and model this value: that lost people matter to God.”
On having a cold heart for the lost.
“It is not normal for a fully devoted disciple of Christ to have a consistently cold heart towards the lost….”
“If you have someone in your church who’s sitting in a pew for 15 years and he doesn’t give a rip about lost people — that’s not normal. That’s not right. Something is wrong.”
On identifying an evangelistic leader in your church.
“Nothing gets done in the local church unless there’s a name assigned to it. Every church needs a person… that is solely devoted to “new business,” to reaching the community for Christ under the leadership of the senior pastor. This is the missing link in effective evangelism.”
On building relationships with lost people.
“If every senior pastor built one authentic caring relationship with a person heading for Hell—that one loving, caring, powerful, personal relationship with a Hell-bound pagan would make them look at Ministry totally different. Their values would be totally different. They would become innovators for the kingdom of God.”