There can be no debate over the issue of the lack of evangelistic effectiveness of the church in North America. I can remember a time when we were winning the lost to Christ and witnessing them follow Him through the waters of baptism.
Every team expects to win before the game begins. A team that expects to get beat is going to lose the game. I don’t think the church expects to lose, I just think that expectations have changed. The result is what we see today.
Most church members today expect the church to serve them, instead of expecting lost people to be saved. The consumer mentality has begun to dictate the mission of the church. In my research and in my consultation with churches, I have found three reasons why we are not expecting lost people to be saved.
First, there is a lack of preparation by the Sunday School teachers. As a child I can remember watching my parents and grand parents prepare for leading a Sunday School class. They spent hours each week in prayer, Bible study and in discussion with other teachers. Today we have teachers coming home at 10:30pm on a Saturday night and beginning their preparation for teaching a class and they still want the lesson to be simpler. We will never see the lives of class members changed if the teachers are not willing to invest their life!
Second, there is little time or no time given for spiritual decisions during class time. As a child and as a youth I can remember each Sunday having a Sunday School teacher that provided an opportunity and even encouraged us to give our lives to Christ. Today we are so rushed to get out that application of the lesson is of no concern. We must return to providing a time for spiritual decisions during Sunday School.
Third, the members of our churches are not sharing their faith. There have been numerous studies and all say the same thing, Christians in North America are not sharing a verbal witness on how a person can have forgiveness and eternal life in heaven. We must begin to equip our members to share their faith.
I have and will continue to expect lost people to be saved. Why? Because I expect my Sunday School teachers to spend time with God preparing to lead the Bible study. I expect my Sunday School teachers to issue a call for commitment and a time for spiritual decisions during Sunday School. I expect the members of my Sunday School to share their faith.