“He who wins souls is wise.” Proverbs 11:30
How in the world are you? Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website.
The last few weeks I’ve been posting about the Evangelism training sessions from the Dallas Theological Seminary. I want to, however, divert a little off that path this morning.
Lately I’ve been feeling a little tension. I’ll call it the “The ‘Why’ Tension”. It’s difficult for me to explain where it comes from, and if it’s something to take seriously, and even whether I should tell anyone else about it. I think it may be from the Holy Spirit, but I’m hesitant to declare that this “why” tension is directly Holy Spirit driven.
My tension started after Covid hit and we were subjected to lockdowns and most churches went to online services. I noticed in these online services that most churches have only a smattering of older senior citizens attending, with a few younger ones sprinkled in.
Don’t get me wrong. I love older people . . . in fact I am one. Leviticus 19:32 instructs younger people to stand in the presence of older ones out of respect. Many other Bible verses declare the reverence we are to have toward our seniors and the wisdom they possess.
So you might ask, Arlen, where is your “why” tension coming from? I’ll answer that I think it comes from the lack of young people in the church, and the lack of new people coming to the Lord.
Granted, there are some churches that seem to be thriving more than others. Some of them have seeker sensitive messages with cool lighting and acoustics. Some have dynamic children’s programs with charismatic children and youth leaders, but I wonder if these things produce real lasting results of people trusting Christ as their Savior?
It really hit me last night when I was watching a wonderful preacher and college professor talking about holiness. What he said was spot on, but again it was to a smattering of about thirty-five, likely older people, although I couldn’t see them, in a large church of possibly up to 750-1000 members.
Here’s where my tension comes in. The teachers in our churches may, or may not, show passion with their beliefs about scripture, and what scripture means. But I think what might be missing is tying it to the “why”. Why should we be holy? Why should our lives be set apart free from sin? Why should we talk about being blessed by God? Why should we talk about the Book of Revelation and the promises and curses of the Last Days that it contains?
I realize that after the book of Acts the apostles dedicated themselves to teaching topics like holiness, sanctification, how to reach the fullness of faith, and many other very important topics, and didn’t necessarily directly talk about the “why” of what they were teaching. I think it was implied that they wanted Christians to live better, set apart lives to be good examples to the lost.
I won’t question the apostles, their motives, and the behind the scenes happenings driving their teachings. God had a plan and fulfilled it through the apostles.
I think, however, sometimes God allows some tension and ambiguity to force us to trust the Holy Spirit to help us figure things out.
So I wonder if our teachers, leaders, and all Christians would do much better if we included the “why” in all or most of our messages. And I would go further to say the “why” is to verbally, straightforwardly tie our messages to evangelism to reach the lost, whether they be young or old.
For example, a Christian might say, “One of the main reasons we’re to be holy is so that we might show the difference in our lives to the lost people around us.” Or, “We’re studying the Book of Revelation to try to understand the importance of it, and how we should try to reach as many lost people as possible so they can avoid the consequences of the Last Days.”
I think these simple strategies would not only be exciting, but it would focus us, and the Christians around us, to reach lost people, young and old, for Christ.
See you next time,