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Time to climb out of
our foxholes
For many believers, nothing is more frightening than the thought of sharing their faith. A recent survey by Lifeway Research, a highly reputable polling agency, confirmed that while most believers are convinced the Bible obligates Christians to share their faith, most never do, almost 80%. And that's just "sharing their faith," not actually leading someone to salvation. That's far less. Dr. James Kennedy, founder of Evangelism Explosion, claimed before his death in 2007 that fully 95% of believers have never led a single soul to Christ.

The same percentages are true of 

Time to climb out of our fox holes and wage war for the souls of men 
soldiers in actual combat. How intriguing is that! Not long ago, a team of historians found that during World War II and the Korean Conflict only 15% to 20% of American soldiers ever fired their weapons in an actual flesh and blood "fire-fight." And, again, that's just the percentage of those firing their weapons, not those who scored an actual "hit." That's less than 5%.

In short, for both the American army in combat and the American church "in combat," the brunt of the "war effort" is being borne by only 5% of the "soldiers." The rest huddle down in their fox holes. Is it any wonder that the church has been stagnating?

The church is NOT a fortress
It's a plundering army
For the last thirty five years or so, evangelical pastors have been working hard to afford believers protection from the dangers inherent in a culture that has become increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. The "fix" they've concocted has been simple and, on the face of it, quite reasonable: to transform the church into a fortress - where believers can find refuge and safety from the animosity that's building against them, their families, and especially their children. But it's a fix that runs counter to God's intention. Nowhere in scripture is the church likened to a fortress. It's a metaphor that's often used for God, but never for the church. Indeed, quite the contrary: Jesus, in his first mention of the church in Matthew 16 ... 
  • likens her not to a fortress, but to plundering army. 
  • It's hell that he casts in the guise of a fortress, with the devil and his minions cowering behind its walls and with the church laying siege to its gates.
I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:19

Learn here to proclaim the gospel
Be honest, "How do you think of the church - as a fortress or as a plundering army?" Just recently I asked a class I was teaching that very question. And without a single exception, they all confessed: a fortress. And they're not alone. That's how the overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians think of the church - motivated by the ever increasing hostility they now find themselves confronting. But that's totally wrong! 

I have a book I want you to read, Evangelism: the Forgotten Mission of the Church - and not just you, but your Christian friends, and, yes, your pastor and his staff as well. It's a step by step, twelve week course that will help you get beyond your fear of witnessing and equip you to be effective in your efforts. It will draw you, your friends, and your entire church into evangelism.

It's time once again to grow the church - not by sheep stealing (euphemistically called "transfer growth,") but by conversion growth. I wrote this book to help equip the church I attend (Capital City Church, Sacramento, California) to pull itself back into evangelism - to make evangelism an intuitive feature of every believer's life - such that it becomes "second nature." Below is the table of contents for the book Evangelism: The Forgotten Mission of the Church. It will give you an idea of its contents.

Table of Contents for
Evangelism: The Forgotten Mission of the Church

Principles and Underlying Truths

Reinvading the Public Square                                                                
Cultivating a Deeper walk with God through Reaching out to Others
Let's Get It Straight                                                                          
* What's at Stake                                                                       
* The Cost of Proclaiming the Real Gospel                                             
* All of Us Are Fishers of Men                                                         
* All of Us Are Ambassadors of Reconciliation                                        
* Evangelists Are Called to Train Everyone to Evangelize                              
* The Church Is Called to Attack Not to Duck and Cover                               
* It's All a Matter of Walking by Faith                                                                    
Learning How to Bait Your Hook -  The Five Wounds                                      
1. Guilt and the Fear of Impending Judgment                                           
2. Defenseless and Vulnerable                                                          
3. Alienation                                                                            
4. Stained and Useless                                                                  
5. Injustice                                                                              
By Grace Not by the Law                                                                   
A Study on Faith                                                                           
Transforming a Scriptural Truth into a Life-Changing Conviction                          
The Most Asked Question: Why Does God Permit Suffering?                               

Specific Evangelism Strategies
Fourteen Strategies for Encouraging Evangelism and Growing 
the Church through Conversions, not Sheep Stealing
Strategies Not Requiring Church-wide Participation
#1 Personal Identification                                                      
#2 Invitation to Church Evangelism                                            
#3 Personal Witnessing Evangelism                                            
#4 Coffee Shop Evangelism                                                   
#5 Crisis Evangelism                                                         
#6 Portal Evangelism                                                         
Strategies Requiring Church-wide Participation
#7 Felt Needs Evangelism                                                     
#8 Conference Evangelism                                                    
#9 Prophecy Evangelism                                                      
#10 Good Works Evangelism                                                   
#11 Protest Evangelism                                                        
#12 Social Justice Evangelism                                                  
#13 Street Evangelism                                                          
#14 The Dispossessed                                                          

Stop with the excuses
It's time to stop making excuses. Read this book, assimilate its principles and strategies thoroughly, get others to read it as well - including your pastors and church leadership. Once again, press this link to purchase it. Get started! Get moving! Do it! Bible studies, home-fellowships, conferences, Sunday sermons are all important; but unless evangelism becomes once again a central feature of the church, with all believers trained and encouraged to proclaim the gospel, it all loses its authenticity and amounts to little more than "walking in circles." Leading the lost to Christ is the primary mission of the church - and we've pulled back from pursuing it. Let's change that.

Talk to me
Also, I want to encourage you to link to my facebook page - and talk with me about what you think of evangelism - how you have pursued it over the course of your own Christian walk - and how effectively it's being pursued in your own church. 

It's not good enough for us to simply decry the Laodician plight of the American evangelical church. Yes, we should decry it, but not without, at the same time, helping the church awaken from her slumber and live up to her calling - the salvation of the lost.

Talk to me
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