Monday, December 21, 2015

If Just One Person Comes To Jesus, It Is Worth It All

I hear it all the time from well-meaning folks who want to “feel good” about every silly program and every foolish expenditure of their church, all justified in the name of "ministry" or “outreach evangelism.”

The last time I heard it, it was used in response to someone raising what I thought was a legitimate question about a major investment of several thousand dollars for a special event. Don’t get me wrong; there may be many good reasons for churches to spend thousand of dollars to send a few kids on a fun, short-term "mission" trip or for a high profile head-banging rock concert.  Churches are free to do whatever they want, but church leaders should carefully identify their real “ministry” objectives, and support them from Scripture.  And  then they can convince their members. Hey! Who am I to judge? BUT! Please spare me the inane argument that “If just one person comes to Jesus, it is worth it all.”

That kind of justification for the investment of any kind of so-called ministry is lame for several reasons:

It is manipulative. That is the kind of warm, fuzzy blather that is designed to generate a lot of emotional support and to silence or vilify any critics who would exercise some degree of legitimate discernment. After all, how dare we question what God is doing or how He is blessing?

It is pragmatic. The premise is that, if it works, it must be good. And if it results in “decisions” for God (whatever that means) then obviously God must be in favor of it.

It is man-centered. The implication is that successful evangelism is dependent on our clever programs, special events, and marketing techniques; whatever it takes to bring in the masses is justifiable. Without us, God wouldn’t have an audience. But what about all those small, poor churches? How will they ever be able to do the work of evangelism if they cannot afford the cost to do a super-spectacular program? Will God not use or bless them? They are terribly disadvantaged. How can they possibly compete with the mega-churches when the only resources they have, are the Spirit and the Word of God?

It is foolish and irresponsible. I think I can demonstrate that most people who say that sort of thing if they really thought about it, wouldn’t really believe it.  If, for example, a $10,000.00 expenditure for a weekend or seasonal “outreach” program is worth the investment because it may result in one convert, shouldn’t we spend the same every weekend? We would have 52 new converts in one year for a mere cost of only $520,000. Why not do a major program every day? Obviously, that kind of programming is unaffordable and unsustainable.

It prostitutes the Gospel. Forget the big events. Why not just offer a crisp, new $100.00 bill to everyone who makes a “decision” for God in your church services. I’m sure the word will get out in just a few days and you will have throngs of visitors repeating the "sinner's prayer" every week.

It robs God of His Glory.  We could never pay enough to gain or guarantee a single convert to the Kingdom. And God never intended for our success in evangelism to be determined by how creative we are or how much money we spend on special events. He has already orchestrated the greatest event in history and made the ultimate investment for the salvation of souls; the precious blood of His own Son shed on the cross at Calvary.


1 comment:

NotMister said...

I agree 100 Percent. I also find it crazy when people say I prayed about it so that is the final answer and you better not question them.