Aug 7, 2009

Why Don't Disciples Evangelise

I often catch myself wondering why it is that not all Christ followers, the disciples are involved in or even care about evangelism. I think the answer lies partly in what the church in general has modelled to believers for such a long time. As I look around at churches and what events they run, it becomes clear that evangelism is something that the evangelist does or a few passionate evangelistic people do. It' s easy for me to understand that the average person attending church would get the idea that this is a specialist ministry area.

The problem is that the Bible does not teach this as the primary method of evangelism. Jesus in Matthew 28 when speaking to his disciples exhorted them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." (Matt 28:18-20). Frank Gaebalein in his commentary on Matthew says that the proclamation of the gospel was envisaged when Jesus gave the great commission to his disciples. And that this proclamation would lead to repentance and faith and would be followed by apprenticing the masters ways. That proclamation may have been to crowd or to individuals or to small groups of people. My contention is that the disciples as part of the commission to make disciples understood that the evangelism was part of the deal! The primary method of evangelism was an 'every disciple' approach!

What do you think?

So, why is it that all disciples are not engaged in the initial proclamation part of making disciples? . A few thoughts:

1) The church model of bringing in evangelists to speak to unbelievers has negatively empowered believers to abstain from evangelism.
2) Believers do not understand the implications of the great commission.
3) Not enough training and teaching is done on evangelism.

I would be interested in your thoughts.