The table to the right may help to visualize the problem. I have to question what can be done and how?
Yes, we must plant churches and help strengthen those that remain, we must work together to provide good, Bible based teaching to churches that may be wandering from the truth and cooperate to help each other reach out with the Gospel
But how? I am not talking about compromise or church marketing in the worst sense of the term. But how can we best evangelise our communities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
We condemn those types of Calvinists that would abandon evangelism under the reasoning that God will save whom He will in His own way and time. But do we in non-Calvinist circles do something similar when we say, “I’m going to keep using what are obviously ineffective methods and God will use them when He is ready.” I believe whole heartedly in what could be termed shotgun and sharpshooter evangelism. Shotgun evangelism is the seemingly ineffective method, the mass literature distribution, newspaper adverts and high street outreach. However, I believe the cumulative and permeating impact of these ministries will eventually bear fruit.
But then there is the sharpshooter method. This focuses on a single individual or type of person. I believe we all naturally work with individuals to share the Gospel, but what of focusing on particular types of people? I believe we can, without becoming seeker-sensitive, be sensitive to individual’s and types of people’s needs.
Should we be more open to changing methods, to actively seek different ways and means of sharing the Gospel?
If current trends continue there will be few churches in Britain in 20 years time, let alone independent, fundamental, Bible believing Baptist and baptistic churches.
So, what do you think? Are we doing something wrong? What do you think could be changed/improved? Do you have “if only” days when you think “If I only I had —— then this church would grow!”?