What Happens When Everyone Thinks Someone Else is Responsible?

Having moved into a couple of different ministry situations over the past years I know that you cannot ask too many questions in order to understand the existing situation. It is always wise to walk around the ministry property asking questions about everything from the building structure down to who sharpens pencils (not that there is a designated pencil sharpner, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!)

Obviously the most important aspects are regarding ministry. What is the current outreach plan? Who does the ministry support as missionaries? Who is available to work in different aspects of the ministry? And a thousand other questions.

One question I did not ask here was, “Who makes sure we do not run out of heating oil?” So you know what happened? We ran out last week. This is no one’s fault but my own. It is one of those little things that can get missed when there is a transition of responsibility in a ministry.

The result was that we could not heat the church building and instead had to use the fellowship building next door.

When everyone thinks that someone else is responsible to make sure something is done quite often the task does not get accomplished.

I think I have been that way, and so are some churches, when it comes to world evangelism. World evangelism is not only the responsibility of the big churches, but of all churches. If a group of individuals take upon themselves the designation of being a local church then they take upon themselves all the responsibilities of a local church. World evangelism should be one of the first priorities of every church.

And when I say world evangelism I mean reaching your neighbour across the road, the work colleague and the people in countries you may not have ever even heard of.

When everyone thinks that everyone else is handing out Gospel tracts it very often means that few or no one does.

When a church thinks that other churches are taking care of world evangelism and so we don’t need to then very often it means that few churches actually do their part to reach the world for Christ.

We should never assume that someone else is doing something. When it comes to world evangelism we should all do our part.


I am not saying that I have not been involved with world evangelism on a local/global level. I am saying I have not done enough and I need to do more. I have not encouraged others enough and I need to encourage others more.

This may sound strange having just returned from 6 months furlough/deputation and being a missionary, but I just feel like more can and should be done.

How about you? Are you confident that you are doing all you can to spread the Gospel near and far?

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