Maximum Impact – Are people getting saved?

I have been a lot more aware of the fact that we are not seeing many people get really “saved” in our ministry. We see a few people get saved but I am aware that there can easily be many more. I believe we could easily experience people getting into loving relationships with God every week. My question is why is this not happening? Obviously the problem is not from God. I know that God delights in the salvation of lost sinners like me. I know how I got saved and began my relationship with God. There was no drama, but Jesus became very real to me even though I was less than 10yrs old. So I am beginning to wonder if something is wrong with the way I am doing ministry.

Could it be that Canada is too hard? – Well it is true that humanism and secularism is quickly attempting to take over Canada, and a lot of people have become disillusioned with “the church”. However, I still believe that the power of God is still available to save the lost. I do not think that Canada is harder in any special way than other areas of the world where people are anti-Christianity, however I think that those of us sent to minister in Canada must understand the perculiarity of Canada and go to God for a strategy that will be effective in bringing in the harvest.

Is the harvest really ready? Yes of course! Jesus declared many years ago that the harvest is ready. This is the first work that the Lord did in my heart and ministry. I am convinced beyond all doubt that there is a big harvest in Canada. It does not matter what province, city or town, there is a harvest in Canada. The problem is not that the harvest is not ripe. The problem is the labourers!

So what is the problem with the labourers? – The most obvious problem is that there are not many labourers. Very few people are reaching out to the millions of people out there who are lost to the love of God. I am not talking about people not standing at the corner of the street giving out gospel tracts. There are a few of those; although they are still not enough. What about gospel campaigns? There are many of those but I believe that these impersonal methods of reaching out to people can only be as effective as the Christians are reaching out to their neighbours and colleagues in the love of Christ.

I believe the problem with us labourers is that we have focused on impersonal approaches of evangelism or witnessing and ignored the more personal methods of reaching out. We have wrongly assumed that if we stay on the street corner handing out tracts, or set up a tent or rent a hall and just preach the “undiluted word of God”, the non-Christians will rush in and get saved. Well maybe this approach has worked in the past for great evangelists like Charles Finney, DL Moody, Spurgeon, Billy Graham and more, but the more I think about our situation as a church, the more I realise that even this evangelists started out as personal workers before being launched into the ministry of mass evangelism.

What can we do now? Well the first thing is that I am so much more aware that if we are going to enjoy weekly salvations in our ministry, all of us (members of our local assembly) and all of the church nationwide must actively engage in the work of loving our neighbours and sharing the gospel message. If we all love the non-Christians around us and clearly share the gospel message with them when the opportunity arises, although this people may not get saved right away, they will eventually meet with other Christians or attend a less personal evangelistic events where they would accept Jesus as their Lord.

As a pastor, I choose to make personal evangelism my focus – By this I mean that as a church we will invest in resources geared to helping our members learn about personal/relationship evangelism, and to participate in it. I will set a personal goal to meet someone new every week and to share the love of God with them. I am not suggesting that we put an end to all other methods of evangelism, but that we add this very powerful method of reaching out to people to our strategy.

It is more expensive – Yes it is true that making friends and sharing the love of Christ with them does not cost lots of money, however it cost more time and more personal resources. I am discovering however, that although is costs more, it is also more rewarding. I am making some great friendships, praying for more people by name, learning more about my weaknesses and going to God for help. To do this work well, we must become more and more authentic as Christians. What do you know? Relationship evangelism will help you grow as a Christian than any thing that you may have done before. I am already enjoying some of its benefits and I look forward to seeing those weekly salvations in our ministry. I also look forward to seeing the joy in the eyes of some of our members who will start to see people come to faith in Christ Jesus.

We must press on – until revival comes

I really want to see God move and glorify Himself in Montreal.  I am yet to see the kind of brokenness described in the Bible. I am yet to see people crying out to God for mercy not caring about those around them. I am yet to see people being transformed in large numbers. I am still crying out to God for Revival.

Today and for the past week or more, I have not had any desire to organise any programs, try any new strategies even though there are a couple of interesting ideas that are running around my mind, but I have had this feeling that when God shows up at a meeting – you really don’t need some elaborate publicity ideas to fill the place up. With this at the back of my mind, I have been asking the Lord to work on me and change me so that I can cooperate with Him in such a way that He can “show up”.

I have had a testimony from yesterday’s sermon that God touched a sister’s heart and helped her to take another major step forward in her walk with God. For this I give God the glory. However, I know that God desires to do more and I am looking forward to more of our brothers and sisters being totally broken before the Lord all mighty. I desire to see more people repenting before the Lord, and being filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered for ministry.

Dear Lord, work on me your servant, remove every barrier and make me a perfect reflector of your glory. I cry like the saints of previous years – LORD BEND ME. LORD TEACH ME. LORD USE ME TO DISPLAY YOUR GLORY.

Oh Lord we need revival

I think a more appropriate title should be – I need revival. We have been looking at the Acts of the apostles at church and the more I meditate on the early church, the more I realise that we have lost a lot of the things that they had. The depth of love, fellowship and commitment to the Lord is very rare in our churches today. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit is hardly seen or experienced and the mainfestation of the power of God in signs and wonders is almost non-existent in most of our churches (at least we are not seeing any wonders in our church).

So when I say I need revival, it’s because I believe that the pastor of a church has a major role to play in promoting a revival in a local assembly. I believe that if I am on fire, that soon some of the members will catch the flame and we will be on our way to seeing and experiencing what was described in the Acts of the apostles. I have read many books on revival. I commented yesterday on one of the ones that has really challenged me – The revival we need by Oswald Smith. The convicting power of the Holy Spirit did not stop working in the first century, we read about great Holy Spirit convictions in the ministries of men all through the ages – People like the Wesley brothers, Whitfield, Finney, Spurgeon, Maria Wooodworth Etter, Wigglesworth, Brainerd, John Hyde, Oswald Smith and many more. If we are serving the same God, preaching the same Jesus and being moved by the same Holy Spirit, the results should be similar. However the only difference is the vessel (me). So I think I need revival.

I have spent a good portion of my day today crying to God to help me, to qualify me for His work. I cannot afford to work by my strength and I cannot afford to try to pretend that all is well. Lack of fruitfulness is a sure sign that there is need for more humility, mor submission and more obedience. May I add that the presence of conversions is also a pointer that there can be more fruit. I don’t mean to say that once I begin to see people get “born again” I will think that I am perfect, but I am saying that I will not give God any rest until I am totally transformed according to His will into a vessel that He can use to bring people into the kingdom.

I desire to see genuine salvation – not the half hearted conversions that we see today. I mean people going all the way for Jesus and never turning back. I want to see the same depth of love and fellowship in our church and I am sure signs and wonders will follow. Oh Lord I need revival.

Please pray along with me for revival.

The Revival we need by Oswald J. Smith

I can not get over this book. I have read it over and over again and I will recommend it to every preacher, every christian worker and indeed to every serious christian. In this 140 page book, Pastor Oswald J. Smith challenges the church to a revival based solely on prayers and preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit.

It was really helpful to read the entries in his diary as he began to cry out to God for personal revival and subsequently for revival in the church he was pastoring. When reading this book, one’s faith is stirred to trust God for a supernatural move of God in one’s ministry especially when you read about the hours and hours that Oswald Smith spent in prayers before the power of God began to move so much in his church.

The book is easy to read and he gives some interesting and challenging examples of how God had brought revival to several places at different times through various ministers. This books makes you want to cry out to God to do the same in your Church if you are a pastor.

I like this book also because it comes out of something that happens in Toronto Canada (being a pastor based in montreal, Canada.) You may read this book online using the link below or order a copy from amazon.

http://www.gospeltruth.net/OJSmith/revival_we_needch1.htm