Is soul winning important in your church?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Soulman, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Soulman

    Soulman
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    We are mandated through the great Commission to preach the gospel to every creature. Are we all doing this? Are we letting the pastor preach and give an invitation? Is this enough? Is the real work of soul winning presenting the gospel to individuals by individuals?
     
  2. gb93433

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    Takes more than just preaching. We are called to make disciples in Mt. 28:19,20.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    "Soul winning" is a man-made term often confusing to folks. The Bible says "witness" (Greek: marturion), "preach the Gospel", or "make disciples".

    I cannot "win" anyone. That is the work of the blessed 3rd Person of the Godhead alone. But I can preach and witness and share and testify.

    I have knelt with folks and prayed with them as they repented of sin and trusted the Savior. But I have never "won" anyone.

    NOT just semantics here. It is a mindset of the 1-2-3-pray-after-me churches/Graham crusades, etc that put MAN at the center of salvation instead of the holy Spirit.
     
  4. Soulman

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    Posted by Dr. Bob: NOT just semantics here. It is a mindset of the 1-2-3-pray-after-me churches/Graham crusades, etc that put MAN at the center of salvation instead of the holy Spirit.

    It is simply a term in alot of Independant Fundamental Baptist Churches. You are right that there are alot of numbers oriented churches that use the 1-2-3 pray after me approach. Real Churches with a heart for souls take the great comission very seriously.

    As you stated , it is the Holy Spirit that saves. We are to lead them to the Living water or why would God tell us to.

    I remember on another post you said you don't believe door knocking works. Although as you have knelt and prayed with people is an effective way to see salvation.

    The term soul winning generally refers to door knockers. It is another way and is in obedience to the scriptures.

    Lk. 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

    It is not telling them to advertise big days and lead as many as visit, although this may be effective. It is telling us to hit the streets. There is no other interpretation of the verse. I am here to tell you that it still works. We see people saved weekly using this method. It shows that Gods word is still for today.

    With technology as it is today we have many more options to get folks into church. But the old ways still do work. A good soul-winning church will take the tima after praying and offer assurance of salvation as well as compel them as to the importance of comming to church. We also have an 8 week discipleship program to get the new Christian grounded. Does everybody that professes Christ come to church? No of course not. We don't judje salvations. We trust in the work of the Holy Spirit. It does still work!!
     
  5. av1611jim

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    Amen soulman! I concur.
    My home church is big on soul winning. But we do not rely on it alone. There's prison ministry, missions, homeless, nursing homes, jails, buses, and many other ways. Go here and click on ministries.
    www.tvbc.org
    Good to see there are still folks like us out there in the trenches!
    In His service;
    Jim
     
  6. DeaconLew

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    "Dr." Bob,
    Proverbs 11:30 ¶ The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

    You would have known this if you read the bible instead of correcting it.

    -DeaconLew
     
  7. Trotter

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    My former pastor really liked to say, "I want to see this church become a soul-winning station for Jesus."

    Problem was, that is all he has done about it. No visitation program, no outreach, nothign for kids. He asked me and the wife to "take over" visitation...and, after we (me, wife, and three others) put together a plan and a procedure to get it done, he gutted it and told us he'd tell us who needed a visit and who needed a card.

    From what I can see, he doesn't want to knock on doors, but he sure wants someone else to do it for him.

    Oh, and the only growth going on in that church is transfer growth...not new converts.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  8. gb93433

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    The gospel can be preached in a few minutes to a few hours but it takes about 20 months to two years to help a person grow and get them on the road and going. Discipleship is doing as Jesus did with His disciples. He took them with Him and taught them to do ministry. He didn't just give them instruction. He showed them and then turned them loose.
     
  9. gb93433

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    Email me some time and I will send you an Email back on what you can do that I have found to be quite effective. There are ways you can get started and over time will develop relationships and possibly start some Bible studies.

    Some pastor are insecure and are afraid if you do much they won't look so good. That does happen and sometimes people in the church expect the pastor to do most of the preaching and visiting just because he is "paid."
     
  10. Soulman

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    Soul-winning is the life blood of the church. If a church isn't doing it they become cold and dogmatic. They eventually die.

    What is the purpose of Church? To sit in a pew and worship? Partially. The church is there to train us up, to tell others, to accomplish the great commission. God's will is that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. How do you know what God's will is for your life? Put yourself into His will. Tell others about Christ!
     
  11. Greg Linscott

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    In the context, Proverbs 11:30 is apeaking of attracting (winning) people through the living out of wisdom. This does not negate our evangelistic zeal, but neither does it justify the 123 easy-beliveism approach sadly too often associated with the "soul winning" mindset. Dr. Bob is right on here- Salvation is of the Lord! Our duty and privilege is to preach and proclaim.

     
  12. Broadus

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    One of our problems is that we've reduced conversion to walking down an aisle and repeating a prayer or "asking Jesus to come into your heart." When we get the unregenerate to say a prayer and wonder why they quit attending worship and otherwise living a Christian life, we say that there is not enough "discipleship" taking place.

    The problem is that we've long since lost what it means to be converted. The Bible talks about repenting and believing on Christ, that a holy God will not allow those who are unholy into His presence, that Jesus Christ died in the believing sinner's place, that His righteousness is accounted to the believer. We sell "fire insurance" and wonder why so few of our baptized "converts" remain faithful.

    For a contrast of man-centered evangelism with God-centered evangelism, I recommend Will Metzger's Tell the Truth.

    Bill
     
  13. Squire Robertsson

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    Yes, though by many common measures folks on the outside probably won't see that. (When's the last time your church wrote and printed up it's own tract and then had it translated into the non-English languages common to you community? Barring that, if you use "God's Simple Plan of Salvation" how many languages do you have out in the tract rack besides English? Come to that, do you have a tract rack for your membership to be supplied from?)
     
  14. superdave

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    Winning Souls is one of the most important things that God is doing in our church.

    That includes bringing the message of the gospel to those who haven't heard it. And bringing those of us who are in Christ closer to his likeness.
     
  15. Johnv

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    Indeed. Being a hearer of the word, but not a doer, is hardly what the Great Commission instructs. The Gospel is spread more with the hands than the mouth.

    Finding churches that do soulwinning is easy. Finding churches that are soul nurturing, now that's different.
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    [​IMG] You're right. I've never read my Bible. :rolleyes:

    Glad I could give you a chance to vent and hope you feel better.

    You've already been corrected by others. "Soul winning" in modern ifb churches is NOT what Prov 11 speaks of. It is a man-made term. NEVER used in the Gospels or New Testament.

    Witnesses. "This is what happened". Even if such testimony as a witness leads to our death (witness in Greek is "marturion" - martyr).

    VAST DIFFERENCE. Let's use the Bible rather than blast at someone, okay? We'll all feel better then! [​IMG]
     
  17. Soulman

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    Posted by Broadus: One of our problems is that we've reduced conversion to walking down an aisle and repeating a prayer or "asking Jesus to come into your heart." When we get the unregenerate to say a prayer and wonder why they quit attending worship and otherwise living a Christian life, we say that there is not enough "discipleship" taking place.One of our problems is that we've reduced conversion to walking down an aisle and repeating a prayer or "asking Jesus to come into your heart." When we get the unregenerate to say a prayer and wonder why they quit attending worship and otherwise living a Christian life, we say that there is not enough "discipleship" taking place.

    I poasted another thread on this site titled "Saved or Anxious for your Soul?".
    I was repeatedly spoken to by other members as to how dare I judge someones salvation.

    We are given things like discernment in order to be able to judge fruit. Never are we to judge salvation.

    It is a fact Broadus that a good many churches only do half the job. When a person prays the prayer we often leave them on the door step and on their own. This is akin to leaving a baby on someone elses stoop.

    A person who leads another to living water has a responsibility to PERSONALLY invite the person to church, give assurance, teach them of baptizim, and disciple them. I will grant you that a good many churches are not proficient in this area, but when you and others make statements as: One of our problems is that we've reduced conversion to walking down an aisle and repeating a prayer or "asking Jesus to come into your heart." When we get the unregenerate to say a prayer and wonder why they quit attending worship and otherwise living a Christian life, we say that there is not enough "discipleship" taking place.

    All you are doing is making an excuse to do nothing. How are you reaching people? God gives us the same choice Adam had and commands us to GO!

    Not much theology there. GO. A very simple command that needs to be followed. Many churches have a zeal for reaching people. Their lack of follow up is the only thing that gives your statement ANY credibility.
     
  18. HankD

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    Dear Deacon,

    This passage speaks of Jesus Christ the only "righteous" one and the "tree of life".
    He alone is wise to the winning of souls.

    Matthew 11
    27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
    28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Each of us has the opportunity to enter into His soul-winning harvest and be the human means through whom He will speak to others both through the witness of our lives as well as our words.

    Door-to-door is just one of many ways to say "here am I, send me".

    HankD
     
  19. Broadus

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    Soulman,

    I applaud your concern about the eternal destiny of the souls of others. To question the concern of anyone writing on this board would reveal that one's ignorance is exceeded only by one's arrogance.

    You miss my point, however. My charge is that so much which passes for "soul winning" is nothing more than man-centered evangelism. It is a "gospel" that focuses upon the desires of humans than the glory of God.

    The failure of modern "soul winning" is seen in the fact that the majority of "converts" are nowhere to be found. Church membership dwarfs church attendance. I was a member of a super-sized church in the Midwest back in the 1970's. Thousands were baptized every year. Knowing no better, I joined in going to poor areas of one of our major cities week after week, taking a few minutes to go through the points of the Romans Road and getting the hearer to repeat a prayer. We would get busloads of people to be baptized and everyone would pat each other on the back about their "soul winning" efforts. The turnover of persons in worship, though, was shameful.

    When a person is truly converted, you don't have to be constantly after him to be faithful in worship attendance. There's no other place he wants to be on the Lord's day. Unfortunately, what is often called "follow-up" is actually a continuation of evangelism. The person who "asked Jesus into his heart" has not yet been truly converted.

    You write that "we are given things like discernment in order to be able to judge fruit. Never are we to judge salvation." What's your point, and what is your scriptural support? We are to judge the fruit of teachers to discern whether they are of God (Matt 7:15-20). We are prohibited from judging the motives of others (Matt 7:1). Are you saying that when a person repeats the "prayer of salvation" that we are prohibited from observing his life to have confidence that he is truly a child of God? While we cannot read a person's heart, we are to look at the evidence in his life. If he continues to absent himself from the assembly of believers, in direct disobedience to Hebrews 10:24-25, we should be concerned that he has never truly been converted. If a professing Christian lives a life of habitual sin, the problem is not discipleship--it is evangelism. We need to continue to share the gospel with him and warn him.

    I wonder if a lot of modern "soul winning" doesn't make a person twice the son of hell as he already is (cf. Matt 23:15). His marriage is in a mess, he got laid off his job, his children are out of control, he's been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, etc., and we tell him to believe on Jesus and God will take care of him. The TV show "Touched by an Angel" characterizes such efforts. This is not the gospel.

    The gospel is that God is holy and we are not. We are depraved, sinful, rebellious, hell-deserving sinners. God as established His law and we have wantonly disobeyed. Justice requires the execution of our judgment--undergoing the wrath of God in a very real hell for eternity. But that is not the end of the story. The Son of God condescended to become incarnate, He lived perfectly according to God's law, He endured the just wrath of God in the place of condemned sinners who would believe, and He physically rose from the dead to exhibit that He is indeed the Son of God. If a person does not hear this, he has not heard the gospel. If he does not repent of his sin and believe on the Christ who died in his stead, he has not been converted. He may have made a decision for a "Jesus" who's going to deal with his problems, and he may even be baptized and join the church, and he may even become a leader in the church, but he is not converted. By the grace of God, he may become converted as he hears the truth preached. Many church members do so.

    Soulman, you write, "A person who leads another to living water has a responsibility to PERSONALLY invite the person to church, give assurance, teach them of baptizim, and disciple them." Well, who wouldn't invite the new believer to church? That's a no-brainer. But . . . "give assurance"? Again, where in the Bible do we find that a Christian gives another person assurance concerning his salvation? Please don't quote 1 John 5:13, one of the most misused verses in the Bible. John writes, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." What are "these things"? Not the Romans Road and not saying a prayer of salvation. "These things" is referring to what preceded in 1 John, the rest of the epistle. John has written his epistle so that his hearers can examine their lives in light of scriptural criteria. BTW, we do not provide assurance of salvation to others--that is the role of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:12-17).

    I do agree that we tell the newly converted about the meaning and requirement of baptism and that we disciple them. Again, though, I reiterate that the great problem in our churches seeking the lost is not a lack of follow-up, it is man-centered, unbiblical evangelism. Again, I encourage all to read Tell the Truth by Will Metzger. It's the best presentation I've seen by someone who's spent decades involved in personal evangelism. You can order it from, among other places, Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service. Check it out at http://www.cvbbs.com/inventory.php?target=indiv&bookid=4194 .

    Bill
     
  20. williemakeit

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    Matthew 28

    Verse 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Verse 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Commonly referred to as 'The Great Commission', are these requirements for salvation? As Baptists, we would be quick to say, "Of course not", since salvation is based upon faith alone at God's urging; however we are quick to associate these 'works' as true tests, or indications, that we are truly winning souls. What is the minimum that one must do to be saved, and, as a church, do we provide any input at all into facilitating this?
     

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