What does your church/you do re:decisions for Christ and follow-up?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by annsni, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    As some of you know, we had a funeral for a young woman this weekend at our church. This young woman was very popular and there were hundreds of college students who came to say "goodbye". What a ripe audience to hear the Gospel and yet I feel we fell short. There are things looking back now as a Monday morning quarterback that I think we should have done and DH and I were discussing what sorts of things we can do to do better the next time this happens.

    Of course we grew up with the decisional theology - where we preach the Gospel, ask the crowd that those who want to accept Jesus to pray this prayer following us then to raise their hand afterwards so we can pray with them. I'm not so sure this is the right thing to do or not because these people now walk away thinking their saved but there was nothing done in their hearts. It was a reactionary response and not a true heart response. Maybe some were truly saved through this. I don't know. But culturally, that has been the norm in my circle for many years.

    What I'm thinking is that we need a follow-up of some sort. We at times have given out books or tracts but I think we truly need a "new believer" resource for those who will not continue in our church and quite possibly, my husband and I will be doing something for this online as well as a physical packet to give to someone.

    So my question is, how do you handle this sort of thing? Do you do the "pray after me then raise your hand"? Do you think that is good? Do you instead have people come to you so you can speak to them one on one? What resources do you have for those who DO pray?

    I'd really appreciate your input on this. I'd rather it not get into a debate (hmmm - maybe I shouldn't put this in the debate section of the site then? LOL Oh well) but a discussion of what you have done and what your beliefs/understandings/experiences of this sort of thing are.
     
  2. Pastor David

    Pastor David
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    Annsni,

    I tend to agree that manipulating people into a "Sinner's Prayer" can give that person a false sense of security - and really, a works based salvation, "I" said a prayer, therefore I must be saved".

    I tend to approach evangelism much more organically, if you will. We must cultivate the Gospel - one plants, another waters, God's gives the increase. This comes through developing relationships based upon God's Word, that allow for conversations and interaction conducive for speaking about Christ. This happens quite naturally in a week to week church basis.

    But for those occasions where you don't believe you'll be seeing or speaking to a group again, and you want to share the Gospel, I would simply preach what the Lord lays on your heart, and then let them know you or other church leaders (depending upon your situation) are always available if they would like to speak to you more. Have a business card, or church tract where you can be reached.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
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    Thanks Pastor David. We're now thinking of maybe doing an online thing? Where they would get a packet to start directly from us but then direct them to an online site where there might be a Bible study, some information - maybe general questions that are posted and answered - and that sort of thing. This is still in the conception stage but the senior associate pastor LOVES this idea. We NEED to get something in place because what we've been doing just doesn't work, in our opinions.

    So, anyone else??
     
  4. TomMann

    TomMann
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    There is a time for planting, and a time for harvesting that which is planted. If you are talking about what would or could be considered appropriate at a funeral I would refrain from what appears to be an all out membership drive for the kingdom. A word about what she believed (which requires explanation of the gospel) and the peace and joy it brought her is appropriate. The belief that her eternal destination is with God in heaven forever is appropriate. An alter call and/or passing out tracts (in my opinion) is not.

    So I would view this as a time of planting. "God, I'm gonna go throw some seeds out on the ground and count on you to give increase as and how you will."

    Now if you are talking on how you evangelize in general, that can be a different story. I will state that I am not an abc repeat after me type. I believe in stating what I believe and why I believe it, allowing the Holy Spirit to take it from there. If the individual expresses the belief that Jesus is the Christ, and the Son of God, then it might be a good opportunity to pray with him/her to God a prayer of thanks for revealing this truth to the individual.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
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    Well, we always give an invitation at our church at funerals because our pastor and MANY others have been saved at funerals. What better time to address eternity than when someone has just gone on to their own?

    I guess we're thinking of a multi-level sort of thing. Thinking of:

    * Something to have available for those who would like to find out more about salvation - such as after a funeral like this or whatever. Something that will help them to think on it some more if they're not yet ripe.

    * Something for when people DO make decisions for Christ - what do they do now? If they're attending our church, there are people who can disciple them but what if they're visiting? What can we give them to encourage them in their new walk with the Lord?
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Being available and getting to know people will do more good than anything else. My former pastor has been winning people to Christ for years by knocking on doors in the community and genuinely getting to know people. He taught me how to love people and care for them in a genuine way at the home of someone. He comes without an agenda and does what he says he will do. One time he greatly impacted me when he came to a home and the man said that he could not talk because his wife was dying and would not live much longer. After a brief conversation my pastor asked if he could pray for the man and then we went on our way. He preached many funerals in town. As a result people knew who to go to when they were struggling and in need of a genuine pastor who cared. A funeral can be an avenue of something to come.
     

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