FRISCO Although the Bible clearly declares the importance of evangelism, Darrell Robinson believes American churches are ignoring the practice. Southern Baptists who claim to believe the Bible need to follow Jesus’ example, Robinson said, to “evangelize for the kingdom of God in other cities,” a reference to Luke 4:43.
The SBTC personal evangelism consultant lamented that the words preach and evangelize are frequently used interchangeably, giving the impression that evangelism only involves what the preacher declares from the pulpit.
“Evangelists are on hard times because the church is ignoring evangelizing,” said Robinson, recalling that he averaged using one “full-time, God-called vocational evangelist every year” during his pastoral ministry.
He described Philip’s intentional and urgent witness to the Ethiopian eunuch. “He ran and caught him. I know my life must be a witness, but my life will never lead anybody to Christ. It is the gospel of Christ that is the power of God to salvation,” he said, quoting Romans 1:16.
“Pastor, your ministry is not fulfilled if you don’t have a passion, not only to challenge people to witness, but to equip them to do it,” Robinson said. He challenged them to enlighten, enlist, equip, engage and encourage believers to evangelize. “Just telling them from the pulpit doesn’t do it. We’ve got to build the systems for it to happen through the life of the church.”
He warned of substitutes that churches utilize in place of evangelism, including entertainment to draw people in, marketing to give them what they want, and pop psychology instead of preaching the power of the gospel that changes lives.
Responding to the often stated belief that “methods change though the message stays the same,” Robinson said, “There are some methods that change the message. In order not to offend the precious seeker who wants to come to church if the church would just do it like they want, we leave out sin, blood, judgment, and Hell?those threatening words so that the seeker can feel comfortable.”
He recalled his own discomfort when first attending church, stating, “You’re asking the wrong person when you ask a lost person what it would take to reach him for Christ. He doesn’t know. He needs somebody to tell him the gospel.”
From the book of Acts, Robinson said he discovered five biblical techniques to reach lost people that he used to move First Baptist Church of Pasadena toward the multiplication of disciples, principles featured in his book “Synergistic Evangelism.”
“Public proclamation, caring ministry, event attraction, geographic saturation and personal presentation of the gospel–each one enhances the other so the result is maximum evangelistic outreach and ingathering of lost people.”