Outreach Guilt

There are many Christians that are carrying about a self-imposed guilt. They feel guilty that they have never led anyone to a salvation experience. Thinking they have failed the Lord, they revert to personal judgment, which affects their Christian walk. Years ago, many churches were involved in a movement known as the Evangelism Explosion. The purpose of that program was to reach as many people for Jesus Christ as possible. Tracts and pamphlets were fast tracked to churches. Teams of “soul winners” canvased neighborhoods. Bumper stickers were displayed on Believers’ cars. There were positive results from the outreach efforts, but sadly, there was little follow-ups of the newly “born again.” Getting someone “saved” was crossing the goal line, but the tragedy was that the “point after” was missed. Babies left unattended will be vulnerable to Satan’s attack. To be an effective “soul winner,” one must be trained.

When Jesus encountered the four fishermen at the Sea of Galilee, He asked them to follow Him and He would make them “fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and began a life of training. Before one can reach out, he needs to learn the ways of Jesus. Many efforts to lead someone to the saving power of Jesus have been met with failure due to “duty lead” initiatives. It is imperative that we show the Kingdom before we invite people to know Him. It is equally important that we understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our endeavor. It is not simply following the “Roman Road” (scriptures picked to show the steps to accepting Jesus,) but it is seeing and hearing how the Holy Spirit wants to use us. People are convicted by the Holy Spirit. Knowing when to approach an individual is essential to leading them to the Lord. To approach anyone with a well presented outline will not necessarily lead to a successful outcome. I believe the Holy Spirit precedes the evangelistic effort. When we are not lead by the Holy Spirit, our outreach efforts will be severely limited. Until the opportunity arises for the Gospel to be shared, we need to demonstrate the Gospel through our life.

A Christian shared with me of the time she witnessed to a person about Jesus, but the Truth seemed to fall on deaf ears. Disappointed but not discouraged, she shared how weeks later she felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to reach out to another specific individual. This time, the person accepted the Gospel and was saved. When we launch out on our own, we are bound to face discouragements, but when we are launched out by the Holy Spirit, we can expect to experience the harvest.

There is one question that every Christian needs to consider. “How do we know if we have ever led someone to Jesus?” I believe that one of these days the Believer will stand before the Lord and have the Book of Remembrance opened, and to his surprise, he will hear about people that had accepted Jesus through his influence! So don’t be so hard on yourself, for you may have played a bigger role in someone’s life than you thought. (Ref. Mark 1:16-21)

  1. How would you rate your Gospel outreach?
  2. How have you influenced the lives of the skeptics?
  3. What are your strong points in exhibiting the Gospel?
  4. What areas need to be improved in your life?