Monday, December 10, 2007

It's worth it if...

I would imagine that most of you have heard this comment at one time or another about various church "outreach" events.

"Well, it will all be worth it if one person gives their life to Jesus"

Is that statement even accurate? Or is it just something people tell themselves so they can sleep better at night? Is it worth anything that we would or could do? Or is there sometimes a higher price (which is no doubt unseen by most) that gets paid out in the name of "numerical evangelism"?

3 comments:

theoquest said...

On the one hand, there really is no price too high to pay for real relationship with God... the thing is, we don't pay that price because he already did.

I suspect that phrase is more often used to rationalize a lot of hard work that falls short of the desired results. I wonder if a lot of youth pastors, relying on themselves and their teams more than on God, deep down know what they're doing cannot produce the kind of life change they're wanting to see. Knowing that, it's easy to become dejected and then settle for less.

brad m said...

I think that it is worth all the effort and time if one person comes to know Christ.
That being said, I hear all too often many churches use that statement to "rationalize a lot of hard work that fall short of the desired results". I hear it over and over again with all of their efforts ... for years.
If we are going to take effort and time and resources we need to be in tune with what the Spirit is doing amongst our ministries. If we are seriously putting all we have into "events" or "programs" we will be willing to adjust our paradigm in order to reach those that don't know Christ.
If we are truly effective we will be expecting God to work rather than setting the bar at one!

jonathan said...

To add to what's been said, I find that often our "outreach" is designed in such a way that realistically, only one or two people could be reached at best.
(Frost and Hirsch write some great things about outreach in "The Shaping of Things to Come" by the way)
In church, the support is often given to the programs and events that first and foremost entertain us. I think of the huge Christmas plays that some churches and remote Saskatchewan Bible Schools put on - they're billeted as outreach, but in reality, they're a chance for people to dabble in acting, music, sound, lighting, etc. Effectiveness isn't the goal, it's a byproduct.