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  • Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    God-Centered Evangelism

    Thom Rainer has recently noted that in 2003 the ratio of church members to baptisms in SBC churches was 43 to 1 (see here). Rainer puts this statistic forward to answer the question, "How many members does it take to reach one person for Christ in a year?"

    I suspect that the ratio is 43 to 1 mainly because many (most?) of the 43 never share their faith. If you’re not in an SBC church, I bet the ratio is not that different where you are.

    Will Metzger has provided a great remedy for this situation in his book, Tell the Truth: A Training Manual on the Message and Methods of God-Centered Witnessing.



    Appendix C of this book is a Study Guide for 12 Group or Individual sessions. This means that Metzger’s book is ready made for a reading group that meets once a month (as I hope we’ll start at Baptist Church of the Redeemer on July 31). Alternatively, you could find a younger Christian and go through this book in a discipleship setting, or just read it yourself!

    This ratio of 43 to 1 is not going to bring about another Great Awakening. Metzger observes, "a one-to-one approach initiated by every believer still holds the best promise of evangelizing the earth" (20).

    Two more quotes to whet your appetite: "The recovery of a God/grace-centered gospel, or as James Boice has put it, a ‘rediscovery of the doctrines that shook the world,’ is imperative" (11).

    "This book is about the scandal of sovereign salvation. In it, I blame God for salvation, in the sense that he is totally responsible. He organized a rescue operation within the Trinity--designing, supplying, accomplishing, and restoring those who are in peril. Our triune God is the Author and Fulfiller, the Originator and Consummator, the Creator and the Redeemer. It's all God's fault--a grace that gives response-ability to the spiritually dead" (13).

    May God revive us to what Metzger argues for here: the whole Gospel to the whole person by whole people!

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