In our Creating Outreach and Evangelism class this morning, Tom Rees opened by directing us to the Southern Baptists' report on the Great Commission. (here) It is sobering and challenging stuff.
Here are some findings: 83% of people in Northeast are lost. The population of these states (basically Pennsylvania and north) is 55 million. 83% of this population will be in Hell unless we do something. Currently, there is no growth in numbers of people in this area attending church, so it seems unlikely that we will reach them in my lifetime. They are likely to remain lost.
What will I say when I stand before Jesus, and we talk about the sad fact that in my lifetime, church attendance has slidden to far less than half the numbers that there were when I started ministry?
What will Pastor's say when they stand in front of the One who gave everything to get them to eternal life? What might be the top ten list of excuses that we mumble out to "Him with whom we have to do"?
1. It was too hard.
2. I didn't know what to do
3. I was busy doing church stuff
4. My church wasn't yet large enough to plant another one
5. Really, there are lost people in America?
6. I didn't have the money
7. My church needed me!
8. I tried to reach some, but I'm not very good at it.
9. That other church tried some stuff, but it was a joke.
10. My fellowship didn't tell me what to do!
I am sick to death of my own stupid excuses. Jesus gave it all, so the least I can do is give more, work harder, stop doing stupid religious stuff, and resolve to flounder my way toward some kind of progress.
Any body with me?