Two years ago, I took up the sport of deer hunting. However, I often contemplate, as I am sitting in the dark woods…am I really hunting, or am I waiting?
Sure, there is a lot of preparing ahead of time. You watch where the deer typically go. You select your spot. You set up your treestand. You sight in your gun. You get your gear together. You head out before the sun comes up to get in your stand. And then…you wait. And when you wait…you wait as quietly and as still as possible so you are not noticed.
Sitting in the treestand this afternoon, I got to thinking. One of the reasons the Church is in decline, is because we take a deer-hunting approach to evangelism. We put in a lot of time. Many churches develop mission and vision statements, they establish new ministries, and they prepare for the oncoming influx of new visitors. And then…they wait. They wait motionless and quiet…so they are not noticed.
The Church can no longer sit back and wait for the unchurched, dechurched, and anti-churched to happen along. We must be proactive. The process of evanglism does not stop at producing new mission and vision statements or new ministries. Evangelism starts with…and ends with relationships.
They are not running to the church to meet us. They will not just happen along your “stand” and join your church. In fact, many will do everything in their power to avoid your “stand”. The question is…what are you going to do different? How will your evangelism change?