Have you heard someone talk about how dearly they love souls and discuss their efforts to win folks? Well, that would have to be a good thing. Have you ever, though, thought that something was off? That the action, though intense, did not match a heart of love for the souls of others? It is possible in every corner of the Christian world that people may not be loved for themselves, or even really for Christ. It is within the Independent Baptist world, where some of the greatest soulwinning efforts have taken place, that I want to ask: win them…to what?
While it is impossible to know someone’s heart, it is at least possible to discuss what makes someone feel used. If the Gospel is a gift, and it certainly is, then being used is the most unnatural thing to ever show up if we share it with someone else.
Then why do we compete? Why, for example, as we have seen at times, would one bus route compete against another? Why would churches compete and the numbers reached get written up? Why would a soulwinner and his “string of fish” get publicized? And worst of all, why would the pastor with the most baptisms, or the biggest day, get fame in our papers?
Some have argued that these contests have actually produced great results. But a deeper question demands to be asked: if fame on whatever level, from national down to church level, is a naturally intoxicating result, then what is the real value of a soul in our hearts?
You say, well as long as they get saved what difference does it make. If they ever get to thinking that was your goal, and that they were a mere notch on your gun to bellow about on the street, it might make a great deal of difference. Their walk with God might be damaged along with all its residual blessings.
Sometimes it gets worse. Pastors can lose sight of the goal, as well as mar the work of the ministry. If that glorious calling to the ministry degenerates into building a personal kingdom, then souls are little more than pawns in a twisted game.
Some of the most hurt people, and a little put off with Christianity at that, come from the ranks of those who one day woke up and felt they were being used. Win them–seeing a soul saved is truly one of the greatest things in the world. Just be careful and ask…win them…to what?
Find all articles in the series here.