Meadowdale Baptist Church
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Dayton, Ohio

Go & Sow

 

 
“I believe 25% is close to the maximum amount of the United States population that will be reached by our longstanding pastoral approaches to engagement.”
J.D. Payne, Missiologically Thinking, Feb 1, 2016

Take a minute and think about the quote above. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on church buildings, church staff and outreach events to "invest and invite, to get people to come to church, and the best we could hope for is 25% of the population? Hours and hours of prayer, preparation, work and follow-up, and the best we could hope for is 25%? Deep down, we know what Dr. Payne is saying is true. We see it in our Southern Baptist Convention, with significant declines in weekly worship attendance and baptisms. 

What is the answer? The pragmatist says, "Work longer and harder! Give more!" As I write that, I can feel my own blood pressure rising. We are exhausted and our people are exhausted. The contemplative says, "Pray longer and harder!" All of us want and need deeper intimacy in and commitment to prayer. But, will prayer alone turn this decline around? Another might say, "These are the last days. This is the best we can hope for." I don't believe that. Not when I read and see thousands upon thousands coming to faith in Christ, in some of the most difficult places imaginable, around the world. 

What if the answer is none of these? What is the change is not in "how" and the "how much" but in the "what"?

Yes. Invest and Invite. Also... Go and Sow!

Love for Christ and love for the lost compels us build into our evangelism/disciple-making a process for reaching the 75% of the US population that will not be reached by our current strategy. Where do we find such a strategy? Through the life and ministry of Jesus in the Gospels, and in the Book of Acts. What does this entail?

  • Praying for lost family, neighbors and friends.
  • Entering our communities, looking for people with open hearts to the messenger, message and mission of the Gospel.
  • Sharing our salvation story and sowing the Gospel abundantly and broadly.
  • Immediately training new believers in obedience-based discipleship.
  • Gathering these new disciples in homes, restaurants, parks, schools. In other words, planting churches!
  • Identifying and training God-called leaders out of these new churches to release back in the harvest.
 
God has called us to "Go & Sow" and encourage/train others churches to do the same. We do not believe they should abandon their "Invest and Invite" strategies. We do believe they should prayerfully consider effectiveness of their current strategies and how they could add a "Go & Sow" plan. The needs of the harvest and the Lord of the harvest demands it!

Luke 10:2 
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.