Skip links
importance post 05 • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

How Well Are We Doing? – The Importance of Disciple-Making, Audio Series, Part Five

Full Transcript: 

And you say, well… how well are we doing it? I take you on a little mental journey with me back to London for a moment. While there, Peter Goodwin Hudson, a young Church of England evangelist, invited me out to lunch.

He knew that I was a North American and I happened to be a Baptist, if for no other reason, because I’m from Texas.  Y’all, it’s hard to be in Texas and not least be a Baptist or a Methodist, all right? Because there’s so many there.

But he said, “Billie, I understand that you are a Baptist evangelist. And he said, I am Church of England.”  He said, “I’ve invited you out to lunch because I want to ask a question.”  He said, “what percentage of the laity in your churches in North America lead anyone to Christ in a normal year?”  

Well, it just broke my heart when he asked that question. I said, “Peter, I wish that you’d ask me how much we give to missions.  I wish that you’d ask how many come to our evangelism conferences. I wish you’d ask a hundred other questions, but not that question.”

For what is the percentage of the membership of our churches that lead someone to faith in Christ?  

Now I don’t know the Assembly’s statistic on this, and I don’t know the United Methodist’s statistic on this, but I do know Southern Baptist statistic on this. And so I can tell you…

Since we’ve been keeping records, we have never surpassed 5% of our congregation leading anyone to Christ in a normal year. And tragically, in recent decades and recent years, that number is probably more realistically between two and a half and three percent.

And that means that’s including all of the 44 to 46,000 pastors, plus all of the staff members, plus all of the collegiate workers on university campuses, all of the home missionaries in America. Are you with me? It’s putting all of the people that are in full-time vocational, paid Christian work together, and the people they’ve led to Christ in order to come up with two and a half to three percent.

What does that really mean? That the members of the church, who are what we call the laity, probably are not winning, but about one out of a hundred leading anyone to Christ in a year. 

Well, Peter was eating and sipping a cold drink as we talked, and he looked stunned. He said, I am absolutely shocked. He said, “in Great Britain, we look upon Baptists as being some of the most evangelistic people there are.”

And he said, “we Church of England folk were trying to stabilize the church, hoping that you would do the evangelizing.”  I smiled at Peter and I said, “go back and tell your people to get back to work – because they can’t depend on Baptists to do it.”

This is the mission of every child of God.  So the need is tremendous.

(continued in part 6 of the series)

Let's get back to the basics of first century relational disciple-making...

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.