NAMB the missions arm of the Southern Baptist is leading an evangelism effort to reach every person in North America with the Gospel by 2020. This is a wonderful goal to have, but one reason it will not happen is apathy in the church. Look at the numbers, if every Southern Baptist helped lead one person to Christ in the next 20 years, there would be over 16 million new Christians in that time. Is it that hard to reach 1 person in 20 years? In 2006 there were roughly 365,000 baptisms in Southern Baptist churches. It is a sad statement when 16 million members only reach 365,000 people in a year.
God is not happy with an apathetic church. Revelation 3:15-16 – 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. The apathetic church is of no use to God. There are far too many churches who year after year never see one person led to Christ. That says to me that they don’t care about people. If they cared about people, they would be reaching out to those in need of the Gospel.
Proverbs 1:32 – “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. Complacency will destroy Christians and their witness to the community. Good or bad your community should at least know your exists. Christians can’t become happy sitting in their ivory towers, never coming in contact with the “dirty sinners” outside the church walls.
Proverbs 21:13 – He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. How many times has God sent us the poor and needy that we have turned away? Many times a church will give them money and send them on their way. When in reality what they really needed was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Apathy has caused people lose focus on the real needs of others. It is easier to give the quick fix, instead of putting some time and effort into a person.
Romans 12:11 – Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. It is easy to spot Christians who have lost their zeal. Today we have placed so much emphasis on that initial feeling that comes with salvation, that when it begins to fade so does our zeal. Our zeal should not be based on the feelings it gives us, but out of a passion to serve the Savior who saved us on a Roman cross.
The church must regain it’s passion for those who need Jesus. There are many churches out there doing a great job, but there are far more who are not. If you are a Christian, commit yourself to leading at least 1 person to Christ in the next year. Don’t rely on your pastor to do all the work. It is the role of every Christian to spread the Gospel. What will it take for churches to become active in the community and in peoples lives? Will it take persecution? As a result of it’s apathy, the Church has lost it’s influence in society. It has remained silent for so long, now no one cares what it says. Now when people have problems they no longer turn to the local church, but to the government. It is time for the Church to become that beacon of light again. Put the apathy behind and start reaching out to those in need. And don’t take a back seat, but begin to speak out on the big issues again. It will not be popular, but we are in this situation because we have let our voices fade. May the voices proclaim Jesus from every city in the land.