Last week I attended a seminar, conference if you will entitled: "the Art of Gathering the Harvest For Church Growth." The conference or seminar leader was apostle Russel Cephas from, "Church Growth International" in Sherwood, Arkansas. The host for the conference was, Apostle Cheryl Fortson, from Full Gospel Building Foundation International, located in Bloomfield, CT. The conference was held Wednesday May 28- June 1st. Words cannot describe the dynamic teaching, comprehensive material that was presented and made available for purchase; and the enormity of the weight and anointing that was felt and embodied in this awesome Man of God for the salvation of souls.
I cannot even begin to summarize the teaching that was share to those in attendance. I do however, want to say that as a Christian, I felt convicted by the statement that he made concerning our lack luster attitude towards sinners. The apostle reminded us that the only commandment that the Lord left to his church was to evangelize, make soul winning the priority of each individual person and church. That is the only real agenda that Jesus Christ left for the church to commit to.
Apostle Cephas reminded us that compassion is the master key to effective and successful ministry! However it is evident that the church and its people have lost our compassion for the lost, the unsaved. But the truth is that the foundation to all of the Ministry activities of Jesus Christ was predicated upon compassion, love for the common people. Mark 1:41 states: "Jesus Christ the Son of God was filled with compassion.
I often tell my members that if you want to see souls saved, healed and delivered, you must make them your friend first. It is difficult to minister to people who are hungry, physically and mentally sick, and spiritually deprived, unless you first learn to listen to them, show kindness, compassion and love for them. When a sinner is saved, he or she is saved as a result of the love and compassion that comes through you. It is the "agape" of God that draws people to you.
All of us are recipients of God's love. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, should not parish, but have everlasting life." Likewise, believers should be full of forgiveness and compassion towards those who are in need of salvation. The Bible says in Psalms 103:3-4 that God forgives all of our sins and He heals all our diseases, and redeems our life from destruction, eternal damnation and He covers us with love and compassion."
With that said, Believers should in turn be very gracious, sensitive and compassionate when it comes to sharing God's plan of salvation to sinners. However the Apostle stated that 90% of all Christians in the body of Christ has ever led one sinner to saving faith in Christ. When he shared that point with us, I began to cringe and became convicted. Because the thing is; when we get to heaven, God is not going to ask us, how long were you a member of "said church", He isn't going to ask you, how long did you serve on the usher board. He isn't going to ask you how big your church was. Nor will He ask you how many people many degrees in religious education did you receive. But He is going to ask us, how many souls did we lead to Christ.
There is an alarm at the gate people. There is a desparate need to get back to Christianity 101. There is a desparate need for recapturing and rstoring compassion in the body of Christ. In these last and evil days believers must come to grips with the reality that what use to work in terms of witnessing and the various methods that the church has employed in their evangelistic outreach methodology, has not added the harvest in great numbers to many of our churches in America.
The compassion that we once had for sinners has waxed cold, particularly in light of fulfilling the great commssion. Believers have to come to a conscientious reality that they are victims of the porophetic element spoken of in Scripture. This prophetic element proclaims that in the last days the love and compassion of many shall wax cold.
No one wants to believe that it is "I" who have lost their compassion for the lost, but the fact is, most of us have! But like the church of Ephasus whom God said, "He has something against because; they had lost their first love." " The message of the apsotle and his teaching is that; we must recapture and restore compassion for the unsaved; those who are on the way to hell, must find a permanent place in the heart of every believer. The pastors, evangelist, prophets, teachers, and apostles can't do it by themselves. It is every believers responsibility to make soul winning their number one priorioty in his or her life, and n the ministries to which they serve. The churches must have evengelism as its number one priority in their mission statement. Funding for evengelism must be taken off the back burner and placed as the number one thing that satisfies, touches, and makes our Heavenly Father smile.
I don''t know about you, but I want to hear Him say those words; "Well done thou good and faithful servant." We all have enough family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and classmates that we can reach and witness to. We do not have to go out and do cold calls and or go into territories that have not been prepared to recieve the Word of God concerning salvation. Intercession is key! Soul winning starts in heaven. We must call souls into the kingdom of God. We must reduce the resistance to people saying, "Talk to the hand because the ear is dull of hearing." Apostle Cephas gave many examples of how the prayer of intercession and the Holy Spirit is essential in the salvation of the sinner. There was so much shared in those few days that the Man of God was here. This is just a tidbit of my take and reflections from what I heard.
God Bless and: "Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers."