It won’t change much…
That’s my perception, anyway, of Bobby Welch’s call for church’s to hold two revivals per year. According to Welch, if churches were to do so, “it would change everything…” This, to me, is another example in the gap concerning the methodology of many within our convention. I think we are, far too often, holding firm in our belief that a revival is a tremendous method of evangelical success. I think much of our misunderstanding comes from a failed understanding of “revival success.” I have no desire to see more “professions of faith.” I desire to see disciples. People who not only claim to follow Christ, but who live like it as well.
Welch’s own church is a study in this in that over the past 10 years they have baptized almost 4,000 people and only seen an increase in Sunday morning attendance of 25 people. Lest you think that I’m simply trying to undermine Welch’s church, please understand that this is something that I’m dealing with in my own church as well. In my time that I’ve been at our church, we’ve increased our baptisms every year. We’ve also seen growth in attendance yet we’ve seen probably 65% of those we’ve baptized fail to be consistent in their faith just one year down the road.
I’ve posted in the past about my concerns in regard to effective evangelism. I’m becoming more and more passionate about our need to create authentic disciples and not simply converts. So, in in response to Welch’s statement that revivals are the answer I say no, they are not. I’m afraid we’ve misunderstood evangelism almost entirely and we need to reconsider who and what we are called to do. We need to understand that numbers should not be the driving factor and that changed lives, authentic disciples, should be. I asked this once before but I’ll pose the question again in hopes that it causes many to think, what does authentic, effective evangelism look like?