Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
Proverbs 11:30 (amplified translation) “the fruit of the (uncompromisingly) righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives (for God, as a fisher of men – he gathers and receives them for eternity).”
As a young Christian I was told that this scripture meant that it was my job as a believer to witness to as many people as possible because it was my responsibility to win people to Jesus Christ.
I was made to feel pressure because if one day went by and I had not tried to win someone to Jesus I felt guilty. In my mind I always wondered how many souls did I need to convert to Jesus to make God happy?
The other day I was working in my yard. A SUV pulled up near me in my driveway. An older woman walked out of the vehicle with a Bible in her hand. She began to ask me questions. Without hesitation I told her I was a Christian and I was faithful to my church.
I very rarely tell people I am a Pastor. Even though I could tell she wanted to further engage in her presentation to me, she said she was happy that I was a spiritual person and walked away, disappointed. More work needed to reach her goal for the day.
It is sad that this particular church stressed to their followers that their eternal destiny was based upon how many converts they made to their church. I once told someone else who approached me that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but they still wanted to engage in a discussion that they hoped would convince me to join their church.
Honestly I was made to feel the same way by some Christians who did not understand what the grace of God was all about. Ephesians 2:8–9 is very clear.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God. NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.”
Are people really going to stand before God and believe they are better than someone else because they think they won 150 people to Christ and I only won 27?
Before I got saved someone witnessed to me. Because they had a goal they tried to convince me to receive Jesus or I was going to die young and burn in hell if I did not pray with them. Out of fear and honestly to get them to go away, I prayed the prayer. There was no love or concern for my welfare in their presentation. I really even didn’t believe what they made me pray.
They may have checked me off on their list as a soul won but they were wrong. Not everyone is anointed to be an evangelist and win many souls to Christ. However every Christian should have a heart to win those whom they love to Jesus at the very least.
I believe in relational evangelism. Be kind to people. Listen to their hearts. Become a friend to them. Then those who are even hardened to the Gospel will drop their defense shields because they sense your love and concern for them.
Now you can share how your life has been changed by God because you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Present to them a loving Jesus who died to forgive all their sins and make them right with God.
You can pray to the Lord to send people across your path who need to hear the good news. You can rejoice every time someone surrenders their heart to the Lord. Remember what Jesus told His disciples. Don’t just make converts; make disciples. That takes a little more of your time and effort but those to whom you continue to love and teach will be going out and telling people about Jesus also.
So the pressure should be off of you about numbers. God is more concerned about your heart for others; quality not quantity. Who knows; maybe the next person to whom you show love and have the open door to win to Jesus could be the next Billy Graham.
- Pastor Jim