This article was taken from David’s blog and is used by permission.
In nearly every corner of the Southern Baptist Convention we hear the lamenting of our continual decrease in year to year baptismal numbers. It is an issue that should concern not just every Southern Baptist, but every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can remember early on in my ministry when it was scandalous for a church to go a complete year without recording a single, solitary soul being baptized into that fellowship; now it is common place. The rise of churches not baptizing even one new convert a year concerns me, but it seems for too many that it hardly registers even a shoulder shrug.
I’m not one to complain about a problem without offering a solution. Below is a list of helps by my fellow Texas pastor, David Brumbelow.
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. -John 20:31
1. Preach evangelistic sermons.
If you need some information along these lines, listen to the preaching of men like Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Adrian Rogers. Read their sermons. See how good, solid, evangelistic churches do it.
Always point to salvation in Jesus Christ; don’t assume people know how to be saved; assume they don’t know how to be saved. Make salvation simple and easy to understand.
2. Give an evangelistic invitation.
See how the above give or gave an invitation.
See the books:
Giving a Good Invitation by Dr. Roy Fish of SWBTS.
The Public Invitation by Samuel Fisk
Whosoever Will by David L. Allen & Steve W. Lemke, B&H; chapter on The Public Invitation and Calvinism.
3. Preach and teach the basics of soul-winning.
The Roman Road method of presenting the plan of salvation still works (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13). Some use the one verse method of Romans 6:23. Others use John 3:16. Whatever method, teach church members how to share their faith. When discipling new converts make sure that they are taught how to share their faith with their friends, family members and co-workers.
Especially teach Sunday School teachers, deacons, and church leaders how to witness.
A good place to start is with the book,
Share Jesus Without Fear, by William Fay, B&H.
Some state Baptist conventions have good evangelistic training programs and materials.
4. Encourage people to memorize evangelistic Bible verses.
Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13; John 1:12; 3:16; 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 3:20.
5. Use tracts and other Christian literature that present the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.
Place a tract rack near your exit(s) so that it is convenient for your members to take the tracts on their way home.
Point out that most Southern Baptist Sunday School literature (LifeWay) has a special page that presents the plan of salvation.
Occasionally include the plan of salvation in your church bulletin and other church literature. This helps the lost; it also helps the saved to know how to share their faith.
6. Make a big deal out of it when someone gets saved and when they get baptized.
After all, it is a big deal. When a little boy or girl, man or woman trusts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, there is rejoicing in Heaven. (Luke 15:7) Celebrate the “success”- this is what the church is supposed to be doing.
7. Realize that often a personal word of witness will do more than 40 evangelistic sermons.
8. Attend evangelistic churches and see how they do it.
Attend revivals and learn from evangelists. Attend evangelism conferences and/or Bible Conferences.
9. Have a revival, Bible Conference, Vacation Bible School, or other special event evangelistic meeting at your church.
-SBC Evangelists: www.sbcevangelist.org
-Texas Baptist Evangelists: www.cotbe.org
-Check with your state convention regarding a listing of evangelists in your state.
10. Teach people to invite others to church where they can hear the gospel.
Offer to give them a ride to church. Make visitors feel welcome and comfortable in church.
11. Never preach a funeral without sharing the plan of salvation.
This gives a great opportunity to share the gospel with those who will not come to your church and may be thinking of spiritual things for the first time.
12. Do not go to the extreme of too much pressure or manipulating people to get evangelistic decisions.
But don’t go to the other extreme and de-emphasize the importance of a personal decision for Jesus Christ.
13. Pray specifically for the lost.
Pray that more may be saved through your church’s ministry.
14. As the pastor, make sure you practice what you preach.
The pastor should be out leading his flock to be evangelistic. Have a set night for the church to go out weekly and make visits, which can include those who have recently visited your church, those new to the community or those whom a member has requested or suggested would be a good visit to make. Take a layman with you and have him be your prayer partner and invest in him the love and zeal of leading a person to faith in the Lord Jesus. Then after some months find a new visitation partner and have your former partner find his own partner and you’ve doubled those making visits.*
15. Make sure that every event in your church has an evangelistic emphasis.*Make sure that either in literature that is passed out or through the testimony of one of the leaders that the Gospel is presented to those present. Our churches should be gospel stations. Our people should be confident that when they bring guests to an event at our church that the Gospel will be shared.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives some basic things a pastor and church can do to reach more people for Christ.
–David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 21, AD 2015.
*Added by Kyle B. Gulledge, editor SBC Today