Jesus does not want us to make converts. Converts, in and of themselves, are a good thing, but “getting” people to that point is not what we’re called to do…even though most think of evangelism in those terms.
“How many did you get saved?” A question often heard around Christians. The only correct answer anyone can answer is – ZERO. I can proclaim the gospel…but I can’t “get” anyone saved…that’s between God and the person, I am only the messenger of the good news. Not only can I not save anyone, when they do say yes to Jesus as LORD, I’m not done. Evangelism still happens after that decision. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19), the cornerstone of evangelism, talks about making disciples – baptizing and teaching. If conversion were the goal, discipleship and teaching would not be mentioned.
In our modern “evangelism” approaches, way too often we’re concerned about “getting them through the front door” (conversion)…yet we do nothing to keep them from walking out the back door (discipleship). This is an affront to what Jesus called us to do. Being a good witness is important, sharing the gospel is what we were called to do…but sharing the gospel does NOT stop when someone converts. We are called to share the fullness of the gospel to all believers as well (make disciples). Romans 1:8-15 is one of the best examples of this; Paul commends the Roman church for their faith (v8). Then he talks about being mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (v12). He then closes it off about how he wants to share the gospel with them – the ones with faith. Evangelism, sharing the gospel, never ends…I need more gospel; you need more gospel; everyone needs more gospel. Our challenge – don’t go for converts, commit to being involved in making disciples. Never stop sharing the gospel, to everyone…at all times…words and actions.