What would happen if there was equiping, and something actually came of it? Just out of curiousity, let’s kick around some numbers, and compare them speculatively with the situation now and some other possible approaches to this issue.
Let us begin by remembering that this is NOT of us. It is the work of the Lord, and we are just obedient servants, privileged to have the opportunity to stand with Him. Further, our discussion is not to reduce in any way our view of the complete Sovereignty of our Lord in all matters, including these. Though we may talk about situations or paradigms, we must keep uppermost in our minds that this is about enabling direct, very personal witness of one person to another in the name of Christ.
At the moment, in the many of this city’s congregations (I would be very surprised if it varied significantly in most congregations or places, at least in North America), the percentage of folks actively witnessing, even occasionally, is very low, maybe tiny. Let’s hazzard a guess at 5% but I would wager it is actually lower. Even if those folks are the ones with natural talent in witnessing-type presentation skills and through the Lord’s Grace they have great success, they would represent a very small number of witnessing events per year when averaged over the congregations as a whole.
Possibly a congregation (or para-church group) might as a result include one actual witnessing event per year for every 15 or 20 congregants. Does that sound too low? I would say it it likely too high. In any case, is that what the Biblical command to go forth means? I don’t think so. Is the situation that extreme? My observations would certainly indicate it is.
Does this set of guessed statistics mean that the Lord, through the Spirit, only provided witnessing opportunities for a tiny number of people from the entire congregation to a few people in whom the effectual calling of the Lord was present? Again, that would be completely at odds with Biblical statements such as “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38. Even common sense would indicate that it is not a case of too few opportunities.
So it would appear that the situation is one of abundant available opportunity, combined with blocked ambition to act of some sort, within the Body of Believers.
If the ratio of people able to act on witnessing opportunities was increased by even a few, the number of people hearing the Gospel would be larger. That would surely be something to rejoice about! Not that there would necessarily be more conversions, for that is the exclusive purview of the Lord, but His name and the Gospel would be more frequently and clearly raised up in obedience. And that is a reason to rejoice!
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