What Kind of Convert?

Part of the problem with the American church today is our desire to make other Christians like us rather than convert non-Christians.  In other words, we sometimes spend more energy trying to convince other Christians to identify with our particular preferences rather than actually reach the lost with the Gospel. My friend Dr. Ed Stetzer (who is friends with 3.7 million people, so don’t be impressed that he is my friend) wrote a timely article titled “Converts to What?” for catalystspace.com last year. Here is a great quote from that article:

So, my Reformed friends, let’s not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let’s go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let’s take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let’s speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” My house church friends, let’s have community, but let’s be sure it is focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let’s focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let’s focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus.

Now, I know the preceding paragraph will tick some of you off—and, I am trying to be a bit edgy while making a point. But, let me suggest you be less offended at my words and more focused on Jesus’ words: Go therefore and make disciples of nations.”

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