In the 1960’s the late brother Andrew Connally preached a sermon titled “Overcoming Mediocrity.” In that sermon, brother Connally cited three things we must possess if we will rise above the status quo: the courage to care, the dare to dream, and the willingness to work. It seems that these are three characteristics that every Christian must have regarding soul winning, as well. Let’s consider the first point today.
We must have the courage to care about the problem. The problem is adequately expressed in a song we sometimes sing: “souls that are precious, souls that are dying, while we rejoice our sins are forgiven!” Statistics indicate that roughly 155,000 people worldwide die each day. How many of that number do you think are New Testament Christians? The problem is further magnified by the fact that many Christians shirk their soul winning responsibilities. Jesus came to save lost souls (Luke 19:10), and He has commissioned His disciples to be active in spreading the saving message (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48). However, Jesus Himself said, “the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matt. 9:37). What about you? Do you have the courage to care about the problem?
Care requires courage. No one denies that soul winning is not easy – especially when we first begin. It takes courage to invite someone to have a Bible study with you, to then lead that Bible study, and to say the things that need to be said. But we must cultivate a compassionate heart for the lost. “When [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion” (Matt. 9:36). Caring engages your conscience. It causes you to be particularly mindful of lost souls that are all around you as you live your life. It causes you to feel badly if you miss an opportunity. The feeling of a nagging conscience is not always pleasant, but God gave it to us for a reason – perhaps that is exactly the motivation that we need to get busy in the Lord’s work. Caring opens your eyes. Suddenly the world population of 7 billion people turns into 7 billion souls that we must reach! But we can do it (cf. Col. 1:23). We have help from our Christian brethren and help from our loving God, who does not put on us more than we can bear. Caring may even bring pain. What about when you ask someone you love for a Bible study and that person refuses? Or when you teach someone the truth but they will not accept it and obey it? This can be painful. Our responsibility is not to force someone to obey; in fact, we simply cannot do that. Our responsibility is to try. Brother Connally said, “when we begin to have the courage to care, the world will change!”
“Few there are who seem to care, and few there are who pray; melt my heart and fill my life: give me one soul today!”