There’s no Plan B in Evangelism

There’s no Plan B in Evangelism

There’s no Plan B in Evangelism

Editorial by José Cortés, president of the New Jersey Conference.

Jose CortesA preacher friend of mine shared this allegory of Jesus:

Forty days after his resurrection and ascension to heaven, as Christ entered victorious through the gates of heaven, angels surrounded Him and asked, “Tell us Lord, how will the good news of mankind’s salvation be carried to all of humanity on Earth?”

Jesus said, “I gave a Great Commission to my disciples: ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned’” (Mark 16:15, 16).

“But, Lord, how will that work in practice?” the angels asked. “Will they accept the message?”

Jesus answered, “I left them with an example of how to accomplish it. I looked at the multitudes, and felt great compassion for them! In dealing with human beings, I knew that reaching them is both an art and a science, yet quite simple to understand and very effective if done correctly, following these steps:

  1. Humans must be treated in such a manner that they understand that we mean them well.
  2. We must show sympathy.
  3. We must meet their needs.
  4. We must win their trust.
  5. And, only then, say, ‘Follow Me.’”

In wonder, the angels questioned with concern, “What will happen if that does not work? What is plan B?” Jesus replied with love and authority, “No! There is no plan B! This is the plan!”

Christ’s Method Alone

I can imagine the deep sadness on Jesus’ face and His frustration at observing His disciples developing plan B’s for turning the work of evangelism—sharing the good news of salvation—into a complicated equation with many rigid and legalistic rules.

Some have believed their plan was better than the way Jesus did it. I say we need to wake up and change our ways if we are to finish the mission and go to our heavenly home!

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. Our Savior mingled with men as One who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow me’” (Ministry of Healing, p. 143).

Our secularized and secularizing society needs the pressing and loving action that comes from a ministry of compassion. Compassion must precede the task of proclamation. When the world sees the actions of a compassionate church, they will see Jesus in us and will follow us toward the kingdom!

Unfortunately, many have replaced compassion with legalism, which keeps the church tied to a stake, stifling it and putting it in reverse. Compassion is the missing link if we desire to remain faithful to the mission!

My plea, dear brothers and sisters, is that we return to Jesus’ plan, the plan! Remember, there is no plan B!