Sometimes we may fail to reach all of the goals that have been set for a particular evangelism activity. Does this mean that we have totally failed? Of course not. Regardless of the strategy we employ in our search to win the lost, we will have both successes and failures. We may even set the bar too high. For instance, if we fail to reach set baptismal goals, we may have set unrealistic goals; or this activity may have been more of a seed-sowing venture rather than a reaping program. In short, however much we might think the harvest is ready for reaping, it might still only be sowing time. We aren’t always in a position to know.
Read 1 Peter 5:8. What other power is dedicated to undermining your attempts to win people to God’s kingdom? How can being conscious of this threat help us to better prepare and execute witnessing and evangelism strategies?
In all of our attempts to win souls, we are up against a supernatural foe that is very active to influence people against the gospel. Sometimes when we let go of the hand of the Lord, the evil one can cause some problems with our efforts to work for God. Our only defense is the complete surrender to Christ every moment of our lives.
As with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, failure may sometimes cause us to play the blame game, one of Satan’s most successful tools for bringing disharmony among God’s people. Rather than looking for people to blame, we would better undertake serious, honest, and intensive evaluation, remembering that even Jesus, the greatest Preacher/Evangelist, did not win everyone to whom He appealed.
Rather than give in to despair over our perceived failures, we can learn from the disciples again. Even though they had been given the power over evil spirits and had indeed been successful in casting them out, it is evident that sometimes they failed to accomplish that for which Jesus had gifted them. On such occasions they came to Jesus and asked Him to explain what was happening and why (see Matt. 17:19). Here is a principle that we would do well to note; an important part of our search for reasons for failure, and how to do better, is to take our witnessing and evangelism situations to the Lord.
What have you learned from your failed attempts at witnessing to others that can help you in future attempts? How often does fear of rejection hold you back?