Concerns increase over decline of evangelism in Nigeria
In Nigeria the harvest is ripe, but the laborers are few. This concern has begun to swell in the minds of a few Christians across the country. But only the cloud is gathering; the shower has not started yet.
Among those who raised concerns about the current trend is Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, President, Journalists for Christ International (a non-profit making organization comprising Christian journalists).
Otufodunrin in an exclusive interview with Living Hope Magazine, agreed with Christ’s assertion that “harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”.
He noted that church leaders now pay greater attention to crowding their churches through what he called “interdenominational movement” rather than evangelizing. He advised that instead of attracting members of other churches to one’s church merely to increase attendance, Christians should engage in soul winning to rescue the unsaved souls for God.
His words, “Maybe to some extent evangelism has declined, but there are still a lot of programmes geared towards spreading of the gospel in the country.
“Emphasis however seems to be more on growing more membership based on divergent doctrines and not the undiluted word of God.
“More emphasis should be on soul-winning with a coherent message about the gospel so that the unbeliever is not left confused about what to believe. There should be more combined efforts targeted at unbelievers instead of cross movements from one church to the other.
To reverse the trend, Otufodunrin said that every Christian, regardless of their careers, had mandate from God to spread the gospel of the Lord, Jesus, adding, “Journalists like others should be ambassadors for Christ who particularly have skills through which the gospel can be spread far and near. They should occupy the media for Christ and use their skills to glorify God and win all men to Christ.
Pastor Luke Adedayo who is the Financial Secretary, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Ibadan North West area of Oyo State, said, “There is no short cut to evangelism. It is the major call to every Christian, everyone that is called after Christ. The purpose of God is to redeem the world and Jesus Christ has paid the price. Hebrew 12 says that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.
“Not everybody has accessed and harnessed the grace. So, we must arise and preach the gospel. It is our primary purpose. Evangelism has declined in Nigeria as well as in the whole world. We are no longer preaching same gospel as of the olden days. We have watered down the word of God. True gospel must convince a sinner that he is a sinner, the Holy Spirit will touch the sinner and he will get converted.”
To us at Living Hope magazine, evangelism is the bedrock; it is the main task of God to man. The Holy Bible in 2 Timothy 4:5 reads in part, “…Do the work of an evangelist.” There are no two sides to the word and commands of God.
Indeed in Nigeria, there is more to the decline in evangelism than meets the eye. The Bible says because sins shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold”, Mathew 24:12. As is the case the world over, sin has covered the heart of men and this makes mankind vulnerable to persecution by the devil.
To deliver our land and the beloved from the grip of the devil, Christians must unleash burning zeal to reach the teeming unsaved souls.