We see pastors overwhelmed with those who want to retrieve, extract and / or dump problems, expectations and trials to and from their pastor. We see elders again, genuinely seeking the highest and best for their pastors and congregations, and all the while, whether the mega church or the small rural church out in the middle of nowhere, the question still remains...
Who got saved at your church last week? Really?
The pastor says, "Well, I made an altar call! I preached my whole message on salvation, and the conversion process, and in my final prayer, told those that wanted to give their lives to Christ should tell one of the prayer team members at the altar." Or, the pastor says, "Well, I gave an invitation at the end of my service for those who wanted to get saved, and I can't help it if no one responded."
It seems to me that pastors simply don't understand. I do not say this to criticize them, but simply to help them understand.
The essence of salvation seems to be more of an ingredient of theology than the purpose of theology. It seems to be a topic of the sermon, rather than the climax of the sermon. It seems to be an assumed identity of "Christians", rather than the goal for all. Somehow pastors seem conspicuously complacent about the essence of salvation. I say that because after attending the services of some of the nations largest, as well as smallest churches, and listening closely to some of our nations most prominent and recognized pastors, as well as those who are simply serving in smaller congregations, the result is the same. Pastors talk about salvation, and consider themselves even "soul-winning" pastors, but the result is the same. No real fruit. I am not saying that no one is ever getting saved in their church, because somehow through the grace of God, they are. What I am saying, is that if pastors could understand truly about salvation, with God's almighty power and Spirit, really, I believe that there would be true fruit. I believe that they would begin to see souls converted each week. I believe that they would see people truly respond to the preaching of the Gospel, and truly seeking salvation, and desiring to be truly saved. I believe that this would happen, because I have seen it happen through our ministry. My wife and I have seen thousands of souls come to Christ, not merely through "my/our" preaching, but rather through the true preaching of the Gospel, with a convicted heart toward the lost. We have seen the supernatural power of God unleashed through our lives, not only saving us, but giving us an abundant life that becomes more intimate with our Father, and our Lord Jesus through the power of his Holy Spirit each day.
And so, what we are simply saying is this. Pastors, truly examine your heart. Are you truly seeing souls come to Christ in your church each week? Did you see someone last Sunday respond to the Gospel message that you preached, and gave their heart and soul to Jesus, confessing him as Lord, and believing in their heart that God raised him from the dead, and knowing that they are now saved and have eternal life? Or, did you simply give your invitation as a necessary ingredient of your Sunday's message, so that you can tell others that "Oh, yes, I give invitations every Sunday!"? If you are not seeing souls come to Christ, where the angels rejoice more over one sinner that repents than 99 righteous, I challenge you to give me a call. I want to help you understand that you can see souls saved, really. I want to show you how to close your message each week in a way that brings salvation to the climax of your service and truly brings about the response of just one more soul coming to Christ.
When you understand about the essence of salvation, your ministry will truly never be the same. You will truly no longer be laboring for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, and you will have a whole new mission to equip the saints in your church for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ.
We pray God's richest blessings on you, and know that we are praying for you. We are also praying to the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. We are truly weeping between the vestibule and the altar, and asking God to spare they people, in his great mercy.