By Ben Zemmer
Hunter correctly diagnosed one of the significant problems with American Evangelicalism. Whether it is American individualism or the plain tendency of human sinful nature to be self-focused and complacent, there are great numbers of professing believers who “believe evangelism is very important, but...still don’t do it” (Hunter, p.24). Hunter made some insightful prescriptions including a renewed focus on the Scriptures, prayer, compassion, and commission (Hunter, p.29). While a focus on these areas is absolutely necessary, I would only add that such a focus and such a desired change cannot happen without the faithful proclamation of the word. The only thing that will sustain vital and real compassion for the lost is gospel reality worked in the hearts of God’s people by the Holy Spirit. The local body of believers need to see continually how the lines connect between the gospel and its outworking, particularly compassion for the lost that results in sharing the gospel. Hunter’s prescriptions because they are not laden with gospel have a tendency to man-centeredness, rather than Christ-centeredness.
Clearcreek has historically been among the category of churches that does not as a community continually reach out to un-churched un-believers. There are some wonderful individuals within the body who are gifted with evangelism, but this has not been a mark of the body as a whole. However, in recent years, Clearcreek has been growing and it is clear that the body is beginning to cast is eyes outward and gain a passion for the commission from our Great Shepherd. This is not due to any seeker-sensitive methodology, but rather the careful exposition of the Word. Greater growth will come as we corporately step out with confidence on the truths we know by grace.