Mark Dever and one of his “little loving protests”

Mark Dever also spoke at Commending Christ, Desiring God’s 2009 conference for pastors.  Having grown up a Southern Baptist, I really appreciated this tidbit from His message – “The Pastor and Evangelism“.

We cannot measure the correctness of what we do by the immediate response we get…If you grab a hold of this in a sanctified way, pastor, it will reduce your stress and anxiety and change, maybe for the worse, your relationship with your denomination. They want your statistics. We as a church (Capital Hill Baptist Church) just won’t give them. We don’t count. I don’t know how many people I baptized last year. So we certainly then do not send it in to the denomination. I don’t think it is wrong to do that. I don’t think it is wrong to count. I just know the temptation in our own sort of family of Christian churches and that’s one of my little loving protests.

If we get this wrong, I think what we see is we end up distorting well meaning churches into pragmatic, results oriented businesses. It also cripples the individual Christian with this sense of failure, aversion, guilt…I mean who can deny that much modern evangelism has become emotionally manipulative seeking only to get a momentary decision of the sinner’s will yet neglecting the biblical idea that conversion is the result of the supernatural gracious act of God toward the sinner.

The Pastor and Evangelism, by Mark Dever

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