All my life I have heard people say, “It is quality and not quantity.” Perhaps in some areas of life this is true, but not when it comes to souls. Since every soul is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), every soul has value. Picking one soul or group of souls over others is ungodly and will greatly diminish your evangelism efforts.
The recipe for productive evangelism is in Matthew 22:1-14. It is a powerful parable that teaches how to fill up our banquet rooms. This parable of the King’s Son has impactful words. First, we serve a God who “sends” out his servants. We cannot achieve success waiting for people to come in when the Great Commission tells us to go out. Second, God wants us to “call” and “bid” those on the outside to come. God’s calling power is through His saving gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14). It is in open invitation for every race.
As the parable progresses and the room is not filled, the King’s anger is kindled. You see, God wants His room full. He sends His servant out to the highway to bid all those he finds, good or bad, to come. God does not want you to pick only those you think are “good” because all people need to be bidden. God wants everyone. He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He does not want you to focus on only a few visitors or close friends.
The key to this parable is found in two additional words, “many” and “few.” During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus clearly identified how many would be saved: “Few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). Jesus carries over this principle when He said, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (22:14). If we want to succeed in evangelism, we must understand that in order to get a few, we must begin with the many. The reason most congregations fail to baptize “the few” is because they do not begin with “the many.” If we rewrote this verse to describe the evangelism efforts of most congregations, it would read, “Few are called, and almost none are chosen.” If you do not have a large base of contacts at the beginning, you will not save even a few souls.
It is not the quality of the contacts, but the quantity of contacts you bid. We must expand our ability to reach out to the community. The answer to the problem is already sitting in the pews. The members know contacts. They are neighbors, co-workers, friends, family, and ball team members. We must compel our members to provide contacts. Congregations must use all their resources to grow their contact list. If we start small, we end with almost nothing. If we start large, we will end up with a few. A few each year is all it will take for the church of Christ to grow again!
Rob L. Whitacre