Unfortunately, the Christian church has frequently violated this principle of economy of force. It is important to send out men in twos. In this country, we have fallen into the trap of thinking that big is good, bigger is better, and biggest is best. So we have megachurches. In place of two-to-one concentration, we have six hundred-to-one or six thousand-to-one. This is not effective evangelism. It is not economy of force.
We have no idea how big the church in Jerusalem was, but it had five thousand men in Acts four. This did not include women and children.
“Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number” (Acts 5:14).
“So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).
So this church was a mega-church. It met in Solomon’s colonnade. What happened to it?
“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria…. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:1b, 4).
This was economy of force. The saints dispersed, and allof them preached the word everywhere they went.
We like to be together. But here is a sobering quotation from Ezekiel 33:30–32:
“As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the lord.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.”
In many churches today the preacher is like the men in Ezekiel: good, clean entertainment for a Sunday morning.
To win the war in evangelism we must not over-concentrate. It is a waste of power. The saints with the gospel need to have more contact with the world. You do not have to be trained to be an evangelist. You only need to be saved and unashamed.
*Excerpted from Weapons & Tactics. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.