unChristian: When Christians Stopped Looking Like Jesus- Part 3- The “Get Saved” Mentality

The second issue addressed by the book unChristian is the “get saved” mentality of evangelism in the church.  This is something that is really driving young adults who are outside the church away from Christianity.  The problem is that in our seeking to fulfil the mission of Jesus Christ of to the nations we have taken on the wrong mentality.  We see our goal in evangelism being to get people saved instead of seeking to make people disciples of Jesus.  Let me explain the difference.  The “get saved” mentality focuses on seeing how many people that we can save which is not a bad thing in and of itself.  The problem comes that when we are trying to get people saved it easily becomes a numbers game.  There are so many churches that are so focused on success which is becoming defined by the number of people who attend every week.  This desire for more numbers leads us to present the gospel in a way which comes across wrong to the people we are trying to share Jesus with.  We live in a world where our lives are dominated by marketing and advertisements.  We see them all of the time, and they have become the backdrop of our lives.  So when we present the gospel to someone and it sounds very similar to selling them a used car, we have lost our effectiveness in evangelism.  People do not need to be sold Jesus and being told that they can “get saved” in a few mumbled words to God.  This mentality also leads to a huge gap in our theology of the Christian life.  Jesus never called anyone to “get saved” and stop there.  We so often leave people who just got “saved” in a bad position because we present following Christ in a way where it is seen as a single decision that a person would make, such as becoming an organ donor, that would have no real effect until after death.  Our salvation is intended to totally reshape every aspect of our lives.  We are saved in order to live out the gospel and to bring others into a lifestyle of following Jesus and making His gospel known to the nations.  Anything less than this is selling people short of the gospel.  The proper response and view on evangelism is the view that is laid out by Jesus in the context of the Great Commission.  He calls us to go and “make disciples” not to go and get people saved.  Making disciples is a process of not only introducing people to Christ but taking the next step in discipling them to show them what it means to live a life guided by Jesus.  This includes a life lived seeking to fulfil the call of Jesus on our lives to go into all parts of the world and to make disciples of others.  Evangelism is a process that cannot stop with just a decision but must be followed up by discipleship.  This is a key that the church has been lacking and another reason why people drift away from the church in their college and young adult years.