Soul Winners

On February 18, 2014 by Bobby Blakey

young spurgeon How much can teenagers really do for the glory of God?

Sometimes the church today can look down at 16, 17 or 18 year olds and think they can’t do much at all.

But lately I have been encouraged by the example of Charles Spurgeon.  I’ve heard of Spurgeon as the prince of preachers and I see people quoting him as an authority on Facebook all the time.  But the lesser known truth is Charles Spurgeon became a pastor when he was 17 years old in a small town called Waterbeach.  I have recently been reading his autobiography and here is some of what he writes in the chapter:

“The Young Soul Winner at Waterbeach”

 “There went into that village a lad, who had no great scholarship, but who was earnest in seeking the souls of men. He began to preach there, and it pleased God to turn the whole place upside down.”

“When I began to preach in the little thatched chapel at Waterbeach, my first concern was, Would God save any souls through me?”

“Some Sundays went over, and I used to say to the deacons, “Have you heard of anybody finding the Lord under my ministry?  Do you know of anyone brought to Christ through my preaching?”  My good old friend and deacon said, “I am sure somebody must have received the Savior; I am quite certain it is so.” “Oh!” I answered, “But I want to know it,  I want to prove that it is so.” 

“How my heart leaped for joy when I heard tidings of my first convert!”

17 year old pastor?  That would be seen as ridiculous and crazy today.  It would undoubtedly be looked down upon in our Christian community. But we accept it historically because it is Charles Spurgeon.  It is validated in our minds because of the rest of his life. But could not the same power of God be working in our young people today?

Recently I read Spurgeon’s work “The Soul Winner” (which you can find the entire document online with a Google search). I was inspired to renew my own efforts in personal evangelism.  It is clear that this was the main motivation of Spurgeon’s ministry: to see people saved.  He says, “I would sooner bring one sinner to Jesus Christ than unpick all the mysteries of the divine Word, for salvation is the thing we are to live for.”

I passed a couple of the chapters on to some of my students and asked them to write up a plan to win souls at their high school.  We have regular meetings where we talk about prayer and evangelism not as good ideas, but as something we are going to actually go do.  I was particularly impacted by the response of one young lady who got saved a year ago at our Revival: Winter Edition.  As winter camp approaches again she wrote:

I will pray for these people like it were my own soul.  I need to be praying for God to use me and give me converts.  I need to want converts So So bad.  And as “The Soul Winner” said I will be praying, “Give me converts or I die.” 

Jasmine testimonyLast week, I brought a bunch of pizza to a local high school where one of our students was sharing her testimony.  She said, “I was sitting there just like you.  I came to one of these lunches with the free pizza and I heard the gospel.  I was convicted about how I was disrespecting my parents and I realized I was not a Christian.  I started attending True North with Compass Bible Church.  I got to know people and went to the activities.  Eventually, it was at winter camp where I was saved.  This same story could happen to you if you will respond to the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Tomorrow we have eight more of these campus lunches all over Orange County. Eight young men will stand up in front of their peers and share their stories of salvation.  They will tell others how Jesus makes people new, how they can die with him to their old life of sin and be made a new creation in the power of his resurrection.  We will invite them to come to church tomorrow night for a special “What’s Your Story?” event where we will talk through what a testimony is.  This will include another invitation to our winter camp in a week and a half.  Young men and women who have been saved by Jesus will plead with others to join them.  And on and on the baton of evangelism will be handed down from one new convert to the next.

Instead of looking down on our youth, let us pray for them to win souls.

Charles Spurgeon was a great man of God.  He is a pillar in the history of the church.  But there was a time when he was a young man who had just been saved and had a passion to win souls for Jesus.  That is how it began.  And the same thing is happening with young men and women in every youth group that preaches the gospel.

In fact, all of us who are adults should look up to the standard of being a soul winner.  Are we even trying to evangelize the lost like young Charles Spurgeon in Waterbeach long ago or one of these students here in Orange County today?

If we cannot say we are living to win souls, then we will find we have lost the purpose of this life.


3 Responses to “Soul Winners”

  • Stacy Petersen

    This blog testifies to just one reason why I am so grateful to be serving in HS ministry. And it totally amps me up to be more vigilant in my own evangelism–in my workplace and other circles!

  • Solid blog, Pastor Bobby! Evangelism or I die!

  • Karie Rodgers

    Excellent and great reminder. I see the high school kids faithfully going out on Saturday nights preaching the gospel. What courage in a world that is clearly in opposition of hearing the gospel. I had to ask myself, why are so many adults frightened of sharing the gospel? Fear of Man? Praying Starbuck’s will become our mission field. Evangelize!

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