Dr. Jack Hules, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana. Taken from The Sword of the Lord, Oct. 28, 1966. Reprinted by permission.

More than ever, I am convinced that the great need of America is soul-winning churches. Nothing could benefit our nation more than if each city, town, and hamlet would have an old-fashioned, soul-winning church within its boundary.

Soul-winning churches must be made up of soulwinning ingredients. One cannot use pink and white brick in a building and have a red brick building. A housewife cannot use sand, red clay, and mud to make an angel food cake. Neither can our churches leave out soul-winning ingredients and have soul-winning churches. Notice the necessary ingredients if one is to have a soul-winning church.

A Soul-winning Pastor

It is utter folly to think that a soul-winning church could exist without a soul-winning pastor. Someone has said that everything rises and falls on leadership. If a church is to be a warm, evangelistic, soul-winning institution, it must be led by a soul-winning pastor. When seeking a pastor, would any pulpit committee settle for anything less than a pastor who is an active soul winner? Other questions to ask: Is the pastor married? What seminary did he or she attend? How old? How many children does the pastor have? Is the pastor nice looking?

However, the most important question is, "Is the pastor a soul winner?"

Soul-winning Elders

The second ingredient must be soul-winning elders. Literally hundreds of churches do not have one active soul-winner on the board. Yet they hope that their church will be a soul-winning church.

It is very important to choose fine, consecrated elders for the local congregations. These elders should not be chosen because of their financial standing, social position, or educational background, but rather because of their love for the Word of God and their compassion for lost souls.

A Soul-winning Staff

It is important that every staff member be a soulwinner and spend time each week in personal soul winning. We do not want someone leading our choir in songs such as "Send the Light," "Rescue the Perishing," "Where He Leads Me I Will Follow," and other great songs, who is not a soul winner. I do not want anyone typing my letters who is not a soul-winner.

Soul-winning Members

According to the Great Commission, we are to teach new converts to go and get others converted. How sad it is when sometimes it is years before a Christian knows how to be a soul-winner. And many Christians never learn to be soul-winners. They simply are not taught.

At our new members reception, when we welcome new members into our church family, we give them a copy of the book Christian Service by E. G. White. This book gives them step-by-step instructions on to how to win souls to Christ. New members should be taught how to win souls.

It is usual for new converts to be winning souls to Christ within the first week or two after they are baptized, and many of our converts will win a dozen or more in the first month.... We should teach our new members how to become soul-winners, and have a soulwinning membership.

Soul-winning Worship

A pastor chosen because of his or her good looks, an elder chosen because of a financial position, a staff chosen to be a group of experts or specialists, an untrained membership, and a ritualistic, formal worship service, do not equal a soul-winning church. If we are to have the pie, we must have the ingredients. If we would reach the result, we must use the means.

Perhaps nothing hinders soul-winning any more in our churches than our misconception of what worship really is. The Old Testament idea that God lives in the church house and that we come by to see Him every worship service, making us enter the church as we would enter a morgue and behave ourselves as at a funeral, is certainly discouraging to New Testament evangelism and personal soul-winning. To have Billy Sunday results, we had better have Billy Sunday services. To have an evangelistic end, we must use evangelistic means.

Now it may be that you do not want an evangelistic church. If this is true, then you certainly have the right to use non-evangelistic methods. But to say they want evangelistic churches and to use methods foreign to such results is inconsistent. Let us have dignity in our services. Let them be planned decently and in order. Let there be true Bible references, but not the ritualistic order of service we have borrowed from Catholicism, which tends to deaden our services, drive away the common man, and lessen soul-winning and evangelistic fervor.

A Soul-winning Mission Program

If we are to building soul-winning churches, we must build them abroad as well as at home. It is not enough to give great sums of money to foreign missions and not see to it that the foreign missionaries are winning souls. . . . We should make sure that the kind of work that the missionaries are doing overseas is typical of the type of work we are trying to do at home.

Soul-winning Music

Few things in our churches have done as much to steal the spirit of evangelism as has our music. When we want Billy Sunday results, perhaps we should try to use more dynamic music. If one would want the results of Moody, we should sing the songs of Sankey. The kind of music that tends to build soul-winning churches is the kind that has been tested in revivals the kind which the people know and love; the kind that moves the heart, not the head; the kind whose words bring out the deep truth of the Word of God.

A Soul-winning Invitation

There is an old spiritual that says, "Everybody talks about Heaven ain't going there." We could paraphrase it and say, "A lot of folk talk about soul-winning ain't doing it." If a church is to be a soul-winning church, there should be 52 weeks a year consistency in its program of soul-winning. Invitations should be given morning and evening, and a burden and compassion should be evident at every invitation . . .

Train soul-winners to work with converts. Study carefully the invitations of the great revival meetings of the past. To have revival results perennially, have evangelistic invitations regularly.

An Evangelistic Budget

Check the budget of the average church and you will be surprised at how little money is spent in soulwinning purposes. We say we believe in soul winning, and at the same time spend our money in other purposes. As we draw up our budget, let us support schools that train soul winners, local mission projects that are after souls, and salaries of staff members who win souls. Include in the budget such soul-winning ministries as bus routes, rescue missions, and tracts.

A Soul-winning Schedule

I have reviewed and read many church calendars. After reading them, it is not hard to understand why our churches are not soul-winning institutions. Check the average schedule of activities for a typical church. It will include a mixed bowling league, a soft ball team, the aid society, the children's party, the youth skating party. How many times do you see anything mentioned about a soul-winning activity?

Usually the church meeting with the poorest attendance is the visitation meeting. Ten times as many people will work in the church kitchen as will work in the church field. We pastors certainly find ourselves guilty as we plan our church programs. We preach on soul-winning and schedule it right out of the church. We have enough time for all our meetings, and plenty of people attend, but so little time is planned for soulwinning. Yet we preach on soul-winning and say we want a soul-winning church.

Soul-winning Organization

Here is a sore spot and a hindrance to building a great soul-winning church. Laymen who work hard all day and have a limited number of hours to serve the Lord or the church find themselves using these hours in unnecessary committee activity and discover they have no hours left to do soul-winning.

It does not take a committee of five to put the flowers on the Lord's Supper table. It does not take a committee of ten to tell the music director what the special should be for the worship service. It does not take a committee of three to put an ad in the weekly bulletin. How much better if these same people were to organize soul-winning committees, rescue mission committees, house-to-house committees, visitation committees, etc., thereby utilizing what spare time the layman does have in fulfilling the Great Commission.

We have trained churches full of specialists who attend every meeting except the soul-winning meeting. They do church work, but not the work that Jesus called us to do. They have a form of godliness, but know nothing of the power thereof. The average church is so bogged down with so much organization that the people simply do not have time to carry out the Great Commission. Yet, we wonder why we do not have stalwart people; we wonder why the prayer meeting attendance is down; we wonder why the number of baptisms is down. We weep, and oftentimes even pray, over our lack of soul-winning fervor, and at the same time organize soul-winning out the back door of the church. Our people simply do not have time to win souls when they are committed to committees that have little or no purpose for existence.

Soul-winning Liabilities

There are problems that come with a soul-winning church. A soul-winning church may be a little noisier than the average church, because it will have a lot of poor people there who are unaccustomed to coming to church. It will take them a while to learn how to behave in a church. A soul-winning church will also have more dropouts than a church that is not evangelistic. The more babies you have, the more likely you are to lose one.

The same is true in a home. If a couple wants to have a clean home, no dirty diapers, no baby clothes hanging on the line, no burping on a clean dress, no broken vases, no fingerprints on the mirrors, and no hand prints on the towels, then is best that they have no children. With children, these problems come.

But, blessed be God, they are worth every one of them! So are the souls of men and women worth the price we pay. Let us return to the key task to which God has called us.

Dr. Jack Hules, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana. Taken from The Sword of the Lord, Oct. 28, 1966. Reprinted by permission.

Dr. Jack Hules, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana. Taken from The Sword of the Lord, Oct. 28, 1966. Reprinted by permission.