Marketing the Gospel Day 5: Measuring Success
And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. (Philemon 1:6, ESV)
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. (Psalm 128:2, ESV)
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (Matthew 13:19-23, ESV)
Tracking the success of a campaign in a business seems like it would be pretty straightforward, but honestly it can be rather difficult. Not everything can be measured. Sure, I can see if people are making purchases, but sometimes I can’t tell where people are coming from, and with some privacy laws we have limited access. We can do the best we can with the information we have, but it is not always totally accurate. So, when it comes to sharing the gospel, how do we measure success?
Well, we don’t. Not really. More often than not we will not know the outcome of our gospel efforts. But sometimes, the Lord allows us to see the results. For example, I remember hearing a story about a woman who contacted her old Sunday School teacher who happened to be in one of our sister churches. The women were a bit older and hadn’t seen each other in years, but the student remembered her teacher and had to share some good news. She told her about how when she was young, she attended her Sunday School class and she had given her a Bible. Well, that Bible sat on the shelf for many years. One day she looked at it again and God started to work in her heart. She got saved and started living for the Lord. Years had passed since, but she found her teacher on Facebook and thanked her for what she did so many years ago.
When we plant the seed of the gospel, there is no telling what may happen, but you can be sure that God is working behind the scenes. The seed may fall on the wayside and burn up in the sun or be eaten by birds, but when it hits the good soil and buries down deep, it can take time to grow. While you may see the effects of your efforts immediately, it is more likely that you won’t know until we are in eternity how many souls God reached through you. So don’t be discouraged when no one gets saved during the gospel sermons at your local church. Don’t feel defeated when a friend doesn’t respond to your efforts. Stranger things have happened.
Ultimately, the spread of the gospel is in God’s hands. We are simply His sales people. We are called to go out into the world and share the good news far and wide, but we are not saving anyone. God is the One in control. He is the One who works diligently behind the scenes to change hearts and minds to desire Him. He is the One that reveals salvation to those who are searching.
My challenge to you today is to pray for the people with whom you’ve had the opportunity to share the gospel. Pray for the friend with whom you shared your testimony. Pray for the people you handed out gospel pamphlets or Scripture to in your local community. Pray for your neighbor that came out to church with you five years ago. Pray that God is working in their hearts. Pray that the seed that has been planted is being tended to and that these people will come to know their Savior. Pray for the work of God in your community.