Individual Responsibility in Evangelism

By Harris J. Dark

Suppose I relate a story to just one other person, and then two of us know it. Let each of us tell another, and that makes four. If each of the four tells another, obviously eight will have heard. Do you know how many times that would have to be repeated in order for every person on earth to hear the story? Only thirty times, following the first!

If I tell another person, each of us another, and so on, after the message has been communicated thirty-one times it will have been heard by 2,147,483,648. If we allow an entire month for one person to relate the story to one other person, it can cover the earth in thirty-one months. Can we do that well with our modern methods and devices?

To be generous let us say that it will take an entire year for each to teach another. At that rate we can include all the people on earth in thirty-one years. How long will it take at the rate we are going now?

If we assume that there are already as many as 500,000 Christians in the world we can reduce the number thirty-one to twelve, hence the required time to twelve years! Remember that in accomplishing this, one-half of the earth’s population would not have to teach any one, another fourth only one person each, and no one would need to teach more than twelve others!

This would be cooperation in the finest and most effective sense. It is the best system of communication ever known. It is the one Jesus used. But, it has one great hindrance. It places responsibility on the individual, and we don’t like that! We want to shift it to the group. We prefer to make a small contribution to some mass movement, and then claim credit for everything the group does.

March 29, 1973