That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” – Matthew 13: 1-9
Alter calls are important but for too many churches it constitutes the full extent of their evangelistic and discipleship ministry efforts. Reaching others for Christ is not counting raised hands, sending people home with information packets, or mailing letters to invite them back or worse to ask for money. This is not effective ministry. I have observed in ministry that most people do not come to Christ as an immediate response to a sermon they hear in church. They come to Christ because of the influence of an individual.
In the Christ centered church the most important and effective aspects of evangelism takes place when believers personally devote themselves to exposing others to sound biblical teaching. It is then that the power of the word of God reaches the individual and they personally encounter the Christ of whom the scriptures speak of. Then, the work of true evangelism begins when the believer faithfully disciples that individual by way of their own testimony, a commitment to bible teaching, and the continuous reinforcing of foundational biblical doctrine.
This is how the Christ centered ministry serves the will of God and of the one who’s responsibility is to sow the seeds that build it (Matthew 13). It devotes itself to scripture and to minister unto those whom the sower’s seed has found good soil. Unfortunately, too many ministries are focused on everything but the word of God and in the process they have effectively become the path, the rocky place, or the thorny ground where the seed dies.