Apr 1 1989
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, former minister of Westminster Chapel in London, was interviewed by Carl Henry for a February 1980 Christianity Today article. Henry asked, "You declined to be either a participant or observer [of the Berlin World Congress on Evangelism]. You were also, I think, the only minister of a major church in London that did not cooperate in the Graham crusades? What kept you on the sidelines?"
This is a very vital and difficult matter. I have always believed that nothing but a revival—a visitation of the Holy Spirit, in distinction from an evangelistic campaign —can deal with the situation of the church and of the world.... I have never been happy about organized campaigns.... When things were not going well, the old approach was for ministers and deacons to call a day of fasting and prayer and to plead with God to visit them with power. Today's alternative is an evangelistic campaing: ministers ask, "whom shall we get as evangelist?" Then they organize and ask God's blessing on this. I belong to the old school.
Henry then asked, "What specific reservations do you have about modern evangelism as such?"
I am unhappy about organized campaigns and even more about the invitation system of calling people forward.... I just can't subscribe to the idea that either congresses or campaigns really deal with the situation. The facts, I feel, substantiate my point of view: in spite of all that has been done in the last 20 or 25 years, the spiritual situation has deteriorated rather than improved. I am convince that nothing can avail but churches and ministers on their knees in total dependence on God. As long as you go on organizing, people will not fall on their knees and implore God to come and heal them. It seems to me that the campaign approach trusts ultimately in techniques rather than the power of the Spirit.