Pastoral Care not Invitational System Needed

I was reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones bio by Iain Murray, Vol2, when I came across the testimony of Ron Edmonds, a worker with BGEA, listen to this account in part:

“Not being associated with a church, or under pastoral care, I was soon overwhelmed1 with my fears and unable to cope with them despite a considerable knowledge of the Scriptures. As I could not see my way forward, I decided to return to the Uk.”

Here is a man involved in the ministry that called people forward to be saved. And yes, God has saved in spite of this, but not as a cause of this! Now, his return to the UK was to come in contact with Lloyd-Jones who was a great opponent of the invitational system of Graham. It was there he received help to actually go forward in life and become effective in ministry! Edmonds writes,

“He dealt with every question and apprehension and never, at any time, showed any impatience. In a pang of conscience I finally said to him one evening, ‘Doctor, aren’t you getting weary of my constant appearance at your vestry?’ To which he replied, ‘Not at all, my dear friend, you keep coming for as long as it takes to resolve the problems’.”

He went on to work with Banner of Truth Trust in London, and between theological discussions and visits to pastor Lloyd-Jones, he writes:

“I became more settled in heart and mind as the reformed faith gave me the needed assurance. [Lloyd-Jones's] pastoral care accomplished its end and I am eternally indebted to the loving and patient care that I experienced under his minstry.”

The invitation system called men to come forward and decide for Jesus on a single occasion. But the biblical way of pastoral care calls men to be in relationship with God and use the way God designed through pastoral care to help men to get settled in their faith and go on to be productive for the kingdom of God.

Ron Edmonds went on to serve the ministry at least seventeen more years at the time of this recorded testimony taken by Murray in 1987.


cf. Lloyd-Jones: Volume 2, pp.410-12