Now, there will never be a soul found till the Holy Spirit seeks after it. He is the great soul finder. The heart will continue in the dark until he comes with his illuminating power. He is the owner, he possesses it, and he alone can effectually seek after it. The God to whom the soul belongs must seek the soul. But he does it by his church, for souls belong to the church too; they are sons and daughters of the chosen mother, they are her citizens and treasures. For this reason the church must personally seek after souls. She cannot delegate her work to anybody....
When the church of God solemnly feels, “It is our work to look after sinners, we must not delegate it even to the minister, or to the City-missionary, or the Biblewoman, but the church as a church must look after the souls of sinners,” then I believe souls will be found and saved. When the church recognizes that these lost souls belong to her, she will be likely to find them.
It will be a happy day when every church of God is actively at work for the salvation of sinners. It has been the curse of Christendom that she has ventured to delegate her sacred duties to men called priests, or that she has set apart certain persons to be called the religious who are to do works of mercy and charity and of evangelization. We are, every one of us who are Christ’s, bound to do our own share; nay, we should deem it a privilege of which we will not be deprived, personally to serve God, personally to sweep the house and search after the lost spiritual treasures. The church herself, in the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, must seek lost souls.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lost Silver Piece," delivered January 15, 1871. Image by David DeHetre under Creative Commons License.