Skip to content

October 24, 2016

3

3 Important Lessons on Evangelism that Every Church Ought to Know

by Dave Malnes

I love helping congregations launch outreach campaigns. Throughout the U.S., I have the privilege through Praise and Proclaim Ministries to train Christians how to proclaim the gospel and provide an opportunity to put their training into action by going door-to-door. Through my experience of launching campaigns in 2016, I believe there are three important lessons on evangelism that every congregation ought to know.

Lesson #1     Evangelism is a terrifying thought for most Christians.

I estimate that 90% of active Christians who regularly attend church are frightened, if not terrified at the thought of sharing the gospel with a person. Proclaiming the gospel to friends and neighbors is only slightly less terrifying. We would like to think that our members are responding to the call to proclaim the gospel, but it’s not true. After a campaign is over, many congregational members who stepped out in faith to share their faith, confess to me that this was the first time they had proclaimed the gospel. They share great joy and relief in doing something they have always wanted to do. And these are congregational members who are outreach-minded!

A lesson that every congregation ought to know: 

Members need some training on how to share the gospel so they can feel comfortable and knowledgeable about how and what to say to their friends or neighbors. They know about the great commission that Jesus gives to all believers. They know through sermons and Bible studies about a Christian’s responsibility and privilege to witness to others about what Christ has already done for us. What they need is some how-to training.

And they need to conquer the fear of evangelism… because it’s real!

We can acknowledge fear and point to God’s promises as it relates to fear. We can also teach the number of promises Jesus gives believers who proclaim the gospel and herald the Good News of what Christ has already done for us. A body of believers can rally together to conquer fears, learn through experience, and grow together to “make their joy complete” by planting the seeds of the gospel to unchurched members in their community.

judges-6-12

Lesson #2     The unsaved souls in your community are more willing than you think to be engaged with the gospel.

The majority of pastors and church members think that their community is a horrible place to go door-to-door to proclaim the gospel. The common assumption is that everybody either belongs to a church already or not interested. It is my experience in launching outreach campaigns in 2016 that it’s not true. In every campaign we have launched this year, the people in each community have been receptive to be engaged at the door and listen to a short gospel message.

A lesson that every congregation ought to know:

Friends and neighbors of most every church member are far more willing than you would think to have a discussion about the gospel.

Utilizing an approach and methodology at Praise and Proclaim Ministries, 99% of the people we visit at the door are polite and courteous. It’s true that many people will express disinterest in learning more about the gospel or about the church for a variety of reasons. It is also true that Christians can learn through experience how to ask appropriate questions to further engage a person in having a spiritual discussion. With that being said, I believe the Lord provides divine appointments to share the gospel with a person. That can happen at the door of a stranger’s home, a community event, or even with friends and neighbors. Church members will be surprised at a neighbor’s willingness to hear the reasons for the hope they have in Christ alone.

Christians need to conquer their fears, be trained on how to proclaim the gospel, and step out in faith to plant a gospel seed in lost souls.

CDA Seven

Lesson #3     Going canvassing does not necessarily translate into people immediately coming through the front door of a church to attend a worship service or Bible study.

While launching outreach campaigns this year, very few people have come to church for worship or Bible study. If the primary goal or expectations for going door-to-door to proclaim the gospel is measured by church attendance the following day, then a congregation will be disappointed.

The same expectations are given for postcard mailings – especially during Christmas and Easter. The same expectations are applied for summer VBS and soccer camps. After an outreach event is over, we often ask, “Why don’t they come to church?”

A lesson that every congregation ought to know:

The secret to evangelism is that there is no secret.

Lost souls receive faith through the power of the gospel.
We trust that the Word works.
Faith is often a journey for a lost, wounded, and untrusting soul. 

For many unsaved people, they may require many points of contact before they seriously consider taking that scary step and attend a church service or bible study. When congregations understand and implement the need to build bridges with the community – the people will eventually cross over with them and come to church.

The secret of evangelism is building relationships with lost souls so they can trust a person when they point to Christ in His Word. It is a bridge that often takes time, organization, and effort. Evangelism events are great to make first contact with people. But too often, congregations make the mistake in assuming that attendance at an outreach event is enough to bring a person to church. The same assumption can be applied for one immediate follow-up visit. We encourage congregations to not make this mistake.

Beginning in 2017, we will be initiating the Jericho Approach as part of our campaign strategy. This means that a congregation will fully understand and be committed to making SEVEN follow-up visits or interactions before the Lord causes the walls to fall down and a family makes the scary decision to come to church. This means that the agenda and the dynamic of evangelism meetings drastically changes. Instead of focusing energy and resources on organizing outreach events to initiate contact with the unchurched, they will focus time and energy on the unchurched people the Lord has already provided. They will establish strategies and loving accountability to follow through.

coonrapids-ten

I know that many Christians are busy. I recognize that evangelism is scary. But if there ever was a time for disciples of Christ to exercise their faith and carry out the great commission in communities God has placed them…

Now is that time.

 

Related Posts:
How to provide a clear presentation of the gospel
How to use the law before proclaiming the gospel

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

praise-and-proclaim_redgreyhoriz

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 19 2017

    Thanks for this article. A good reminder to start a year afresh with evangelism as the focus.

    Like

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2017

      Appreciate your comment. My prayers will be with you. It’s easy to be distracted in today’s world — or get too busy that causes forgetfulness. I hope you will return soon.

      Like

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. What is God’s primary goal for his church? | WITNESS WELL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: