The call to follow Jesus includes a call to tell others about Him. All of us heard the gospel from somebody, and we need to give that same gift to others. Most churches, though, struggle with this task. Here are some simple ways to strengthen evangelism in your congregation:
- Start by increasing your own evangelism efforts. Just that single step will strengthen your church’s evangelism. If you’re a leader in your church, you need to be setting the example anyway.
- Honestly look at your church’s growth numbers. Sometimes, an honest evaluation is necessary to compel us to faithfulness. Look at your church’s attendance and growth patterns. Are you reaching non-believers? Is God using your congregation to bring lost people to Himself? If not, start by asking God to use your church in this task.
- Develop an evangelistic prayer ministry. Lead your church members to pray Ephesians 6:18-20 and Colossians 4:2-4 for each other. Something might happen if we pray that God will give us boldness, clarity, and opportunities.
- Teach members to tell their story—and rejoice with each one who does. Everybody has a story, and nobody can tell it better than they can. Teach them how to tell their testimony in a simple, concise way. Then, thank God for every member who tells the story of Jesus. Every one person who evangelizes is one more gospel light in the darkness.
- Offer evangelism training. This suggestion might seem elementary, but I’ve worked with a lot of churches that provide no regular training. They expect their members to evangelize, but offer no tools to get there. Two tools I recommend are the “Three Circles” and “The Story.”
- Vary your training methods. Imagine the church member who cannot even tell his testimony; if you challenge him to invest in a 15-week, 5 hour per week study, he may not be ready. On the other hand, the strongest evangelist in your church might need something deeper, like training to reach persons from other world faiths. The point is this: find the right training strategies for different people in your church.
- Make a big deal of baptism. Maybe your church already does, but if not, magnify what baptism symbolizes. Help new believers invite their friends and loved ones to their baptism. Record their personal story and show it prior to the baptism. If someone in the church led a believer to faith, consider including that witness in the baptism ceremony in some way. Praise the Lord not only for conversions, but also for faithful witnesses.
- Celebrate when people get saved. That’s what the shepherd, the woman, and the father did in Luke 15 when the lost were found. That’s what happens among the angels when a sinner repents. Why would we not throw a party – literally, that is, a real party – when God redeems somebody? I wonder, in fact, if we miss an opportunity to glorify Him when we don’t really celebrate somebody’s conversion.
What would you add to this list?
Have a COVID safe super bowl event without a sermon at half time, invite people to be friends.
Pair folks who have little or no experience evanglizing people with someone who has some experience. Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs and my limited experience it is a good practice. The less experienced person learns from the more experienced person. The pair encourages and supports each other. The Holy Spirit has a way of speaking first through one member of the pair and then through the other.