Evangelism Through Cell Groups
I was recently asked how one can integrate evangelism in a cell or small group setting. There are several ways to do this, many of which would be similar to how a small church might seek to evangelize.
Here are a few ways evangelism can take place in a small group (cell) setting:
Training in personal evangelism. To begin with, the leader must train their people in personal evangelism. This should be the normal process of discipleship. We lead someone to Christ, train them to do the same and they in turn train the next person and so on. This is one of the things Paul was stressing to Timothy when he said, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2 NASB).
Use your testimony. One of the best ways for people to begin evangelizing is with their testimony. If a person is born again through their faith in Jesus, they have a testimony. This will give them victory over the enemy (Revelation 12:11) and be a great beginning point in sharing their faith. We can say with the blind man Jesus healed, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25 NKJV).
Reach out to personal acquaintances. Once people have been trained, they should begin to reach out to the people they know. The best evangelism takes place among those we are closest to. They can present the gospel as trained and also invite those they know to visit their cell group. We can reach out to family, friends, co-workers, those in our neighborhood and so on.
Special events or meetings. It is always easiest to get friends to come to specials. When I have pastored, I often used special events as a drawing card to get people in the church. When having something special going on, it is easy for your people to get their friends and acquaintances to visit. Small groups are no different. There are multiple things you can do, according to your situation. You can have cookouts, special speakers or music, a pool party and outings to name a few. Use your imagination.
Going door to door. Door to door evangelism doesn’t seem to be used like it once was, but it can be an effective way to share the gospel. There are different ways you can approach going door to door. One of our contributors suggests a survey and gives sources for free gospel tracts and training materials. His article on “Effective Door to Door Outreach” is well worth the read.
Gifts to the needy. Take a collection from your group for something that may help to meet a need of those in your area. This is a wonderful way to be a witness and help people out at the same time. “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17 NKJV). John put it this way, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18 NKJV). Let me suggest two types of gifts and use your imagination for other ways to meet people’s needs.
- Food. Take a collection of food items or money to purchase food. Make a list of those who may be in need that your people know about or pick a poor area to reach out to. Make up some bags of groceries and leave a bag or two on their front porch or steps. You may simply enclose a tract or something with your groups contact information.
- Holiday gifts. For occasions such as Christmas, you can take a collection of toys and other gifts for families in need. This too should be given discretely so as not to embarrass anyone. What a wonderful way to express the love of Jesus to those less fortunate. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 NKJV).
Be a witness. We must teach and help our people to be witnesses as well as to witness. Just prior to Jesus’ ascension, He told His disciples, “You shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8 Amplified Bible). He didn’t say they would merely receive power to witness, but to be witnesses. We are to be witnesses with our life first, then we are to witness.
Jesus also said we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14). We are to let the light of the gospel shine bright from within us to all around us. We are also to be the salt of the earth. Salt ads taste to life and make us thirsty. Our lives should be such that those around us taste of Jesus and become thirsty for what we have. All to often believers give people a bad taste for the gospel instead of making them thirsty for it. Let’s cause the world to thirst for the Jesus we serve.
You say, “but I am not sure I have it in me to be all of that.” None of us have it in and of ourselves alone. Peter said, “His divine power (the Holy Spirit within us) has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NASB). No, we don’t have it in and of ourselves, but through His divine nature we can be all He calls us to be. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NASB), but Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).
Let’s set our hearts to evangelize, whether through our small groups (cells), as a family serving Christ together or through our local church. We can make an impact with the gospel on those around us and the World itself. Let it be said of us, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:6 NKJV).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help and empower us to be both witnesses and to witness for you. Whether by means of our life, our testimony or a presentation of the gospel through scripture, let us be your witnesses. And Lord, as leaders we ask you to help us set an example and train those you’ve entrusted us with to evangelize as you commissioned us (Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15). In Jesus’ name, Amen!