Restoring Evangelism in Your Church
For so many churches the Great Commission has been the great omission. Even though Jesus Christ gave this imperative command five times to go into all the world to make disciples of all nations, fewer than one in twenty have gone into their own corner of the world to share the gospel with the community in which they reside. An imperative command is the same type of command that a parent gives a child to “Get out of the street!” This command is not negotiable. It is not a “hope you will do this” but a direct command from God Almighty given directly to the disciples and to all believers to take the gospel to the lost. For the most part, the lost will never come to the church so the church has to go to them.
Many believers just don’t know what to say though. They worry about offending someone, being embarrassed, or by being rejected. But they forget that the power is in the message and not in the messenger. The Word of God never returns void and without effect (Isaiah 55:11) but it needs to get out of the mouth of the believer. After Christ’s return and we are safely in God’s Kingdom, I guarantee we will not look back on eternity and say “Wow, I wish I hadn’t gotten humiliated and shared the gospel with my neighbor” or “Boy, I wish I had not got laughed at by my co-worker for telling them about Jesus.”
Let me tell you that for years I was disobedient to the Great Commission. I was afraid, embarrassed and even ashamed to tell others about Jesus Christ. But then I read Luke 9:26 which says, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.“ That was a wake up call for me. When I don’t share the gospel it is because I am ashamed to tell others about Him. It is like denying Jesus Christ before others and this is very serious my friend as you read in Luke 12:9, “But he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” Ouch! Let it never be so my Lord and my God. But that is exactly what I was doing. Shame on me. But then I realized that someone had to share the gospel with me and if they had not, then I would be on the path to hell…and a wide path it is. Charles Spurgeon, one of the 20th Centuries greatest preachers once said that if a person doesn’t tell others about Christ then he wonders if that person is saved or not. That was a wake up call to me.
As a pastor and Outreach coordinator, I was shocked that churches today are not utilizing effective means to reach the lost in their community. Over 50% of those polled from ages 25 to 69 are open to someone coming to their door to invite them to church even though less than 4% of churches nationwide have an active Outreach program. That means that 96% of the people in our nation with churches in their community will never have someone come to their home to invite them to church. And the vast majority of these people are open to visitation, yet no one will come to their homes. Even more surprising, the majority of those aged 18 to 69 are more open to door-to-door invitations than advertising in the mail, in the newspaper, or on TV or radio. The result is that there are millions of un-churched people who have never once had anyone come to their door to share the gospel and invite them to church. This training is so simple and easy to remember that there is a simple acronym that is used: WDJD. That is What Did Jesus Do. It is based up Jesus using the Ten Commandments in Mark 10 when He told the young, rich man how to inherit eternal life. This is the very same method that Jesus Christ used in His work during His own ministry.
Door-to-door evangelism is quickly becoming a lost art and the lost are passing through the fingers of evangelical churches. From my own years of experience and after receiving training in effective evangelistic methods, I can now offer churches a way to reach those millions of people who will never come to church on their own without an invitation. I have trained churches and built Outreach programs from scratch. I have received training by evangelists and utilized the most effective methods that are currently available. At one training in Pueblo, Colorado at Victory Life Ministries almost one in four came forward at the end of the message to commit their lives to Christ for the first time and/or to commit to reaching the lost with the gospel.
In a book I am presently writing I will cover important ways to present the gospel to your unsaved family, co-workers, neighbors, people in the malls, on the street, and even children. There are different methods to presenting the gospel for adults and children. I will cover both because you can not present the gospel in exactly the same way you would to a child as you would to an adult. Children take things literally and so you have to choose your words carefully. That will be covered in a chapter especially designed to present Jesus as Savoir to children. Also at the end of the book will be a simple method on how to help people make decisions right there, on the spot, at the very moment. If a person is ready to accept Christ and they believe in Him, why put it off? You can help them make that decision when you share the gospel with them.
These methods are so simple that you can find out how to inspire your own church members to become effective evangelists within their own neighborhoods, families, and among co-workers by means that Jesus Christ Himself used. I have trained churches in ways to build Outreach programs such as door-to-door, one-on-one witnessing, and Outreach activities that address the needs of the community that they reside in, trainings for parenting, marriage strengthening seminars, all of which I have done.
It is not simply about building church membership or filling the pews, but about reaching those who are perishing without Christ. Jesus gave the Great Commission, an imperative command, five times in the New Testament yet only 1 in 20 Christians have ever led more than one person to Christ in their entire lives and only 4% have an active weekly or even bi-weekly Outreach program. Some people that I have knocked on their door told me, save for Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, it has been 20, 30, or 40 years since anyone has knocked on their door! How tragic.
If you would like to receive training on how to be effective witnesses, please contact me and schedule training for your church. They can be in as short as one two-hour session, in two one-hour trainings like on Saturday night and Sunday morning, or longer if you want to build community programs that attract people with sincere applications of biblical principles that will help people live their daily lives while pointing them to Jesus Christ as the ultimate solution. I can do it in person or over the web. I can provide free training or mail (email too) free materials for you. There is nothing more important for the Christian than making disciples of Christ who in turn make other disciples of others, and so on. Please join me in helping to expand the Kingdom of Heaven and take as many men, women, and children to heaven as God will draw.
Missional Research: Center for Missional Research. North American Mission Board. 2011. Internet. Available: http://www.namb.net/cmr/. Accessed July 29, 2011.