How Pastors Can Lead Congregational Evangelism #5

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Coaching Congregational Evangelism

For the last part of our series Coaching Congregational Evangelism, I want to share some very practical advice a church planter gave me.

“Evangelism doesn’t just happen.  You’ve got to do it.”

I was asking him how he grew his church from scratch in a few months (I no longer remember the exact numbers).

His answer was:

“We do intentional outreaches every week.  Evangelism doesn’t just happen.  You’ve got to do it.”

So this brings us to the last part of this series on Coaching Congregational Evangelism,:

Key # 5.  Schedule Evangelistic Outreaches

Number 4 on the list focuses on the “Come and See” of attracting people to church.  That still play an important role in congregational evangelism.

Here, the focus in on engaging the community outside the church.

I see two different approaches to this.

1.  Acts of Community Service

Churches will do social projects that serve the community.

For example:

  • Health screening
  • Community clean up day
  • Free dental clinic for a day.
  • Job fair for the community
  • Tutoring or after school programs
  • Transportation for senior citizens
  • Fundraising walk/run for disease research
  • Clean up the overgrown yard of an elderly shut-in

You might already think you have evangelistic outreaches, but ask yourself:

  • Are our outreaches simply community service no different other community service groups?
  • Do the leave the recipients of our community service to guess what we are wordlessly saying?

Many foundations and charities do good social work.  How do the recipients of our community service know that we Christians are any different?

I ask the same question Is Community Service Evangelism?

There, read of the story of Olympic Gold Medalist and his shoes.

See how a nation misinterpreted the color of shoes.

See what insight that gives about your community service.

Possible Areas of Growth:

Don’t just do good deeds.  Look for those kairos moments prepared by the Holy Spirit to influence a person’s journey towards Christ.

2.  Servant Evangelism approaches

I’ve written elsewhere about servant evangelism.

The basic idea is an act of generosity to your community, along with a marketing card that advertises the church.

For example,

  • Give away free water bottles at a marathon,
  • Gas buy-downs,
  • Pass out batteries for smoke detectors,
  • Food giveaways to your neighbors.

This was the approach of the church planter said me.

“Evangelism doesn’t just happen.  You’ve got to do it.”

An improvement, I think, is what Pate and Wilkes write about in their book Evangelism Where You Live: Engaging Your Community which gets beyond the event and into a lifestyle, where

a Christ follower who serves others out of his or her passion, using one’s spiritual gifts at connection points of need in the community to demonstrate the love of Jesus to others as a salt and light servant.  . . . . (73)

Johnson, in Got Style? Personality Based Evangelism, devotes a whole chapter to servant evangelism and connects it to a church’s personality.

Possible Areas of Growth

Read

Action:

  • Look over your church calendar for the next few months.
    • What community service projects are happening?
    • How can you encourage your volunteers to look for faith sharing moments?
    • How can you prepare them to share?
    • Do you need to schedule some?
  • What servant evangelism projects are happening?
    • Do you need to schedule some?
    • What are some community needs you can meet?
Series NavigationHow Pastors Lead Congregational Evangelism #4How Pastors Lead Congregational Evangelism Series
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