10 Roles an Evangelism Committee Can Have in The Church

Evangelism Committee Meeting TableWhy does your evangelism committee exist at your church?

Is it just another meeting?

Does it really fulfill the role of helping the church do the work of evangelism?

Recently I’ve been asked to comment on the role of an evangelism committee or evangelism ministry in the local church.  What are the functions of a church evangelism committee?

I want to give you ten roles that an evangelism committee can play in a healthy congregation.

The committee should be both doers of personal evangelism as well as leaders of congregational evangelism.

Some churches will overlap these roles with their hospitality committee, outreach committee, marketing team, or new member committees, so these role silos are not precise but general guidelines.

What is the job of an evangelism committee at church?

Items #6,7, and 8 may be separated to the church hospitality committee.

1. Do the work of evangelism

Each evangelism committee member should be doing the work of personal evangelism.

  • Praying for the lost.
  • Building authentic relationship with lost people.
  • Actively sharing faith with those who don’t know Christ.

You can lead where you haven’t been yourself, so make sure you are on the leading curve of personal evangelism in your church.

2.  Provide Ongoing Evangelism Training

Many church members are afraid of evangelism and find themselves wanting to invite people to church and let the professional do it.

One way around this is to provide regular personal evangelism training in different areas such as:

You might want to run short courses via small groups, sermon series, or even virtual classes with an outsider like me.

3.  Run a course or group that investigates Christianity

There are many great resources in the market place to help you run a seeker oriented group.

You might run courses that allow people to investigate Christianity and allow a safe place for people to ask their questions.

The Alpha course is one example of such a study, or you can do a topical study aimed at life skills which helps a person see the relevancy of the Christian life.

4.  Lead and organize outreach programs

If you are familiar with servant evangelism activities such as

  • handing out water to joggers on warm days,
  • handing out cookies or ice cream at a grocery store,
  • handing out candy at parks,
  • providing batteries to local residents for changing their smoke detectors, etc

your team would need to lead and organize such events.

You might also lead some invitational programs like

  • Bring a Friend Day
  • Concerts
  • Block Parties
  • Appreciation Banquets for community servants (teachers, police, fire and rescue)
  • Preaching Evangelists

As you prepare for these events, remind people to look for conversational opportunities to talk about their faith.

5. Carry the banner for reaching the lost

As other ministries of the church plan their events and activities, members of the evangelism committee always raise the banner of reaching those who don’t know Christ.

They ask questions like:

  • How does this help people know Jesus?
  • How does this help us share our faith?
  • What steps can your group take to reach lost people?
  • Can we make this event more public and increase invitations?
  • Would we feel safe inviting our friends to this retreat or small group?
  • Are we meeting too much and not out in the community?

6.  Oversee the hospitality ministries for first time guests

Some churches recognize the role that church hospitality plays in the faith journey of their guests.   The church can play a role in

  • creating community
  • allowing space for faith discover
  • ministering to a person during journey to Christ.

Churches cannot increase their influence towards salvation if a person doesn’t come back a second time.  Hospitality practices aid in getting multiple visits.

Focus on developing greeters and a great guest experience.

Make sure your volunteers can access training to improve their hospitality skills as well as conversational skills.

7. Welcome center and guest gifts

If your church has a welcome center, this committee will make sure it’s staffed and that visitor appreciation gifts are given out.

Make sure gifts are appropriate for the season and/or the sermon series.

8.  Develop your system of next steps

Evangelism committees are interested in helping a newcomer connect with the church.

After their first visit, what is the next step to building relationships?

Many churches will plan

  • post church service reception
  • contact steps after the first visit
  • a ‘meet the pastor’ social
  • new membership classes
  • other discipleship connections

One potential role of the evangelism committee is to organize and manage this process.

9.  Develop community outreach events

Evangelism committees should always be thinking about how the church can reach its community.

Churches are not a fortress, but are the people of God on the mission of God.

Evangelism committees brainstorm ways the church can bless its community and ask the question “How can we be the best church for the neighborhood?”

You might do that through organized prayer walks, prayer stations, and prayer booths.

You might do the community exegesis of visiting with local officials to learn about the community.

You might do the visitation of local non-profits that are serving in various needs to learn more about what the church might be able to do.

Evangelism committees would lead the research and project development and empower volunteers to rise up and serve.

See

10.  Marketing.

Your community needs to know your church exists.  Focus on areas like

  • New Movers marketing
  • Website
  • Facebook Page for your Church
  • Pastor’s Blog

Effective low cost marketing will assist your normal word of mouth efforts to increase the number of first time visitors to your church.

Want ongoing ideas delivered?

Each week, I send out new articles that might help your evangelism committee grow your church through personal evangelism, church invitations, and leading your congregation in evangelistic outreach.  You’ll usually find a gem that you can use each week  in or at least every other week.  Join our community and share your thoughts.

Sign up here.

Pastor Training in Guatemala

Praying for the Holy Spirit Empowerment

Pentecost is the time where we remember when and how the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church.

The fruit of that day is seen:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. – Acts 1:8 (NIV)

Pero cuando venga el Espíritu Santo sobre ustedes, recibirán poder y serán mis testigos tanto en Jerusalén como en toda Judea y Samaria, y hasta los confines de la tierra. – Hechos 1:8 (NVI)

This empowerment for missions enables us to fulfill our calling and purpose, whether it is to our local area or in another country.

An open door:

valle de pancho y antigua guatemalaLast October, a fellow member of PRMI, received a personal invitation to teach on the person and work of the Holy Spirit to a group of Presbyterian pastors in Guatemala. That created a spiritual thirst to know more:

  • What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
  • How can the gifts help me grow my church?
  • How can I help people discover their gifts?

Now, we have received an invitation to return and give about 8 hours worth of additional teaching and training on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Through our connections with PRMI, we have the opportunity to share some of the foundational teaching that we has been shared around the world.

These pastors, who may not have access to seminary trained pastors as teachers, will hear from the 3-4 pastors on our team, and then be empowered to use this information in their local congregations.

Much confusion exists about the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the evangelical church in Latin America.

I see it myself as I’ve been in 9 different countries. The person and work of the Holy Spirit has been subjected to abuses, misinformed teaching, and all sorts of strange interpretations (I’ve got tons of stories). Because there is often a lack of sound biblical resources, it’s easy for confusion, hurt, and pain to happen.

We have been invited to help bring a biblical perspective, and a solid one that is rooted in the Reformed Stream of the Western Church. The material we use makes so much use of scriptures that some of our manuals are over 1 inch thick.

These pastors are looking to us to provide solid, rational, biblical training to help interpret and balance some of the experiences that they have had.

Imagine Guatemalan Presbyterian pastors full of the Holy Spirit, sound doctrine, praying for others to receive this empowering work of the Holy Spirit to reach their own harvest fields!

We get to play a part!

Details

Map GuatemalaThis retreat will be geared for pastors and their spouses at a retreat center outside of Guatemala city.

August 18-20, 2009.

Additional preaching opportunities and connections with Vida Joven Guatemala will likely occur, building on our relationship with Vida Joven Nicaragua.

Support:

The team is raising support for the trip to cover our international airfares and some translation costs to prepare and ship materials.

Donations to the team through PRMI can be marked “Latin American Missions.”

Donate online here. You will need to create an account since Paypal is not yet available to them.

Checks via US Mail,
Payable:PRMI
Marked : Latin American Mission,
PRMI
P.O.Box 429

Black Mountain NC 28711

Review of Beyond Belief by Patrick McElroy

Beyond Belief by Patrick McElroy is subtitled Live a Consistent, Spiritually Powerful life.beyondbelief3

From the back cover:

“a book about breaking free from a spiritually weak life to achieve the consistently powerful one that is available to every believer.

It’s a Bible Study 101 that guides reader to a greater revelation of God.”

Summary of Beyond Belief

The 66-page book is a simple explanation of basic Christian belief and it’s relevance to life today.  The chapters are short, with related Scriptures listed at the end of each.

It uses the basic gospel script of the sharing the Law and then the Gospel.

It covers other basic points such as the authority of Scripture, sovereignty of God, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and so forth.

His goal within each chapter seems to want to build a case that the best spiritual life is one centered in a relationship with Christ.

In Chapter 9, he offers a roadmap on how to begin your spiritual life by inviting Christ into your heart.

Yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, available only to those who have received Christ as Savior and Lord, will change your life today, not just for eternity.

My take on Beyond Belief

Worldview Assumptions in Beyond Belief

The book can be used as a primer or a review in your basic discipleship work.    It assumes the reader has a biblical worldview and agrees with the authoritativeness of Scripture.

As a tool to use in evangelism, the biggest challenge will be the book’s generous use of Scripture.  The assumption of biblical authority runs through the text.

If the seeker reading the book doesn’t yet share that foundation of biblical authority, the proofs offered in the book may seem circular or insufficient.

They might say –- “the bible says it, ok.  So what?”

(Read about handing biblical illiteracy here under the header Seeds already planted)

To use Beyond Belief as a pre-Christian evangelism tool in small groups, the small group leader should be aware of how to handle alternative worldviews and help the seekers discover biblical authority.

Exclusivity of the Gospel in Beyond Belief

I appreciated the simplicity of how he treats the exclusivity of the gospel, and how he affirms that Jesus is the only way to salvation.   I share that belief so I had no problem with it’s presentation.

For my readers who don’t share that viewpoint, this book may seem too fundamentalist to your liking.

Overall reaction to McElroy’s Beyond Belief

The book is simple, short, and can likely be read in one sitting.

As a small group resource, I can see where it can be useful for those who grew up in a church and left and are reaching a season in their life where they are returning to their Christian roots, where there are still seeds of respect for Biblical authority.

Order your copy of Beyond Belief direct from Amazon.

Buy through the link and we’ll receive a few pennies commission to support our work.

Statistics on PC USA Membership Loss 2008

Since the PC USA is where I hold my ordination as pastor, these statistics are of interest to me, and I know that many of the EvangelismCoach.org subscribers are in that same tribe.

Source: PC(USA) – Presbyterian News Service – PC(USA) records steepest membership loss since reunion in 1983.

Membership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) fell by 69,381 in 2008, the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) has announced in its annual statistical report, continuing a trend that began in the mid-1960s.

Total membership of the denomination is now 2,140,165.

According to the Research Services office of the General Assembly Council (GAC), the 2008 decline was the PC(USA)’s largest numerical and percentage net membership loss since Presbyterian reunion in 1983.

Almost 104,000 people joined the PC(USA) last year, but that good news was more than offset by the 34,101 Presbyterians who died, the 34,340 who were members of the 25 congregations that left the PC(USA) for other denominations, and the staggering 104,428 who were removed from the rolls by their sessions without apparently joining any other church.

Can a positive spin be put on this?   The General Assembly Stated Clerk announces

Parsons insisted that “Presbyterians can be evangelists!”

“But we often stumble over the words. Can we not challenge one another to be able to answer these basic questions,” he said. “Why do I believe in God? Why do I go to church? Why do I go to that particular church?”

Fewer congregations were dissolved in 2008 than in 2007 — 65 vs. 71 the previous year. And 40 new churches were organized last year, 23 more than the previous year. The PC(USA) currently comprises 10,751 congregations.

This suggests the need for

Eric Hoey, in an additional statement wrote:

In a June 18 statement, the Rev. Eric Hoey, the GAC’s director of Evangelism and Church Growth,  . . . . . attributed the large number of new members, in part, to the “Grow Christ’s Church Deep and Wide” initiative that came out of the 218th General Assembly (2008).

“Grow Christ’s Church Deep and Wide” created a groundswell of local and regional activity. The initiative challenged all levels of the church to acknowledge our decline and to commit to four areas of growth: evangelism, discipleship, servanthood and diversity,” Hoey said.

Presbyterian News Service has written a series of articles about congregations that are engaged in innovative outreach programs in order to Grow Christ’s Church Deep and Wide,’” he added.

How to Make and Use Church Name Tags

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Church Nametags

For churches that have considered and want to implement using nametags, today’s post gives you some thoughts about how to make and use nametags in church.

1.  Preprint church name tags for your regular attendees

One church set up two large registration areas.

One has preprinted tags for regular attendees and blank name tags for first-time guests.   To get a name tag, each guest completes a registration information card.

The next week, those guests have preprinted name tags waiting for them.

Another area has preprinted name tags for staff and core volunteers such as the prayer team or ushers.

First time guests are somewhat easy to identify because their name tags are handwritten.  This can help your ushers and greeters connect them with more information and resources about the church.

Yet, this “obvious” distinction may have an unintended consequence of showing a visitor that they are yet “different” as the nametag is not like the others.  You know your local culture to be able to discern how people might feel about this.

2. Handwritten name tags every Sunday

Another church has a stack of labels every Sunday.

All members and visitors fill one out as part of their “culture.”

All are handwritten, avoiding some of the concerns of the pre-printed ones

This takes administrative burden off the staff, but requires that your regular members understand the reason for doing this every week.

One church shared with me they preprint a theme logo, plus the branding of the church with its phone number, name, and website.  Sometimes they will use an image for a special event that week, like a Baptism, or communion.

3.  Distribution of name tags

Churches need to design a system that works for them.

Some will have a board of some kind near entrances where members can obtain their name badge and return it when the service is over.

Visitor centers or guest information booths will have greeters staffed to provide name tags for visitors.

4.  Recollecting name tags

Some may have one central area near the entrance, and make announcements in the bulletin about how to return the nametag.

Inevitably, some will get ripped, accidentally taken home and put through the wash, or just somehow lost.

Part of your ongoing maintenance of a name tag initiative is replacing lost ones, torn ones, or overly doodled nametags.

I’m familiar with churches where about every quarter, leadership reminds people of the reason behind the name tags and that begins a new wave of organizing, using, and distributing.

Let me ask you this?

  • What style of nametag do you use that you have found effective?
  • How do you distribute them?
  • How do you recollect them?
  • How do you maintain them?

Share your thoughts in the comment field below (Feed or email readers: click through to find the comment field).

See also

For more church hospitality tips on welcoming church visitors, buy your copy of How To Welcome Church Visitors.

How To Welcome Church Visitors