The Year of Evangelism – An Evangelism Strategy

In prior years, I’ve suggested a few personal strategies for evangelism

Year Of EvangelismThis year, I want to map out something different and suggest some planning ideas for church level evangelism.

Some of my readers have been doing some planning for this coming year and are developing a some kind of focus

  • The Year for Evangelism
  • Evangelism Focus for 2010

Other churches may have another theme for the new year like: “The Year of Breakthrough” “The Year for Prosperity” or “The Year of Jubliee.”

If you are developing an evangelism theme or some kind this year, what is your strategy?

What is the measurable evangelism goal?

As you develop your plan for this year, ask yourself the question:

“What does done look like?”

So many churches want to have a focus on evangelism, but do not define the specific goal that says “we did it.”

  • Do you want 10 adult conversions?
  • Do you want to read 10 books?
  • Do you want to launch a food pantry and teach your volunteers how to share the gospel while sharing food?
  • Do you want to have 10 people trained in personal evangelism skills?
  • Do you want to . . . . . ?

In other words, what does done look like?

Should we focus on numbers?

I can quickly hear an objection: “We don’t need to focus on numbers, this is ministry.”

I agree with that 100%.   But defining numbers give us project definition.

This gives us goals for prayer, and unfolds plans for ministries.

Target numbers are not the end-all, but rather a direction in which to aim.

A church of under 50 members (a survey of my readership in December 2009 showed that nearly 25% of my readership is involved in churches under 75 members) may not have a realistic goal if they want to add 100 new members through profession of faith in the coming year.

Coaching Example

I recently coached a small church pastor as he was brainstorming  about “The Year for Evangelism” for their church.

We are clarifying my role as a evangelism consultant and help them develop their evangelism strategy for their 19 member country church.

I kept asking him, what does successful evangelism look like for your church at the end of 2010?

The ideas started spinning:

  • 10 for 2010 — 10 baptisms upon profession of faith
  • Launch a Greeter Ministry
  • Run a Personal Evangelism training course.
  • Preach an Evangelism Sermon Series.
  • Run 3 evangelistic small groups.
  • Have 4 community based servant evangelism projects.

The ideas started flowing once the pastor landed on the realistic goal of 10 new members through profession of faith.

These projects are all interconnected, but flow from the idea of how to reach 10 new believers.

In their context, 10 more adult believers would be a 50% growth, a near doubling of their church.  The number 10 seems realistic (5-7 households?)

Develop your church’s Plan for the Year of Evangelism

I don’t want to develop your plan for you.

You and your church need to prayerfully develop your own plan based on your own context and God’s calling for your church.

Part of coaching is helping your brainstorm process and ask the questions.

But I think some common prongs for developing an evangelism theme for the year would include

  • Evangelism sermon series
  • Evangelism skills training
  • Evangelistic programming, like an Alpha Course or street campaigns, or servant evangelism
  • Evangelism training groups (see an example: Evangelism Training in the Local Church)
  • Corporate evangelism outreaches
  • The supporting ministries of Hospitality and Visitor connections

What each of those looks like will be specific to your context and the leading of the Lord you discern in prayer.

Where do you start?

Let me suggest this.

If you haven’t already done so, carve out some time where your leadership will pray about the year of evangelism.

Ask God:

  • What does the year of evangelism look like for your church?
  • What is God calling your church to do to express the expansion of the kingdom of God in your particular locale?
  • What particular programmatic expressions is God calling your church to do?

What does the your Evangelism strategy look like for your congregation?  Share with us in the comments below.

If you would like some coaching help, I’d be happy to provide that service.  See our teleconferencing services section for more information.

Image Credit: sdacaricatures