Why does your evangelism committee exist at your church?
Does it fulfill the role of helping the church do the work of evangelism?
Is the committee’s work just another meeting?
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?
Sometimes the question is asked of me
- “How do I start an evangelism committee?”
- “What does an evangelism committee do?”
- “Where does an evangelism committee start?”
- “What is the job of an evangelism committee at church?”
I want to give you ten roles that an evangelism committee can play in a healthy congregation as you seek to start or restart your church’s evangelism committee.
The evangelism 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. The following role silos are not precise but general guidelines.
For example, items #6, 7, and 8 may be bundled into 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 relationships with lost people.
- Actively sharing faith with those who don’t know Christ.
You can’t lead where you haven’t been yourself. Make sure you are on the leading curve of personal evangelism in your church.
Read more: What Does an Evangelism Team Do?
2. Provide Evangelism Training
Many church members are afraid of personal evangelism and faith-sharing conversations. They would rather stay at the level of inviting people to church and let the professional do the faith talking.
You can change this through regular personal evangelism training in different areas such as:
- Conversational skills
- Listening to the Holy Spirit
- Listening for Spiritual Thirst
- Evangelism in Relationships
You might want to run short courses via small groups, sermon series, or even virtual classes with an outsider like me.
3. Run Courses to Investigate Christianity
There are many great resources in the marketplace 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 that helps a person see the relevance of the Christian life.
Some might do courses that share the Christian faith as part of whatever issue they are dealing with. Groups like Financial Peace, Celebrate Recovery, or Grief Share all have evangelistic moments while serving a practical need in life.
4. Lead Outreach Programs
Your team would need to lead and organize servant evangelism activities such as
- handing out water to joggers on warm days,
- handing out cookies or ice cream at a grocery store,
- providing batteries to local residents for changing their smoke detectors, etc
You might also lead some invitational programs like
- Bring a Friend Day
- 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.
At some events, set up a prayer station for people to visit during your event.
5. Carry the Banner for Evangelism
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 Hospitality Ministries
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 discovery
- ministering to a person during their 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. Run a Welcome Center
If your church has a welcome center, this committee will make sure it is staffed and that visitor appreciation gifts are given out.
Make sure gifts are appropriate for the season and/or the sermon series.
Help your volunteers learn to make useful and engaging small talk at your welcome center.
8. Develop 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
Evangelism committees should always be thinking about how the church can reach its community.
Churches are not a fortress to hide in. Churches are the people of God on the mission of God.
Evangelism committees brainstorm ways the church can bless its community. They 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 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.
Your community needs to know your church exists. Focus on areas like
- New Movers marketing
- Facebook Page for your Church
- Pastor’s Blog
- Invitation tools.
- Your Social Media Presence
Effective low-cost marketing will assist your normal word of mouth efforts to increase the number of first-time visitors to your church.
Choose Your Initial Focus
You might have a team, a committee, a commission, or some other name for your evangelism group. The first question to ask is
Where does your evangelism committee want to start?
Evangelism Outreach means so many different things in a church — just what is it for your church?
Some churches are large enough that each of these committee roles might have their own team of leaders and volunteers.
Many churches might find that they can only cover one of these roles.
Evangelism Committee: Judicatory or Regional Level
There can be evangelism committees at a judicatory level (such as the Presbytery) or at the local church level.
I have served on such an Evangelism Committee for several years. I have been the moderator of it.
Our role was to help the local church with its evangelism efforts. We did not do the evangelism work, but provided resources, workshops, and training.
Our evangelism committee would
- sponsor Evangelism Training conferences and workshops about evangelism,
- sponsor Virtual Evangelism or Hospitality Training seminars for the region.
- talk with churches that are doing successful outreach,
- serve as a network of information about what is working and where.
- Connect presenters of various Evangelism Training workshops on evangelism methods.
- Organize conferences about evangelism and all the various breakouts.
Reignite Your First Impressions Ministry
We all want our church visitors to come back. But to get that to happen you need to improve your first impression ministries.
But where do you start?
Get these 7 Secrets to Effective Church Hospitality to give you starting points and ideas that you can implement this weekend.