Not to long ago, I spoke at a Missions Congress on Cross Cultural Missions.
The event was awesome and I shared the stage with expositors from Costa Rica and Honduras.
The organizers wanted me to share on the theme of “Reaching my city for Christ.”
Reaching my City for Christ
For two to three weeks, I meditated on that theme, praying, reading Scripture, and pondering all that I had learned and done in my evangelism training.
“Reaching my city” is a big theme to cover in a 3 hour workshop, but as I reflected on it, it really boils down to personal evangelism on a massive scale.
One conversation by one conversation.
The funnel can widen out into things like churches working together with organized strategies, church planting, simple or organic churches, pastors cooperating, and strategic planning and stuff like that. Books have been written on the subject, but what I haven’t seen yet is this theme boiled down to
One conversation at a time.
Key 1: Evangelism in cooperation with the Holy Spirit
Conversational evangelism is a personal work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit who Prepares the Way.
Evangelism seems to have the greatest impact one personal conversation at a time. Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch is the best example in my book of a one to one conversation where Phillip cooperated with the advance work of the Holy spirit.
Other examples that strike me are
- Peter and Cornelius
- Paul and Ananias
- Paul and Lydia
In each of the examples, the Holy Spirit had guided led the Evangelist to the right place at the right time to find a prepared heart. Little churches got started. Churches grew.
If we can learn how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, I believe most of us will discover that evangelism is much easier.
Key 2: Cooperating with the Holy Spirit is rooted in Prayer.
In fact, I did a brief case study on a church that is rapidly growing through high adult conversion rates because of prayer (read 3 Keys to Church Growth — Case Study)
But to plow the field for evangelism, consider How to Lead a Prayer Meeting Focused on Evangelism.
Build an Evangelism Prayer List of people you are praying for regularly.
If you want to be involved in reaching your city for Christ, prayer is the foundational work.
Paul wrote in 1 Tim 2:1
I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone. (NIV)
Prayer should be our priority (urged, first of all). Our first priority, rather than our last resort.
Prayer should be for everyone – that could be the whole group collectively, or each one in a group individually.
At the end of our workshop in the congress, we spent time interceding for the city, and crying out to God for those whom we know personally who do not yet know the Lord.
I believe that as we pray for the city, as we pray for those who don’t know Christ, as we cultivate listening to the Holy Spirit, we will reach our city for Christ, one conversation at a time.
Evangelism in the 21st Century
Evangelism in the 21st century will not be solely dependent on the church. The growing number of “spiritual but not religious” people means that more people will need to hear the gospel through conversations with Christians.
You’ll need to be able to comfortably talk about your faith in Christ without being obnoxious about it.
I have a DVD set that focuses on a conversational style evangelism that would be effective in:
- casual conversation between friends
- causal conversation between strangers
Read more about the Effective Evangelism Conversations in the store.
It is a recording of a live seminar I gave in 2012.