I recently coached a small church pastor as he was brainstorming about “The Year for Evangelism” for the church.
This is part of what I do as an evangelism consultant.
I asked questions to help them develop their evangelism strategy for their 19-member country church.
The Outcome Question
One question I used to help frame the discussion: what does successful evangelism look like for your church by the end of this?
This type of outcome question is one I use regularly to help work backwards.
The ideas started spinning:
- 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 who professed faith in Christ.
The projects he brainstormed are all interconnected, but flow from the idea of how to reach 10 new believers.
In their small church context, 10 more adult believers would be a 50% growth, a near doubling of their church. The number 10 seems realistic (5-7 households?)
What is Your 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 you 100%. But numbers will help you define the project.
This gives you goals for prayer. Numbers help you unfold plans for ministries.
Target numbers are not the end-all point, but rather a direction in which to aim.
A church of under 50 members (a survey of my readership 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.
Develop your Church’s Plan for the Year of Evangelism
You and your church can prayerfully develop your own evangelism strategy based on your own context and God’s calling for your church.
Part of the evangelism coaching service I offer helps your brainstorming process. I ask the questions to stir your creative thinking.
But I think some common themes for developing an evangelism theme for the year would include:
- Evangelism sermon series
- Evangelism skills training for your members
- 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.
- 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 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.
In prior years, I’ve suggested a few personal strategies for evangelism
- Do you have an Evangelism Strategy for 2009?
- Do you have an Evangelism Strategy for 2008?
- Define your Evangelism Strategy for 2008