How To Reach Urban America with the Gospel

Posted: December 12, 2012 in Conversational Evangelism, Evangelism Dynamics, Missional Evangelism, Personal Evangelism, Understanding Biblical Evangelism

I have read and heard several reasons why Evangelicals are not reaching lost people in America with the gospel. Usually the reasons have a “blame-game” attached to them. It will include blaming the non-profits, blaming programs provided by non-profits, which by the way were established by denominational leadership, mostly pastors, who elected and founded the non-profits so they could focus on their church ministry and sermons. Non-profits are not from the devil. Some individuals who choose not to connect with or support a denomination try to demonize them. But that is not the reason for this article.

There is a simple answer to why Evangelicals or Protestants are not reaching lost people in America. It is as simple as one word, DISOBEDIENCE, to what you might be asking. “That’s Easy”, Jesus commands us to go witness, evangelize, tell, and share the good news, which by the way is “making disciples.” Jesus said, “Go make disciples of all nations.” The result is we baptize those who have committed (themselves) to follow Jesus. We baptize individuals who have believed in, trusted in and received Jesus as Lord and Savior.

With the command, (Matthew 28:18-20) Jesus gave us the strategy. The strategy is also found in Acts 1:8, were Jesus lays out the plan for us to witness in “our Jerusalem, our Judea, and Samaria and to remotest part of the earth.”

With the strategy comes a process for training new disciples. Robert E. Coleman captured the training process in his book the Master Plan for Evangelism. You will find the training plan when you read and study the Bible. In it are numerous examples and principles to equip believers how to evangelize, witness, share the good news.

Over the last few years God has raised up certain individuals who had a desire and passion for evangelism. As a result some of these individuals have written a method or two how to motivate and equip church members for evangelism. My personal experience in developing leaders, organizing mission teams for inner city or urban evangelism has also resulted in a book.

I have to say that I did not lay the foundation for the urban mission. But God placed me in the leadership position to take it to the next level. The methodology and processes were tried and tested programs long before complied into a workbook.

There is a methodology that Jesus used which is found in the New Testament and is still used today. I was talking to a brother in Christ from West Africa, who was Muslim and then became a Christ follower. He shared how his church in Togo, goes out and finds total strangers and begins witnessing to them about Jesus Christ.

We have found this is the same approach used in the Bible. A few individuals are still training believers in this New Testament approach and some are have used this approach in America. The name of the methodology communicates an intentional approach to evangelism, prayer and connecting new believers to the church, it is called Intentional Community Evangelism/ICE. Jesus was intentional in his efforts to save a lost world from sin and hell. He was intentional in His training of the twelve disciples so they would learn how to go and make disciples. His command to the church to go make disciples, to evangelize carries an intentional mandate, strategy and process.

But there is more to Intentional Community Evangelism; it teaches that we are empowered by God’s Spirit to carry out Jesus’ command to go make disciples. We all know that spiritual warfare is real when conducting missions whether aboard or at home. So in the ICE methodology you will find how to overcome it through prayer, confession of sin and praising Jesus.

For years this approach was taught by word of mouth and mentoring in the streets of America. Because of the encouragement of Pastors, church leaders and others, the Intentional Community Evangelism workbook was developed. Pastors continue to use it on an annual basis for training their churches. It is a biblical approach that we find Jesus, His disciples, the early church and believers world-wide still use today.

Where can you find a copy of ICE? We have made it available through and on which is a ministry by Victor H. Benavides. This strategy or approach has been used mostly in the high risk, high crime areas with great success. ICE team members have connected with the people, many times outcasts. Many souls have been won to Christ after spending time sharing the gospel with them. Through the urban mission efforts of the teams over 22,000 individuals have believed in Jesus, trusted in Him and received Him as Lord and Savior.

With the decision to follow Christ, most of the new believers bring a lot of baggage. Many today come with no in depth knowledge or deep understanding of whom Jesus Christ is or His teachings. Many times we have found that people in the urban centers, have a mix bag of beliefs. In other words they have taken a little bit from major religious beliefs and made up their own. So discipleship and Bible studies are vital.

Evangelism is about obedience to Jesus Christ’s command to go make disciples. If you are seeking to obey Jesus and follow in His foot steps in evangelism, then Intentional Community Evangelism is for you and your church.


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