I have experience as an Evangelism Pastor, National Coordinator, Training, Author, and Consultant, (ten plus years) working on a church staff, denominational staff, and parachurch evangelistic association. I have taught, mentored pastors and church leaders how to start and have a witnessing conversation. I have led mission teams into the inner cities of America to partner with inner city churches to engage their communities with the gospel. I have taught and continue to teach classes on evangelism and dynamics, principles, and methods of evangelism.

But, sadly, over the last ten years, and especially the last six years, I have seen a major departure of the mandate for evangelism Jesus Christ gave to the church. Having served on a national mission agency, our team, conducted research on a monthly and annually and reviewed results of the decline of churches, across the American landscape. We saw a severe decline in churches making evangelism, less of an overall key component or part of the Church DNA. The result was fewer and fewer individuals from outside the church and inside the church making the decision to surrender to Jesu Christ as Lord and Savior. This has impacted baptisms since 1974.

Currently, the condition of all mainline denominations in North America is, they are all on or headed to being on a critical condition list. All the while the cults, for instance, Mormonism, Watch Tower, continue to grow. Islam is on a spike and not just growing in the number of Mosques built, but the number of political positions being now filled by Muslims in the United States.

Several years ago, we saw a trend in North America. The churches cut out the Pastor of Outreach and Evangelism. In the last two to three years, this same practice is being fleshed out at the state and national level as well. All the while, America is going to “hell” at an ever increasing rate. It seems almost daily, we hear on the news or read in an online newspaper of yet another decision by our government or official, or community leader, or church leader who has decided to go against God’s plan, God’s instruction book, the Bible how we are to live and relate to God.

Noticing the void created by the absence of the Pastor of Outreach and Evangelism, I have contacted denominational leadership about working as a contractor on a limited basis with their churches. As we discuss the fee or payment options, I have negotiated a monthly or a daily rate,  to consult with pastors one or two days a month. Having conducted my research, I have noticed the rate compared to other industries is, should I say, just a fraction. But in a world of survival, and using my expertise and years of educational training, I tell myself to be grateful, and I am.

In communication with one denominational leader, after communicating with his pastors, he responded. “There is not as much of an interest in us adding to our current budget, though there are great respect and admiration for your skill set and leadership. I appreciate you offering to add a level of depth to our Associations and for your passion for Evangelism.”

But we must consider why churches do not have a budget for evangelism. The reason churches have less money these days is a direct result of a lack of evangelism, evangelistic emphasis, and evangelistic outreach. Which in turn means not reaching lost people with the gospel, which results in not having new disciples or followers of Christ, to baptize and become new tithing church members. It becomes a vicious cycle.

I have heard it said many times by key pastors and denominational leaders, that we budget for what is the most important. I would have to say that Jesus has given His church a mandate for evangelism and then make disciples. The disciples are then added into the body of the congregation, the church. We do not grow the church, God adds to the church according to Acts 2:47.  As the cliché goes, it seems that the church has “put the cart before the horse.” A commons statement I heard before in years past, “As the church goes, so goes the nation.” How is your church evangelism going?

So, if you are looking at your budget for 2016, consider adding a line item for the “Fulfillment of the Jesus Mandate for Evangelism. If your budget is shrinking, trying growing your budget through making evangelism a major emphasis in your church or ministry again.

I have heard it said, that if something is everyone’s job, it is nobody’s job. I have heard pastors make the statement, Evangelism is everyone’s job. However true this statement is, and it is unless there is a Pastor of Outreach Evangelism to remind the church, staff, and church leaders to keep evangelism at the forefront of all ministry a church does, it will not happen.

Need more money for your evangelism ministry budget?  Then “Let’s go soul winning” and makes some new disciple of Christ and teach them how to budget to tithe and support the ministry.

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. Andy says:

    I read this with surprise, the assumption over the pond is that the church in the US is doing ok. Compared with the traditional denominations in the UK, where I am from which are in decline. Here Evangelism has become too synonymous with brow beating the non Christian. However the alternative is to do nothing which is no alternative! So we talk in terms of being missional, which encompasses evangelism, it’s a meeting of social action and proclaimation of the gospel. Still not perfect, but are struggling with our own declining context. Perhaps God is allowing the church to be pruned for a reason. It’s hard. Keep the faith.

    • Andy,

      Thank you for your comments. The church here in the USA has been going through struggles. So much of the world has crept into the American Church. Then there are those nay-sayers, who have doubted evangelism, and the whole concept of it. Jesus came and modeled how we are to evangelize and make disciples. I believe with my heart the church just needs to take Jesus at His word and teachings. We need to stop trying to out-think God, or be smarter than the next man and just go evangelize and make disciples. In my book “Breaking the Evangelism Code”, I share how over the span of 1en plus years, I used biblical methods of evangelism and a multitude of methods to win lost people in the urban centers across America. Evangelism still works. You can find my books on amazon.com. I have written a 30-day evangelistic devotional, “The Prepared Witness”, and “Intentional Community Evangelism”

      Thanks again for commenting and your prayers! God bless you, my brother!

      Victor Benavides
      Check out my website on evangelism, m28evangelism.com

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