Archive for the ‘Life Style Evangelism’ Category

After reading an article on ways of evangelism, and watching teens, twenty and thirty something’s boldly speak out, march and protest on national television, and get in face of a politician’s spouse shouting, I am compelled to post a few words from my book Breaking the Evangelism Code.
Don’t let the devil fool you that home visits, door to door, street evangelism, passing out Gospel tracts does not work today. He is a liar and deceiver. They will work if you die to yourself and let Jesus be Jesus in you and through you.
 
From Breaking the Evangelism Code:
 
The church has fallen for the devil’s lie that evangelism does not work. What better lie to promote! He could not stop the church from doing evangelism by persecution. So he did the second most effective thing, tell the church that evangelism does not work anymore. The church today lives as though the gospel is powerless and acts as though the gospel is in some type of code.
The church appears to be in a state of confusion and stumbling around as though intoxicated by some cheap wine or fermented drink that the devil has concocted when it comes to evangelism. The church seems as though it is in a thick fog and acts as though the gospel is in some type of cryptic code, needing to be solved before it can tell the world about Jesus.
While the church struggles trying to discover a new approach or grasp which evangelism strategy or method works best, the world is going to hell on jet fuel. The declining church continues to listen to some of our leaders and individuals, whom we have deemed as the experts, who fan the flames of disillusionment and gospel-phobia, while the devil is running havoc on our families, our marriages, our churches, and communities. He continues to lead many lost people to an eternal fiery hell while we sit around trying to figure out how to grow the church without going outside of our walls or leaving our soft pews to do intentional evangelism.
Evangelism is the good news that the world needs to hear. The message of the gospel is that God set up a roadblock to hell; it is called the cross. It is all about the cross. Jesus died on a cross so we would not have to pay for our sins in hell.
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  1. A. Paul preached the Gospel in the Major cities

Jesus sent Paul to take the Gospel to the known world of his day. In the New Testament, in Book of Acts and in his letters/epistles, we see how Paul proclaimed the Gospel during his four missionary trips.

1st Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14): Paul preached and evangelized on the island of Cyprus, In Iconium the entire city heard Paul preach the gospel.

2nd Missionary Journey (Acts 15:36-18:22): Paul preached in Debre, Lycaonia, Lystra, Iconium in Pisidia and Antioch in Pisidia. From Antioch he traveled to Europe and evangelized in Philippi, and Macedonia.

3rd Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23-20:38) – Include travels to regions of Galatia, and Phrygia, visits churched in Galatia. Wrote letters Galatian church. While in Ephesus, Paul wrote first letter to Corinthian church.

4th Missionary Journey – God sent Paul to Rome to appeal before Caesar, so upon his release, Paul could go to Spain and preach the Gospel according to his letter found in Romans 15:24, 28.

If you read God’s Word daily, He is teaching you all you need to live the Christian life, to be his witness, in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Here are some questions to ponder:  How long have you been a follower of Jesus Christ? Are you a witness for Jesus? How much many more Bible studies classes, or books on “how to live the Christian life do you need to read?

As you read the Bible, as you are daily studying the Bible, God’s Spirit is teaching you God’s word. Now you need to go and take God at His word.   Most Christians have learned enough, and probably know more of God’s teachings, principles, and have more copies of God’s word than the first century Church. When will God’s church start being the “Going Church” Jesus commanded us to be? (Matthew 28:19-20)

Saul of Tarsus, a rabbi, and a member of Israel’s Sanhedrin Council, when on Damascus Road, had an encounter with Jesus Christ and was saved. Paul asked, “What do You want me to do?” Jesus told Saul, later called apostle Paul, that he would take the gospel to the world. (Acts 9:6) Jesus responded, “Arise and go into the city and you will be told what to do.” (Acts 9:6)

Jesus has instructed, us the church to go and make disciples. I asked the church in a sermon on Sunday, “What is the mission of the Church?” I shared, Our mission is the Great Commission according to Jesus’ words, command, and mandate. Our mission is twofold. First, Jesus has instructed us to “Go.” This can be understood as intentional evangelism, as intentional proclamation, and intentionally making Jesus known to the world. Second, we are to teach, new believers Jesus teachings, Jesus is the Logos, God’s Word.

Evangelism is basically, part of the disciple-making process. Lost people do not know they are in a Bible study group when you are sharing biblical truths with them. We evangelize, God’s word penetrates to their very soul, and the Spirit works in their heart, bringing change, with the purpose of transformation by salvation and a new person inside and out.

The day after I was saved I went to work, never having taken a soul winning course and I began to share what God had done in my life. I had placed my faith in Jesus. A dear friend led me in a sinner’ prayer. I thanked Jesus for dying on the cross for me. I asked Jesus into my heart and acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior. No one told me to go and begin telling others how God had changed my life. I was so overjoyed that I could not contain the joy of it all.

So, let go, and let God use you. Let’s go and turn this world upside down in Jesus name. (Acts 17:6)

If your Church is interested in having Evangelism Training, Evangelistic preaching, Revival, Prayerwalking and follow-up with new believers, go to http://m28evangelism.com/.

Go order gospel tracts go to http://www.billygrahambookstore.org/CustomModule.asp?pageid=30

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.

 

 

 

For another year in a row, we have seen fewer baptisms in our churches across North America. When there are so many new people coming to America. God is sending the world to our front and back door. The foreign mission field is so close that we interact many of our new neighbors on a daily basis.

We must begin to ask some hard questions if we are going to see an exponential change in the practices how we engage in evangelism or the lack thereof. (1) Why are we seeing fewer baptisms in some denominations? (2) Are some of our churches and denominations living in blatant disobedience to the Jesus Christ command to go and witness? (3) What changes in strategy, or strategies need to be added to see increased evangelism efforts? (4) What changes in leadership need to be made so a denomination and its churches will once again, begin and intentional evangelism emphasis.

(1) Why are we seeing fewer baptisms in some denominations?

According to the Immigration Institute in Washington D.C., on their website, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states, facts show that the mission field in here and churches have the opportunity to minister and evangelize if we will just go and make disciples. As stated in a report,

“In 2014, 1.3 million foreign-born individuals moved to the United States, an 11 percent increase from 1.2 million in 2013. India was the leading country of origin for new immigrants, with 147,500 arriving in 2014, followed by China with 131,800, Mexico with 130,000, Canada with 41,200, and the Philippines with 40,500.”

Note: The Census Bureau defines recent immigrants here as foreign-born individuals who resided abroad one year prior, including lawful permanent residents, temporary nonimmigrants, and unauthorized immigrants.

We see that just from immigrants, there is an influx of newly arrived souls, most likely many of them are not followers of Jesus Christ! Just like in most major cities, there is a section of town that the government has located and is using as the Refugee and immigrant, a community for placing newly arrived souls. And hopefully, in some cases, there is a church or ministry that is reaching out to the people in their mission field. Truly The fields are white for harvest.

Having partnered with one such Church, and community in Metro Atlanta, GA where there are over 50 language groups in a square mile, there have been many attempts to reach these souls with the gospel. The church currently has about nine different congregations under its umbrella that are making Jesus known.

I recently heard Franklin Graham share a story how Samaritan’s Purse teams are some of the first Christians many of the refugee Muslims meet after, surviving the long trip on rafts, to the Greek Islands. He shared that many of the refugees are saying that that Islam has failed and does not work. They are asking for someone to tell about Jesus Christ.

(2) Are some of our churches and denominations living in blatant disobedience to the Jesus Christ command to go and witness?

If we were investigating a crime scene, what evidence or proof would we need to come to the conclusion, without reasonable doubt that a church is living in blatant disobedience to Christ command to go and evangelize lost people and make disciples?

I can think of one key factor, intentional evangelism. The church and denomination would have

  • a staff person/leader who gives leadership and is personally involved in evangelism, evangelism training
  • continually engaging lost people to share the gospel
  • making leaders from people groups and language groups, and to develop leaders in their specific group to expand the ministry through evangelism and disciple making
  • Offer session in developing an evangelistic strategy and its components to churches, pastors, and church leadership to have an effective outreach and evangelism ministry
  • Producing new strategies and emphasis for evangelism and prayer, and disciple making
  • Producing new gospel tracts and approaches bases on the biblical principles and prayer materials

(3) What changes in strategy, or what strategies need to be made or added to see increased evangelism efforts?

Through my doctoral project, I learned about surveying, evaluating, and study of strategy development and implementation for churches to determine if they were evangelistic. I learned about the value of evaluating the ministry, a pastor, and a church. Evaluation is good a place to begin. We must ask some hard questions about a strategy, methods, approaches, and its principles. We must make sure that strategy is biblical and at its core is an evangelistic DNA that will reproduce and spread.

The Bible such be our primary source for evangelism strategies, methods and approaches, and principles. We methods and approaches made not identical but in them, you should be able to identify key basis components for evangelism.

If the ministries of a church are not encouraging and equipping believers to go out and make Jesus known on a daily and weekly basis, then should we reevaluate our strategy? Evangelism is the lifeline of the church. We do not reproduce biologically to grow a church, but through spiritual new births. Though, at some point, hopefully, you will share with your offspring about the trusts of Jesus Christ. They will need to believe in and trust Him for salvation.

A good evangelism strategy should include components such as having a person who fans the flame of evangelism in the church, by promoting, conducting and leading out in evangelism.

(4) What changes in leadership need to be made so a denomination and its churches will once again, begin and intentional evangelism emphasis.

Through my doctoral project and through my personal ministry experience I learned about leadership and having the person in place to lead a specific ministry. I know of one church situation where an individual was hired for a staff position on the basis that he was an excellent manager in the business world.

But when the individual was put in charge of the evangelism ministry he grew the ministry from over 250 people down to 15 people in a matter of months. When the evangelism teams went out to make visits, he did not go with a team. He stayed back at the church. Obviously, evangelism was not his passion, but a tool for success.

As I mentioned earlier, I learned a great deal about evaluation that it is good a place to begin. One of my mentors and professors in seminary and Bible College, Dr. Don Aderhold share how every year, he would meet with his staff and directors to evaluate how effective their ministry had been in the past year. Three key questions he asked were, “Is your ministry team evangelistic?” “How many baptisms did your ministry see last year?” and “By what percentage did your ministry grow?”

One of my mentors and professors in seminary and Bible College, Dr. Don Aderhold share how every year, he would meet with his staff and directors to evaluate how effective their ministry had been in the past year. Three key questions he asked were, “Is your ministry team evangelistic?” “How many baptisms did your ministry see last year?” and “By what percentage did your ministry grow?”

Dr. A, as we all called him, said that if there were not any baptisms, nor added growth, then he would ask what changes need to be made to become more evangelistic and see potential growth. Then he added, “either they made changes to make sure that ministry was evangelistic, or the person was replaced with a more evangelistic personality.”

I have learned that effective organizations conduct an evaluation for the purpose of improvement. But you cannot force people to do something that they are not passionate about and are living out.

What changes need to be made:

  • Hire leadership that has an evangelistic heart and lives it
  • Hire other staff members or develop a team of volunteers, to help develop, promote, in the equipping of evangelism strategies and methods and principles that work
  • Leadership and team are continually seeking to develop a team of leaders to help carry out the evangelism emphasis, and with logistics for evangelism impact in the community
  • Other staff members are hired to help develop, promote, in the equipping of evangelism strategies and methods and principles that work
  • Develop various strategies and materials for churches to have an intentional and reproducing evangelism ministry and new church growth

On a regular basis, I pray for pastors’, churches, and believers to become more evangelistic. That they would make Jesus known to their community around them and to the world. The world will not know about the saving grace of Jesus unless we go and make disciples. Jesus plan is to for to “Go and makes disciples of all nations,” Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8. We the nations are here at our front and back door. The Distance is not far, but our commitment to Jesus must be deep. Go Make Jesus Known!

It never fails. I have had this question proposed to me while conducting evangelism training, and workshops. Pastors, staff, deacons, and Christians have asked me a similar question. “How do you begin a witnessing conversation or meeting with someone?”

In my book, Breaking the Evangelism Code, Chapter 10, I share from my personal experiences and examples by seasoned soul winners. God has used the experiences evangelizing in the inner cities across America to teach me several valuable lessons.

Let me share with you some helpful suggestions that will help you to begin a witnessing conversation.

  1. You can have peace of mind when it comes to evangelism, because God’s Spirit will lead you in the conversation. Evangelism is God’s heartbeat. Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save that which is lost.” Luke 19:10 Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  1. You should pray, ask God’s Spirit to fill you, to lead you, and to prepare the individual(s) He wants to lead to make Jesus known to them. Jesus said, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
  2. Gods’ Spirit will direct and guide your words. John 14:26 “But he, The Redeemer of the accursed, The Spirit of Holiness, whom my Father sends in my name, he will teach you all things and he will remind you of everything whatsoever I have told you.” Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  3. God’s Spirit will direct you who to approach, when to approach them and how to begin a witnessing conversation. Acts 10:17-19 19 And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you.
  4. I learned the value of listening to the Holy Spirit, by obeying His leading I get to have effective witness encounters
  5. Start the witnessing conversation by sharing how God changed your life, “Your Grace Story/Testimony.” Write it out, shorten it. Learn a 3, 5, 10-minute version with key gospel verses.
  6. Learn how to share one verse, John 3:16, Romans 6:23. (Do an internet search for much specifics.)
  7. Become comfortable using a simple Gospel Tract. Practice does make perfect.
  8. Learn how to bring a person to the point of decision. What is the point of decision? It is offering a person the opportunity to ask Jesus to forgive his or her sin and to invite Jesus to take control of his or her life.
  9. Learn how to lead in a prayer to surrender, anyone who wants Christ as Lord and Savior, who wants a new start in life, his or her life to Jesus. Read Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9. (This is a warning with a caution that has consequences)
  10. If you have the privilege of leading someone to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, connect the person to your Bible study group and church. You want to make lasting disciples.

This list is just a starting point. I hope these help you and God uses these suggestions to put a fire in your bones to make Jesus Christ known.

If you want to get a copy of any of my books, go to amazon.com and do a search for Breaking the Evangelism Code, The Prepared Witness, Intentional Community Evangelism, by me, Victor H. Benavides.  Check out my website, M28evangelism.com for consulting, conferences and much more.

 

 

 

Through my study of the New Testament, I have seen the practice, life change when people trusted in Jesus,they placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, at that moment, they received the Holy Spirit of God, who compelled them to become witnesses for Jesus Christ.
They proclaimed the Good News knowing they would be persecuted for Jesus Christ. And they continued aggressively telling the world about Jesus Christ. Today’s American church does not hold this Christ like mind-set. No, today’s church is afraid of offending someone with the absolute Truth, that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to God, to gain heaven and get forgiveness of sin.

Adrian Rogers said, “If you do not at least have the desire to pray for people to be saved, I doubt if you are saved.” We witness because the Holy Spirit of God drives us to be His witnesses according to Jesus own words, found in Acts 1:8. The same Spirit of God that drove Jesus into the wilderness to fast and pray, is the same Spirit of God that Paul said, compelled him to proclaim the Gospel. Paul used the same Greek word as did the Gospel Writer Mark describing the Spirit driving Jesus into the wilderness to pray.

When an individual who has not trusted, believes in Jesus Christ and places his or her faith in Jesus alone as Lord and Savior, at that moment he or she is born again by God’s Spirit, John 3:5-6, 1 Corinthians 5:17. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to use Christians to proclaim the Gospel in all contexts, communities, and countries. Evangelism is not a humanly driven action, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

So what about those people who are against evangelism, witnessing, explaining to another individual the Gospel? They must be lost, without Christ, never born again, or severely backslidden. Why? Because it is unnatural for anyone who has received God’s Holy Spirit not to want to share their faith. Remember, God’s Spirit compels you, a necessity is laid upon you to tell others about Jesus Christ according to 1 Corinthians 9:16.

Dr. Rogers says it best. Listen to this short explanation on Disobedience and not Sharing.