Archive for the ‘Ministry Evangelism’ Category

I am trying to process all the unrest that our country is experiencing the last few years. One thing we must agree on is that any individual or group that spews hatred and the cold-blooded murder of anyone is morally wrong. What America needs now, is peace.

Recently, I was in Macon, Georgia equipping, training, and strategizing to build a network of churches and to resource churches with a simple church evangelism outreach strategy. We had stopped for dinner at a restaurant before heading back to Atlanta.

As we engage our server in conversation, I could tell there was something heavy on her heart and mind. So when she brought our meal, I said, “We are getting ready to ask God to bless our food, is there anything we can pray for you?” Jessica, without hesitation, said, “Pray that I would have peace in my life.”

I responded with, “Do you know the Prince of Peace?” Jessica said, “No, who is he?” I said Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Then I asked Jessica if she knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? She said, “Yes I do, Jesus lives in my heart.” So, we prayed for Jessica, that God would pour out His Spirit on her and fill her with His peace.

Needless to say, immediately after we prayed for her, a big smile appeared on her face. And we were treated like kings. Of course, we left a nice tip and a gospel tract as well.

So, the question we must ask ourselves is how can the church be a positive influence during these uncertain times? I am not saying to take sides. We are already on a team, the Jesus Christ team. He is supreme over all. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Lord of lords, and King of kings. He calms the troubled waters. and quiets the storms.

So, we must ask ourselves is “If Jesus were here how would He respond, not react, to the unrest in America? What is it that Jesus would instruct His disciple’s to go and do?

Here are some actions, the church and a Christ follower can do.

The church needs to have regular prayer meetings asking God to send peace and rest to our nation,

Christians should start prayer groups where they live, work, play, to pray for peace and rest for our nation.

It is high time Christians are obedient to Jesus’ Mandate. So we must:

  1. Go and evangelize.
  2. Evangelize on a daily basis.
  3. Evangelize with a purpose to see lost people saved.
  4. Go in confidence trusting and taking God at His Word that “His Word never returns void,”
  5. Realize God sends us in His Holy Spirit Power.”
  6. Go!  because Jesus has told us to “Go and make disciples.”

All of us, starting with myself, must be Jesus with skin on to others. It is too easy to get caught up in the news media regurgitation of stories.

It is better for the church to be a light in a dark situation than to let the news media and government tell us how we should live.

Pray and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to empower you, send you, and use to make the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ known.

 

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!

When I stop and consider what is happening to the American culture and around the world, I feel like I am watching a horror-SyFy movie. The main plot is a crazed tyrant or crazed cult leader, who tells the people in a small town or society that things are not what they seem to be.

They are told that the genetic and physical gender, in which they were born, is not who they are psychologically and physically. Humans are being told to dress as the opposite gender and to act like the opposite gender, as a contradiction to what they were created by God. Others are misled and talked into mutilating their bodies and led like sheep to a slaughter. We have seen adults, then teens and now plans by the sick minds, to alter the minds and mutilate the body and gender of young children to create a distorted humanity.

What we have is the greatest mockery of God’s creation by the devil, who hates God. He hates everything God has created. He hates God’s plans for humanity and he wants to go against every aspect of God’s plan. He wants to distort, mutilate, confuse humans in every way possible.

What has been described above, if it were not really happening, you would think and say, “The individual who would conjure up, plot, scheme and construct such a destructive plan has to be mentally sick, sadistic, a serial murderer, manipulative, a psychopath. No one in their right mind would tell another individual that their genetic and physical gender is incorrect and they must dress as the opposite gender and then consider mutilation to change their physical gender.

From my research, this is similar to what the Nazi’s did to the Jewish prisoners, in the concentration and death camps, in the name of scientific research. Cutting off and cutting out body parts and reassembly of body parts as an experiment on human lives.

Shouldn’t this be labeled as a modern day version “Frankensteinism!” Isn’t this what we would expect to happen in a horror film and plot? What we see happening in our culture and around the world, is nothing more than the Devil’s plan to deconstruct God’s plan for humanity, family, and marriage, of one genetic and physical man and one genetic and physical woman.

The Devil has been at work since the creation of Adam and Eve, working feverishly to deceive, distort and as yes mutilate God’s creation, first psychologically and then physically. The source of humanity’s problem is at the heart, which includes the mind and soul. If an individual’s mind is restored by God’s Spirit at the moment of salvation, the change of the physical outward appearance will follow. “17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

So as the Church considers all that is happening, the Church has a new ministry at its doorstep. The question is “How to minister to those who fell for the devil’s lies and now are coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?” These individuals will realize that they were lied to and some have mutilated their bodies. The Church must develop plans to make disciples of these new individuals in Christ, who are born again and become a new person in Christ.

The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:16, “For who has known the mind of THE LORD JEHOVAH that he may teach him? But we do have the mind of The Messiah. Aramaic Bible in Plain English

He quotes Isaiah 40:13 and then makes a statement concerning all believers: “We have the mind of Christ.” Having the mind of Christ means sharing the plan, purpose, and perspective of Christ, and it is something that all believers possess.

Having the mind of Christ means we understand God’s plan for humanity and in the world. God’s creation brings glory to Himself. He reveals Himself as a loving, caring, merciful and restoring God. Through Jesus Christ, His desire is to restore creation to its original magnificence and provide salvation for sinners.

Jesus mandate still stands, He has not changed His mind, we are commanded to Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.

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.

 

 

 

In studying and teaching Jesus’ approach of evangelism as well as His disciples, I have found Jesus and the apostles used an Intentional Community Evangelism approach. In the four Gospels we find Jesus using various approaches or methods to communicate the Kingdom Message.

After His forty day fast and prayer, in Matthew 4 we see that Jesus began to preach (12-17). He was intentional in His approach, the Scriptures say that Jesus went to live in Capernaum and began to preach “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near, (17).

In chapters five-seven of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus preached the Beatitudes to the masses of people who are following Him. Again, we see Jesus intentional approach of communicating the Gospel Message. The Gospel of Luke also gives an account of the Beatitudes as well.

Throughout the Gospels, the word spreads about the Man Jesus who is healing, feeding and resuscitating people from the dead. These were signs and wonders to validate His ministry. But it was the Kingdom message that He wanted the people to grasp and not just receive a healing from an illness or a piece of fish to eat.

Jesus sent out the twelve to proclaim the Kingdom Message, again an intentional approach. The Gospels of Matthew 10, Mark 3; 6; 13; Luke 6; 9; 10; 12; 21 also give accounts of Jesus commanding the disciples to go to the people to preach the Good News.

The Gospel accounts of Matthew 28; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8 all give the mandate for everyone who professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to go out, and do intentional evangelism in the communities across our nation, and the world.

During the years of 2001-2013, God give me the opportunity to lead and work with a team of men who had surrendered all to Jesus. They were from all walks of life. Most of the men were laymen in their churches, some were pastors, ministers and SBC leaders, but all were called by God to go out and replicate the evangelistic approach of taking the gospel to the inner cities across America.

This team of volunteers gave up a weeks’ vacation and their time to go into the inner cities of America to start evangelistic conservations with people in communities you may have heard about in the national news. The only time you hear of some of these communities is the result of shootings and killing of young black men and sometimes children.

We always worked through and with inner city churches, mostly plateau or declining and dying. We encouraged the churches to follow up with everyone. We equipped the churches in follow up, intentional evangelistic conversations, prayerwalking, and develop a presence in the community.

From the years 2001-2013 the team recorded over 23,000 professions of faith. We were able to conduct baptisms in parking lots of churches which resulted in by standers coming out of the crowds and requested baptism after a gospel presentation was given.

The approach we used has been called Inner City Evangelism and it has been called Intentional Community Evangelism. Regardless of what you call it, it is intentional and it works. And yes, we even help start churches in areas like Oahu, HI, Nashville, TN, San Antonio, TX, Phoenix, AZ, and Binghamton, NY.

If you are interested in learning more about Intentional Community Evangelism, go to amazon.com to get your copy. If you want to learn how to develop a team that using this intentional approach contact us at m28evangelism@gmail.com. 

What could be a catalyst to change an entire communities through the local church? What could stimulate your church to intentionally begin to reach its community with the gospel?

The Intentional Community Evangelism (ICE) strategy was originally developed by Victor Benavides, in 2002. ICE combines equipping the local church in prayer, evangelism, discipleship, coaching and neighborhood events to engage entire communities.

Each ICE emphasis is a 12-month process in which a church or group of churches are guided to develop unique and personal strategies for serving the surrounding community.

The main goal in the ICE evangelism training is to discover a training method that works for the urban/inner city church within the cultural context of the people the church is trying to reach. A strategy that the church will not use is no strategy at all, so the church must be comfortable and confident with the particular evangelistic approach it chooses.

The challenge for each urban/inner city churches is that of reaching a community filled with thousands of people, of all walks of life, and economic status, many of which are unconcerned about church. To reach those folks, we’re going to have to use some non-traditional approaches. The challenge is tremendous but the end results can be very rewarding.

Through ICE, a church staff and lay leaders can meet with M28evangelism.com team members to develop strategies to actively engage the community, starting with intentional prayer.

Prayer is really the bedrock of the ICE strategy. It prepares the hearts of the community and the church for a movement of God. Prayer is God’s roto-tiller busting the hard packed, rocky and thorny soils of the hearts in communities across our cities.

Each church member participating in an ICE emphasis is trained in prayerwalking and is asked to organize prayerwalks in designated areas. The more people you mobilize to learn how to prayerwalk and participate in prayerwalking training and conduct prayerwalking their community the greater results you will see through an evangelistic effort.

As a part of ICE, you should prayerwalk block party venues, parade venues, Trunk or Treat venues, Spring Festival venues, apartment complexes, subdivisions, basically anywhere you plan to carry out evangelistic conversations.

You should also prayerwalk for a golf tournament. Men’s wild game dinners, Women’s events, felt need conferences, and food distribution venues. Any location where a church plans to distribute the gospel and have witnessing conversations with people, Church members should prayerwalk.

Churches should prayerwalk the rooms, hallways, sanctuary and parking lots of the church weeks before Vacation Bible School.

Through an ICE emphasis participants will be trained and equipped to follow up quickly with those who have made professions of faith in Jesus Christ, and to disciple them through a small group Bible study.

The ICE strategy culminates with three days of intentional community evangelistic events; however, the process does not end there.

The Intentional Community Evangelism strategy process will just begin for the local church as it will be encouraged to continue in the practices that it learned over the year.

For all churches, it means continuing to follow where the Holy Spirit is leading.

Our heartfelt desire is to reach our community for the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a burden to reach those who live all around us. To be totally honest, many churches have been in their location for some time and many have lost the passion to impact its community like it should have. We hope to change that through ICE and with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

To learn more about how your church can equip your members how to engage intentionally engage its community using Intentional Community Evangelism go to M28evangelism.com. or email m28evangelism@gmail.com.

Our church has a partnership with a ministry that helps single moms who are homeless and abused women, and women with addictions. Several Bible study groups are helping with Christmas gifts for the children in the program. We have seen several unwed mothers give birth. Others have gotten their lives straighten out and after they completed the program got full time jobs and others were able to purchase homes. There have been multiple residents who gave their lives to Jesus Christ.

Because the residents attend a Bible study groups and the contemporary service on Sunday mornings I have been blessed to teach a baptism class for several folks and baptized them as well. I have heard their testimonies how they cried out to God and prayed asking for God’s forgiveness and received Jesus payment on the cross for their sins. What joy it is to hear the wonderful stories almost every week.

Recently the director of this ministry shared a few stories of some of the children. The first story will everyone’s heart. Someone had donated a large meal for the residents to eat dinner one night. One of the new arrivals family’s was in the dining room and kitchen. The aroma of the hot meal filled the rooms. Then all of sudden one of the children of the new family, bolted out the door.

The director, a lady, went out to find out why the boy had run out of the house. He responded that he could not smell the food. The director asked, “Why can’t you smell the food?” The young lad said, “Because if I smell the food it will make me hungry!” The director asked “So why can’t you be hungry?” The boy responded, “Because it isn’t my day to eat. My mother chooses who gets to eat on which day and today is not my day to eat.” The lady director told the young boy, “Honey, everyone in this ministry gets to eat at every meal.” “Really!” he exclaimed.

Upon hearing this story it so gripped my heart. How sad it is to know that there are children in our community that do not get to eat a meal every day. How difficult it must be for these mothers to have to be in this situation and tell one of her children that they cannot eat today.

Another story shared is one of the young girls told the lady director that she wanted to live with her forever. “You will live with me for a while, said the administrator.” Eighteen months is the duration of time for the recovery and healing for this program. Then on the way back to the home, the little girl pointed several motels where they had stayed for night or two for weeks. “I had to sleep the on floor most of the nights” said the little girl. “I want to stay with you, because I get to sleep in a bed, I am tired of sleeping on the floor.”

Do you wear tags on your clothes? You probably wouldn’t even think about doing such a thing on purpose. But if you have not ever had the privilege of wearing new clothes you might. It was the end of the Christmas holidays and the kids were going back to school. The children at the ministry were filing out the door to wait on the school bus. As the children filed passed the director she noticed that some of the tags were still hanging on the children’s clothes. So she got a pair of scissors and ran outside to cut off the tags. When she tried to snip off the tags the children told her not to cut them off. She asked “why don’t you want me to cut off the tags?” “Because we have never had new clothes before and we want people to know that we wearing new clothes,” responded the children.

Currently there are twenty children in the program for Christmas this year. They need personal clothing, underwear, socks, and tee shirts. The toys will are usually donated by a company. Most of the children in the ministry don’t have a father or decent father around. The church hopes to make an impact on the women, children and the handful of men who are admitted into the ministry.

The director and her husband started this ministry several years ago. Then a few years later her husband passed on. In her sixties the director continues to minister and speaking to church groups to raise support for the ministry. There are always needs, food items, for both moms, some men, teens, and young children. Sometimes the buildings need reroofing, painting, and various repairs and God always seems to provide. God uses people to meet other people’s needs. Pray and ask God how He might use you to help this ministry to young women, mothers and children. For the safety of the children and the moms the local address is not given publicly.

To help contact m28evangelism@gmail.com and we can connect you with the Director.