Archive for the ‘Missional Evangelism’ Category

In 1984, the year I was saved, churches had a Pastor of Evangelism and staff. He helped keep the church focused on the Great “Missionary” Commission. Then came the day when churches did away with the Staff Evangelism person and team. This was the trend in early 2000 – 2001, 2002, 2003-.

The decrease in salvations and baptisms recorded the following years soon followed among leading churches, both were already on a downhill slope. The decision to eliminate a key role in the local church accelerated the decline.

If a church wants to impact its community, then the focus on prayer and evangelism are foremost.

And the bigger a church gets the more evangelistic it must become, or face becoming a memorial in the community.

Is it time for churches to retool their staffs and get back to prayer for the lost, and evangelism as the major emphasis. The battle for the souls of men and women continues as many churches have sat unengaged on the sidelines.

In the book of Acts, we learn that the apostle Paul carried the Gospel to Rome, the capital city of the world of his day, by doing intentional evangelism in the metropolises, towns of his day. Then he gathered believers into house church groups.

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The apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome made it very clear of the importance of obeying the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. In chapter 10:13, Paul quotes an Old Testament passage, Joel 2:32, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Robert Mounce wrote, “If everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved, it is important that everyone have the opportunity to hear.” (The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture- Romans)

“Apart from hearing the message no one can believe” wrote Mounce. He points out Paul’s exposition states clearly that “No one can believe in one of whom they have never heard.” (Romans 10:14) Paul makes a profound statement, “And how can they hear without a preacher?” Paul is reaffirming the Great Commission in this verse and with his statement. Unless, the Christians and the church is intentionally going and evangelizing, that is making Jesus known to the world, lost people will not know, he wrote.

Also, Paul clarifies who is supposed to go. “How will they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:15). Therefore, it is necessary that a messenger (Mounce), an evangelizer be sent. The New Testament Greek Lexicon, defines the English word “sent” as “I send forth” or send away. The New Testament Greek word is a compound word, “apo” (away) and “stello” (send), and the tense is “passive”.

The passive tense means that the person being sent is not making the initial decision to go. It means a Superior, a leader, is making the decision for him. The structure of the Greek language in Romans 10:15 is best understood as “sent on a defined mission by a superior.” (Biblehub.com/Lexicon) This is clearly understood that God sends us to go evangelize our community and the world.

In verses 14 and 15 of Romans Ten, Paul primarily deals with evangelistic preaching. The Greek word “kerusson,” is the more commonly used verb for preaching. (Mounce) The Lexicon defines it this way as “to preach (announce) a message publicly and with conviction (persuasion).” Evangelistic preaching is supposed to with conviction and persuasively. Paul affirms this thought in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.”

The Greek word for persuade, “peitho’” is also in the passive tense. Which would also mean the messenger is not the one trying to persuade lost people to believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. No, by no means. The passive tense means that it is God Almighty, God’s Holy Spirit, speaking through you persuading lost people to believe in Jesus Christ.

Again, Paul makes this clear in 2 Corinthians 5:20. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” It is God who is making the appeal through us. It’s source is from God.

So the question every Christian must answer, “Is God sending me?” Yes, He has, according to Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. You are sent. Now Go and Tell others about Jesus Christ.

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.

 

I am a believer in using a demographic study of your community to help develop a plan for evangelizing your community. A demographic study is a key component in discovering who lives in your community. What areas in your community are unchurched? A demographic study will reveal what pockets in your community needs a Bible group that could become a church. Statistics are good in shaping an evangelism strategy. But Statistics are not an evangelism approach. Statistics are what they are.

Personal evangelism is about connecting, and engaging people with the gospel through personal relationships. Without personal, evangelism God’s kingdom is not being advanced. Without personal, evangelism God’s church is not impacting the community by seeing lost people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Get your demographic study in hand. Get your statistics in hand and then through prayer and seeking God, craft your strategy for evangelizing your community. Then train your church in an evangelistic approach that will give the hearers an opportunity to turn and trust, to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. As Jesus proclaimed, “Unless you repent, you will likewise perish,” Luke 13:3-5. “He who has ears, let him hear,” Mark 4:9.

Jesus Christ gave us the mission, to “Go make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19-20. We get our vision from God’s heart. We are empowered by God’s Spirit to go and evangelize. I say we get back to the basics. Let’s get back to God’s word, and take Him at His word. “Go make disciples by evangelizing lost people with the gospel.

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

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!

Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1:8, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (NASB)

What does it mean to be a “Radical Christian?” I am not talking about a screaming in your face or a bullhorn on the street corner Christian. Though it might mean you do at some occasion stand on a street corner or on the side of the road and use a bullhorn, using the correct tone of voice and mannerism.

Radical Christianity is much more than being loud. To a be a Radical Christian, from a biblical standpoint, means to have a God-given, Holy Spirit empowered, concern and passion for evangelizing lost people with the gospel. Anyone can talk about doing evangelism, but the Radical Christian does it. He or she trains and mentors others how to share the gospel in various contexts.

Radical Christianity, means you go into the hard areas, the high-risk areas, whether, the urban centers across America, or the college campuses, or the workplace and you look for divine appointments to share about Jesus Christ as the Spirit leads. What is a divine appointment, you may be asking? Those are the opportunities, the moments when the Holy Spirit leads you to a person or brings someone to you to start a witnessing conversation.

A Radical Church is a local gathering of Radical Christians whose main objective, the main focus is to make Jesus Christ known. The Radical Christian prays daily and yes, even throughout the day, for opportunities to witness, and for souls to be saved. The Radical Christian goes through the day looking for the opportunities to offer a gospel tract, or pray for someone and then shares how Jesus Christ gives hope, love, forgiveness and a new start in life.

The Radical Christian does not have to go overseas to evangelize, though they can and do make a trip to a foreign land to be Jesus’s witnesses. But for most Christians, the most difficult trip may be to go across their yard to the next door neighbor, or across the street to share the gospel.

The Radical Christian is a soul winner, a prayer warrior who talks to God at the spur of the moment in someone’s time of need. Evangelism will become easier as the Radical Christian engages in witnessing conversations. And they will experience more people born into God’s kingdom because they evangelize.

Radical does not mean fanatical, but people who are not followers of Jesus Christ will probably refer to you as a fanatic because you have a faith they do not have or do not understand. Radical Christianity is the life of the “Church.” The Holy Spirit is the flame, and at salvation, a lost person, who believes and receives Jesus Christ by faith, becomes on fire, hot-hearted for Christ.

A Christian is radical in belief and action because Jesus was radical and experienced a radical death and resurrection. At the moment of salvation, we get the Holy Spirit who is in Jesus and Jesus through Him, that makes a radical life.

So go live a radical life of Christianity and be Jesus’ witnesses. Go tell people, the world about the Lord and Savior of the world. Go and make Jesus Christ known to the world.