Archive for the ‘Understanding Biblical Evangelism’ Category

There is a need for a ministry, denominational funded urban city evangelism strategy. This strategy should mobilize committed soul winners, to work alongside churches, to mentor and equip Christians/churches across the US landscape to intentionally evangelize people of all walks of life. Why?

Studies show people are moving back into the cities, the majority are lost and without Christ. I have a strategy to mobilize, equip and reach lost people with the gospel.

In one article published by USA Today, March 27, 2014, the population shift can be seen. [1]

A new merchant in the East Harbor section of downtown Baltimore was begging people to shop at his establishment. “Young people are not going to make that plunge to a suburban house because they think there’s risk to it,” he says. “And on top of that, they can’t afford the down payment.”

There are some churches and organizations starting new church work in Baltimore. But as one expert in evangelism and strategy, who was the denominational leader in the state, said, “if you start a new church in an inner/urban community and you invite individuals, addicted to heroin and other drugs, they are not going to attend your church.”

“Harbor East symbolizes a population shift taking place across the nation, reflected in new data released today by the Census Bureau. It finds that population growth has been shifting to the core counties of the USA’s 381 metro areas, especially since the economic recovery began gaining steam in 2010. Basically, the USA’s urban core is getting denser, while far-flung suburbs watch their growth dwindle.”

William Frey, a demographer at Washington’s Brookings Institution, a research and policy group, stated, “People are hanging tough in urban areas,” he says. “Some of them are going to stay there for the long term. The trend also is driven by increasing numbers of young people delaying or foregoing marriage and childbirth, which often prompt moves to the suburbs.

Frey says many outlying suburbs once grew in spite of whether the cities they orbited were thriving. Now, he says, the equation is changing. If exurbs are “part of a prosperous region” like Washington, D.C., they’ll survive. If not, he says, “Those places aren’t going to come back.”

So what should the strategy look like? The strategy should be comprehensive and include, a three step plan to equip, evangelism and gathering new believers into new churches. I have developed and tweaking and using such a plan. Mission teams of trained men, have resulted in thousands of professions of faith.

The weakest link to evangelism is always follow up. Most churches in the inner cities are not ready to take in the harvest when God provides it. This is why new church starts should be equip in this strategy.

Over the span of fifteen plus years, I have personally mentored numerous men and women, and some youth, how to evangelize in the inner city.  The team members on these inner-city mission teams are committed Christians who are still using this plan, in their locations.

There are men who are ready to go and lead by example how to engage lost people with the gospel and how to transition into a decision for Christ. We just need the funding to mobilize the team.

If you are any other organization is interested in helping us mobilize trained soul winners who can mentor others contact me. In the meantime, thousands of people are being misled, and dying who headed for an eternal hell.

M28evangelism.com/ M28evangelism@gmail.com

Other articles on young people moving back into the cities:

  1. Why Young College Grads Returned to American Downtowns in the …

https://www.citylab.com/life/2016/02/urban-revival-america-college…/470415/

Feb 23, 2016 –

  1. Why Millennials Still Move to Cities – Newsweek

http://www.newsweek.com/2015/…/why-cities-hold-more-pull-millennials-cloud-317735.ht…

Mar 30, 2015 –

  1. Back to the City – Harvard Business Review

https://hbr.org/2010/05/back-to-the-city

  1. So Are People Moving Back to the City or Not? – CityLab

https://www.citylab.com/design/2011/11/so-are-people-moving-back-city-or…/487/

Nov 14, 2011 –

  1. More Americans Moving to Cities, Reversing the Suburban Exodus …

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/03/…moving-to-cities…/359714/

Mar 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

[1] See below for more links on population shifts into the cities.

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.

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.

A study in the New Testament Greek of the Matthew 28:19-20, grammatical and linguistically and an exegetical exposition gives us a clear understanding of Jesus Great Missionary Mandate to the church to go evangelize the lost peoples of the world.

A Chronological and logical interpretation of Matthew 28:19-20 helps us to grasp the true message. A dear friend of mine, Dr. Thom Johnston, Professor of Evangelism at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has spent numerous years studying in the various translations and languages the verses of Matthew 28:19-20.

Dr. Johnston gives us a profound understanding as written to earlier Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew passage. Plus, earlier translations of the Bible.

Here is a chronological and logical interpretation of Matthew 28:19-20
(1) Go!

(2) Win disciples to and for Christ! (3) Baptize those who are won! (4) Teach to obey (make disciples) those who are won and baptized!

(3) Baptize those who are won! (4) Teach to obey (make disciples) those who are won and baptized!

(4) Teach to obey (make disciples) those who are won and baptized!

Go! reveals a church that is not stagnant, not staying within the four walls of the church. We are to be a going church.

Win disciples to and for Christ! The church is to be actively evangelizing lost people that are around the church. As the church members are in its normal daily patterns of life, they are to be looking to speak to individuals God sends our way. We are to tell everyone we speak to about Jesus Christ.

Baptize those who are won! Jesus Christ gave us the example, He is our role model for how the church should begin the disciple making process. Baptism is an identification process. Jesus identified with us, sinners before He was crucified through baptism . We identify  with Jesus as our Savior, through baptism, because He was crucified.

Teach to obey those who are won and baptized! The church has an active role in making disciples. By church, this is inclusive of all spiritually mature believers. The church is to teach new believers, make disciples by teaching God’s word, Jesus teachings, teaching biblical principles of the Bible.

 

 

 

Some have argued against the pubic invitation by saying, “I am not the Holy Spirit.” I agree there is only one Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit uses the believer to give the invitation. When a person is born again, the individual receives the Spirit as God’s guarantee of salvation and His power. Author Roger Carswell refers to the Holy Spirit as the Evangelist.[1] Every Christian can evangelize in the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who gives the invitation, as Dr. Tom Johnston professor of evangelism said, “Using our vocal cords to communicate the gospel and persuade men and women to trust in Jesus.[2]

This short excerpt is from the book, “Breaking the Evangelism Code” chapter twelve entitled “Giving An Evangelistic Invitation: Inviting Someone To Trust In Jesus As Lord And Savior.  (available on amazon.com)

[1] Roger Carswell, And Some Evangelist. Christian Focus Publications, 2000

[2] Dr. Tom Johnston is a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas, Missouri.

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!