Archive for the ‘Witnessing Dynamics’ 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.

Gospel of Luke 18:13, “13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be[a]merciful to me, the sinner!’

Jesus did teach on the sinner’s prayer. Jesus even gave the words ‘God, be[a]merciful to me, the sinner!’   The Greek word for “merciful

ἱλάσθητι ilasthēti 2433 to be propitious, make propitiation for

Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: hilaskomai

The Definition: propitiation, appeasement/satisfaction of divine wrath on sin”) – properly, to extend propitiation, showing mercy by satisfying (literally, propitiating) the wrath of God on sin;

Let’s finish the lesson, Jesus said, “14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other;” Luke 18:14. Jesus said because the tax collector who had prayed the words ‘God, be[a]merciful to me, the sinner!’ was justified.

The Greek word justified means:

justified δεδικαιωμένος dedikaiōmenos 1344 to show to be righteous, declare righteous

Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: dikaioó

Justified before God –  ikaióō (from dikē, “right, judicial-approval”) – properly, approved, especially in a legal, authoritative sense; to show to be righteous, declare righteous.

Jesus was saying “The believer is “made righteous/justified“. The Greek Strong’s Concordance number is (1344 /dikaióō) by the Lord, cleared of all charges (punishment) related to their sins.

Jesus is cleared about the sinner’s prayer and He even gives us the “words’. But it is more than just words. It is the through at the core of the heart of a person who is shameful about his sinful nature.

Are the words magical? No. But these words reflect a repentant heart. They are spiritual words. They are life giving. It is words from the heart. They acknowledge God as Supreme Being. They acknowledge us as inferior beings. These words acknowledge us as sinners in need of a Savior.

God, be merciful a Sinner!

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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. 

Many have said that does door to door evangelism and surveying does not work or is not effective anymore. I have continued to train, and conduct door to door surveys and evangelism in communities across our nation. I have mentored and taught churches and believers how to do door to door evangelism.

One of the men that I have mentored is now mentoring a young church planter in the Midwest, in door to door evangelism and surveys. He sends me reports that bring me joy in reading. I wanted to share with my readers a great report how one church planter who has not bought into the lie that door to door does not work anymore.

Jerald’s Story
It has been said that door to door evangelism does not work anymore. Being a street evangelist who loves doing door to door, or “cold calls” as some say, this has really made me stop and think about whether that statement is true. I have been helping a church planter in Atchison, Kansas. He had been there about a year when I became involved. He told me I could handle evangelism however I wanted.

I didn’t know a single person when I entered the town. He and I started prayerwalking and talking to everyone we had an opportunity to engage. As we began visiting door to door, I realized that the approach of doing door to door evangelism I was using was lacking something. I started praying about it and God showed me a new way to engage the people we were meeting.

Now, I go door to door and ask people if they have any needs the church can meet. Then, I ask if I can pray for them. I carry a small notebook with me and write it down if they say yes, and I ask if I can come back in a week or so to check on them. If they agree to a second visit, I make sure to return.

Follow-up is so very important; it lets people know that I care and mean what I say. Returning to build a relationship earns me the right to share Jesus with them. Before leaving I give them a card with the church’s address, phone number, and service times – but I don’t invite them to our church. I simply ask them to pass the card on if they know someone who needs a church. More than one person has thanked me for not trying to pull them out of their own church.

The more I visit the people I have met, the more they begin to trust me. This opens the door for further ministry and evangelism in their lives. After getting to know people, we have even started Bible studies in their homes. They were willing to let us enter their homes for Bible study because we built good relationships and earned their trust. This becomes an open opportunity for true discipleship. I pray that you would give door to door evangelism a try and see how it works for you.

For more information about training your church how to do door to door evangelistic surveys, and prayer request, email m28evangelism@gmail.com. You can also go to M28evangelism.com and learn more about M28evangelism.