Kim Harrington rightly suggests that there are imperatives of evangelism, that is, there are some very important reasons for the church to be involved in evangelism:
First, “because Jesus Commanded Us To. In Mathew 28:19, we read, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Second, because Jesus Hinged His Return on the Completion of the Task of world evangelism. In Matthew 24: 14, we read, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Third, we must do evangelism because “It’s Only Fair to Give Everyone a Chance to Hear the Good News
Fourth, we must do evangelism because we Are to be Giving, Sharing People. In Matthew 10:7-8, we read, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Fifth, we must do evangelism because “Every Individual is Important to God, and Everyone’s Spiritual Hunger Deserves to be Met”. In 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
The mission of this church is threefold:
It is upward – it is worship of God through our lives and through fellowship
It is inward – Edification of the believers through discipleship and training
It is outward – evangelism – reaching the world with the Gospel. Matthew 28: 18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Let me explain what the current research shows about reaching people for Christ.
A substantial majority of the people who accept Jesus Christ as their saviour do so before reaching their 18th birthday. A 2009 Barna research study indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday.
If you want to kill a church, kill its Sunday school and the young people. If you want to know if a church has a future, look if there are young people in it!!
So we have to find some strategies to reach those who are 7-18 in particular and any one the Lord put in our purview.
In their book, The Inviting Church, 1987, Roy M. Oswald, Speed B. Leas found that…
- 2% of the people who attend a church did so because of Advertisement
- 6% of the people who attend a church did so because of the Pastoral Invitation
- 6% of the people who attend a church did so because of organized evangelism campaign
- 86% of the people who attend a church did so because of friends or relatives (That was 1987)
“Personal Invitations to church are the most effective growth mechanism. According to church growth expert, Wyn Arn, Personal invitations are the most effective growth mechanism! Quote “We asked more than 50,000 people over the last 10 years why they came to church, and between 75 and 90 percent of respondents say, “I began attending because someone invited me.” How do you put evangelism on steroids? Get the average man and woman in the pew to begin inviting people to church. It’s that simple. As stunning as it seems, 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church in their whole lives“(Kreiss, 2013).
So, although we have…
Types of Evangelism – Statistics –
- Tract evangelism
- Radio evangelism
- Door to Door – it’s not only for Jehovah witnesses
- Open air or event evangelism
- Creative evangelism – art, music, drama
- Phone evangelism
- Internet evangelism
- Friendship, relational, or personal … this is the best!! It is the most effective.
How to do this?
How to invite some to Church (WE need to FIND the person)
F – Friendship. Being friendly. Be a friend.
I – Intercession. Pray for the person(s)
N – Nourishment (nurture the friendship).
D – Destination (Invite the person to Church)
F – Friendship. As Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Be nice and friendly. Make eye contact. Be bold. Smile. Make small talk. Keep the 30% talking/70% listening!!!Remember: Jesus was a friend of publicans and sinners, Matt. 11:19 (Luke 7:34). Ethiopian Eunuch … Acts
So develop friendships with others. Talk about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Anything.. Phil; whatsoever things are ….
Where to meet them: Library/school/supermarket/gym … Anywhere!!
Ex ACTS 8:26-40)
26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) 27 And he arose and went; and behold, there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship. 28 And he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” 30 And when Philip had run up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: “HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH. 33”IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO SHALL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH.”
Fear of rejection. What is the remedy for the feat of rejection? Spirit of boldness (pray before you talk).
Nothing to talk about: Find out what the person like/dislike. Maybe they have children etc.
I – Intercession (Pray is secret). God will reward openly.
Fasting and prayer consistently.
N – Nourishment – Do something for the person. For example, Call the person and pray for the person on the phone. Express concern. Use internet/computer … to reach young people, you have to go where they are).
a. They may not answer your call. They may feel that you are getting too close. Pull back. Give space.
b. They may reject you gift/help: don’t take it personal.
D – Destination (Invite them to church). Church should have a – FRIENDS DAY!!!Give them the direction of the church. Ask: Do you know where my church is?
Maybe they don’t want to come or can’t come (in the hospital) or God is leading you to share the word with someone?
How to Lead Someone to Christ (Particularly Outside of the Church)
If you are going to visit the sick in the hospital you need HELP!! Your pastor, may not be close by. You are alone. You might be the last person he sees before crossing over into eternity.
If you are going to visit a friend in his/her home, you need HELP!
If you are witnessing to someone on the train, you need HELP!
If you are standing on the street and talking to a sinner, you need help!!
What is HELP? It is a five-fold strategy to lead someone to Christ.
H – Humidity. H stands for humidity or weather. You may choose to start by talking about the weather. For example,
E – Employment. You may notice the person’s employment clothes and come to the conclusion that the person is a nurse, student, or…. As the person about school or where they work and what they do.
L – Love ones. When you are in the home of the individual and you see pictures
P – Plan of Salvation
Get into the Plan quickly (Five minutes maybe!!). Use one of the questions below.
- If you were to die at this moment do you have the assurance that you would go to heaven? If the answer is yes. Ask: How do you know that if you were to die that you would go to heaven? Possible Answers: I give money to the church/church goers etc. Read John 3: 3, 7. Tell the person the story of Nicodemus. He was a good man, but Jesus said, “You must be born again.”
- Ask: Would you like to have the assurance that if you should die that you would go to heaven?
- Ask: Could you share five minutes of your time so that I can show you how to get to heaven?
The Plan of Salvation is easy! Think RBCR!
R – Repent, that is, to be sorry enough to stop sinning (Acts 17:30 – “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38).
B – Believe, that is, to accept the truth about Jesus Christ – that he is the Christ/messiah (Acts 16:31 – “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (John 8:24; Mark 16:16; John 3:15)
C – Confess, that is, to ask for forgiveness of all sins (I John 1:9 – (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness); (Rom. 10: 9-10).
R – Receive, that is, to invite Jesus to come and live in your heart (John 1:12 –“ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” Also, (John 14:6)
If the person would like to be saved, lead him/her in the following prayer:
Scenario 1 Practice
You are standing at the bus stop with a man dressed in casual clothes. It is very, very hot. Sweat is dropping from his brow. Use the H- humidity strategy as a conversation starter. In other words, start talking about the weather and then lead him into the plan. Go from H – humidity straight to P – the Plan of Salvation.
Scenario 2 Practice
A man comes up to you and is complaining about his job and the economy. He is a construction worker. He is frustrated about his low wages, high prices, and the general cost of living. Use the E –Employment strategy as a conversation starter and lead him to P – the plan of salvation
Scenario 3 Practice
A friend of yours, ask you to accompany her to the home of her best friend. When you get there, you notice that she has several children and their pictures are posted all over the house. Use the L – Loved ones strategy and focus on the children, then lead her to the P – plan of salvation.
Scenario 4 Discuss and Report
Rules of Engagement (If you are going to someone’s home)
- Two by Two – Let others know where you are going.
- Good hygiene – You can turn away anyone with bad order or bad breath.
- Modesty – No breath, leg and thigh only.
- Choose a good time – no late nights
- Patience. Don’t verbally abuse people if they reject the gospel
- Others —-
Scenario 5 Discuss and Report
- Evangelism can occur anywhere at any time with any person
- A variety of tools can be used (tracts/Bible)
- Doesn’t require schedules, only willingness
- Can be done by anyone
- It is the method used regularly by Jesus and the disciples
- It involves going out and sharing. Weaknesses
- Can be intimidating to some
- It is often misunderstood: some think it requires special training or special gifts
- Some people are introverts.
- Others: …………………………………………….
Kreiss, D. Evangelism on Steroids http://pinegrovecommunitychurch.com/2013/08/27/evangelism-on-steroids/