A few weeks ago during my Vision Sunday sermon, I told my church of our “One Mile To Go Evangelism Initiative” that will begin in 2017. This will be our way to go to every house within a one mile radius of our church to get to know them, pray for them, and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them!
If you’re like me and you’re the pastor of an established church, this was probably not the most exciting news your congregation wanted to hear. Let’s face it…Evangelism…Door-to-Door Evangelism is scary, right? It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Therefore, I have come up with seven Steps Toward A Church With Greater Gospel Impact In Your Community.
Step 1 . Pray, Pray, and Pray some more. I know it goes without saying, but a vision of evangelism that did not begin in prayer will not last. Prayer is the fuel behind everything powerful that we do as a church. When I began praying I started praying that God would give me wisdom and courage. I prayed for our congregation to receive this vision with an open mind and open heart to see our community changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I also began praying for the homes within a one mile radius of our church. I prayed, and will continue to pray these prayers.
Step 2 . Share this vision with your staff and a few key leaders. After months of prayer, I opened myself up and shared the vision of the “One Mile To Go Evangelism Initiative” to my staff and some key leaders I meet with. I did this to see what kind of reaction I would get. Would they be positive reactions or push-back reactions? Honestly, I got both. And that’s okay. The positive reactions fueled my passion for this vision, and the push-back helped me to see where I needed to refine my delivery and re-think some strategy.
Step 3 . Preach it from the pulpit! As Senior Pastor, one of the best places to preach and teach about the importance of evangelism is during the Sunday worship service from the pulpit. I get to preach about evangelism, encourage evangelism, and share the Gospel message from the pulpit.
Step 4 . Train them to release them. Now it’s time to provide a teaching and equipping setting on evangelism. But this teaching and equipping setting must have the goal to release. No matter how big or small the crowd is, this is where the rubber meets the road. I have no clue if that applies here, but once you teach and equip, do so with the intent to release people in groups to put into action what they’ve learned.
Step 5 . Lead by example. You cannot expect others to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself. If it’s time to share faith in Christ, the Senior Pastor needs to lead the way. Once it’s time to go out, pastor GO OUT WITH PASSION! Be passionate about sharing the Gospel! This is the GOOD NEWS and people need to hear it!
Step 6 . Celebrate the wins. If one person from your church goes out and shares their faith…CELEBRATE IT! Every time we celebrate evangelism, I truly believe this encourages more people to become more evangelistic. Tell each and every story of life change in people often, and tell it through multiple ways of communication.
Step 7 . Don’t Stop. This cannot be a one-time event or even a seasonal sermon series. In order to Lead Your Church To A Greater Gospel Impact In Your Community, this must be an ongoing heart-beat in the life of your church. Pastor…Don’t Stop! Keep at it! Calendar it every year and stick to it!
In most of the churches I have served in, and most churches I’ve seen, there has not been an evangelistic focus. Let’s be honest…over years and years, it can become easy for any church to slip into a culture of only looking within. My prayer for my church and others, is that we might repeat these seven steps, or one’s similar, on a regular basis so we will see a growing passion in our churches to make a greater Gospel impact in our communities.