Our Church's Evangelism "Method"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by 12strings, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    I say "Method" loosely, as we have in the last few years, been on an increasing trajectory away from structured programs (like Upward Soccer, for example, which after doing for 7 years, we decided to not do this year, due to the fact that the majority of the children who played were either from our church, or other churches, or from the local Christian school.).

    Instead, being influenced by a variety of sources, Truly believe the following is the way forward to reach and disciple a community that increasingly sees church as irrelevant and often views a "Baptist Church" with hostility.

    -Encourage and facilitate as many church members as possible to invite non-Christians into their homes for meals, or for cookouts; whether on their own, or with 1 or 2 other church families...at which times they are intentionally open about their faith in Christ, and their church, and are looking for opportunities to insert those into a conversation.
    -Encourage and equip church members to be open about their faith and their church as they participate in community activities such as little-league, etc.
    -Invite people to small groups, which happen regularly at various church member's homes.
    -Use scripture to counsel our non-Christian friends in their life situations. This can and should be every church member, but we also have several trained counselors, and one primary Counseling Pastor, who does a lot of counseling. We want people know that the Gospel offers real help for their felt, and often more importantly, unfelt needs.
    -Focus corporate worship on the Gospel, both in music and in message; unashamedly singing distinctly Christian songs, often songs that are very old, and very new, that are singable, and allow Christians to exult in the great truths that we believe, and allow visitors to see Christians worshiping.
    -Encourage more and more church members to be meeting regularly with both another believer, and a non-believer, or perhaps someone about whom you are not sure, to read the Bible one-to-one.

    These thoughts have been influenced in part by 2 excellent short books:
    -Meals with Jesus, by Tim Chester - (partly about hospitality as mission).
    -One to One Bible Reading, by David Helm - (Title is self-explanatory).

    We have come to something of an agreement among our leadership that two often-used outreach methods from the past will not be as effective:

    1. Inviting rank non-believers to church (we have done a lot of this, and almost nobody comes...people just have an aversion to it, for a multitude of reasons...The best most recent example is a couple who's journey to the church went like this: (a) got to know a church couple through youth football (b) were invited to that couple's house for dinner several times (c) were invited to a small group (d) finally attended church for the first time, expecting a stuffy, judgemental group of people, which is not what they found. They will be joining the church soon.

    2. Door-to-door evangelism. (now you're going to get mad at me...even though most of us don't do this, we somehow think we should.) Think about how you feel if a door-to-door salesman, or the jehovah's witnesses come to your door. It seems that a rejection of THAT does not equal a rejection of the Gospel, but a rejection of someone intruding on their privacy. We want the offense of the Gospel to be clear and understood, and having people be already offended before we start talking is not generally helpful...I"m not saying you need to become a person's best friend before you share the gospel with them, but we DO need to show an initial kindness, and if we all lovingly and joyfully shared with the people we already know...it would likely bear more fruit than sharing with strangers.


    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    I like it.:thumbsup:
     
  3. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr.
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    Very Good....!

    Bro.12....that was a very well thought out post and I am in general agreement with all of it. I would add that I do believe in the use of good Gospel Tracts both in face-to-face distribution as a conversation starter and also just by wise placement of them in places where people can choose to pick them up if they wish. I know many don't believe this is very effective but many have been saved through the message received from a solidly Biblical tract. I just think they should be one "component" of any church or individuals evangelism effort. God blesses the printed Word...in "Book" or "seed" form! Always has...always will.
    Thanks for your excellent post. It goes way beyond simple "lifestyle" evangelism and gets people "engaged" with one another.


    Bro.Greg:saint:
     
  4. BaptistJG

    BaptistJG
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    I like it. I disagree though that Door knocking is ineffective. If it didnt work, the Mormons and JW's wouldn't be gaining recruits. Plus its easy to map out and know where you have been. Just try and toss out BAPTIST CHURCH as fast as you can! LOL! "Hi Im Jordan from Bethel BAPTIST! IM A BAPTIST PLEASE DONT RUN!". Seriously though, I have heard both sides to door to door, so assess you community, however I have recently visited a church that is quite large that built themselves on door knocking. So Ill just say that much!

    However. Evangelism is something that if you are doing it. You are doing something 90% of Christians don't even do.

    If I could send encouragement electronically I would!
     
  5. 12strings

    12strings
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    It's all in how you define it. Unfortunately, for most people, Lifestyle evangelism means: "Live your life, don't do any really big sins, and hope somebody comes up and asks you about why you don't smoke weed or cheat on your wife."

    We should be reminded that for all those who are looking for a lifestyle, or a certain career success, or pleasure, or comfort to be their deliverer...we have a better story, of a deliverer who actually delivers. So it should give us boldness and humility.
     
  6. 12strings

    12strings
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    You can!!! Just ask quantumfaith. Half his posts are the big thumbs-up smiley faces!
     
  7. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
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    We have just under 80 people on our evangelism team. We do open air, one on one witnessing, handing out tracts, going to public events and handing out water with a Gospel tract, etc.
     
  8. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
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    We have a member who likes to slip them in books at the bookstore.
     
  9. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr.
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    Very Good...

    Yeah...I like doing that too....but you do have to be careful and you should never use a tract with the church name,address, and phone number stamped on it when doing that. I particularly like putting them in those books written by known atheists like Richard Dawkins or books on Freemasonry or Occult stuff. Just don't get caught! Be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves".
    I haven't done this but I have heard of people putting them in the pockets of new clothing in the stores as well. There is literally no limit to the number of places they can be put where other folks could find and read them. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit. I always try to use tracts that are HEAVY on the use of Scripture. It is mainly the Word that the Spirit of God uses to "plow the soil" in peoples hearts.

    Bro.Greg:saint:
     
  10. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
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    Well, the number one rule should be that we don't want to do any damage. I think we'd all agree that's a no brainer.

    After that, I wouldn't put them in mailboxes, because that's against the law.

    That's about my only limit.
     
  11. 12strings

    12strings
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    Just curious, how long hast this been going on, and what has been its effect?
     
  12. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
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    Well, let's put it this way: Our church has grown from 24 people in 2008 to about 400 today and about 1/3 of them are converts.

    So God does work through evangelism if we will be faithful enough to do it.

    We've seen people repent in tears on the spot and we've gotten phone calls months later from somebody saying, "Six months ago, I was bar hopping with my buddies in Fell's Point and some girl gave me this religious pamphlet with your church's name on it and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it..."

    All God asks of us is that we go and proclaim. He will do the rest if we are obedient.
     
  13. 12strings

    12strings
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    Sounds great! Thanks for the reply.
     

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