“Evangelism is dead.”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that phrase, I’d have like $200.00 worth of nickels, which is a hassle to carry around, but I digress.
You know what else is a hassle to carry around? A church that is internally focused!
The solution? Evangelism.
But evangelism is dead.
Or is it?
For the last 3 years I have had an average of 3-6 reaping meetings a year in various churches, in various cities, with diverse and multicultural composition. This is what I found:
The demise of evangelism has been greatly exaggerated.
Here are some samples from THIS year:
*Last week we concluded a 34 church, Atlanta city wide evangelism where close to 400 were baptized.
*Lexington Kentucky. 500 members 4 churches. 50 baptisms.
*Jackson Mississippi over 60 baptisms. Deep South, Baptist country.
*We keep them at around 40% higher than average.
Let me share some principles of a workable model that may be beneficial.
- Preparation matters.
We do it with a nine month preparation model. This works with small and big churches. It sometimes seems like it doesn’t work, but after constant repetition it starts to stick.
Preach about it.
Talk about it in every board.
Take your leadership team in visitation to unbelievers.
Focus on that 5% that have the gift. Spend money on them. Give them free resources. Send them to trainings. That 5% will make the difference. You may not be able to baptize 400 but you will always have some people in the pipeline. The more you spend in the prep time, the more people stay at the end of the meetings.
- Cause matters.
This is brand new research from “The Rise of the Nones” study. Evangelism that does not have an active, intentional, ongoing community/social justice component will find it harder to attract unbelievers. (check out the book with the same title, its awsome)
This is what we are doing:
Used Season of Service material.
March Against Violence
Compassion 100k (100 projects, 100,000 hours of donated work and funds)
Whatever you do, do something.
- Eliminate excuses and find workable models instead.
This are some of what I hear:
This area is too hard, too many unchurched people.
This area is too hard too many churched people.
Please pick one, because both can’t be true! If you looked at the world today, it’s a miracle ANYONE comes to faith. Yet they do.
Don’t despair. Try different models, try different dates, try different approaches, but please, TRY IT!