COACHING CHURCH LEADERS IN EVANGELISM
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” — Luke 19:10
We had the first part of Michael’s article. In that section he talked about true revival and people’s souls. This week we’ll look at the second part – how do we reach people?
What If I’m Not Evangelistic?
Not every leader in a church is called to be an evangelist or will function with evangelism as her primary gift, but that doesn’t need to hinder the leader from being evangelistic. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be evangelists, we can expand our ability in this area by studying evangelism, learning how to evangelize and being around evangelistic people.
Remember, the five aspects of Christ (the quintessential leadership gifts) were given to equip the Church for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4). These ministry gifts are about equipping the body, and all of us are able to draw from leaders the resources we need to fulfill our roles more effectively. In other words, even if we are not called to be evangelists, we can still draw from evangelistic leaders a measure of “evangelistic grace” that empowers us to be more evangelistic than we would be otherwise. We can read biographies about evangelistic people, meet with evangelistic leaders, attend conferences where evangelistic leaders are speaking, etc. Every time we are around someone who thinks and acts in an evangelistic fashion, it impacts us and enhances our ability to be evangelistic.
We need to be exposed to every aspect of Christ so we can be enhanced in all His aspects.
How Do We Reach People for Jesus?
Here are a few thoughts on how to reach the unreached:
- As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 12-14, we need to help outsiders understand our world. Some of us love to host the Holy Spirit, but we don’t really know how to host the unreached—people who don’t know anything about the Holy Spirit and how His presence can affect people. We don’t have to be “seeker sensitive,” but we should be “seeker welcoming.” We need to train our people how to invite their unsaved friends and prepare them for a supernatural environment. We can carefully explain what God is doing in our public gatherings and not assume new people will automatically “get it.” Every church needs to help visitors and new members take incremental steps to greater experience and encounter with God’s presence.
- We need to avoid “hype” and the appearance of hype as much as possible. We live in a cynical, skeptical culture that values authenticity and hates hypocrisy with a passion. Therefore, we need to be open, humble, self-effacing and genuinely caring. Although we cannot cater to the whim of every visitor, if we make it a point to incarnate Jesus in a manner consistent with the people of our world we will better be able to connect them and be trusted by them.
- We need to teach our people how to lead others to Jesus. Many believers are able to talk about their faith and salvation, and they may even give prophetic words or pray for someone for healing, but we need to train them how to take the next step and actually lead someone to the Lord. This can be done in simple ways: Model it publicly in altar calls, teach it in classes, and people could also gain experience through basic role-playing opportunities, where one person pretends to be the minister and the other the seeker. This is the primary work of the evangelist—to equip the saints for evangelism. Consider using a simple tool like the Four Spiritual Laws as a template for personal evangelism.
- Finally, we need to identify and raise up new evangelists to lead the way in reaching the unreached and equip the saints to minister. Identify the evangelism-oriented people in your church by preaching on the subject and calling forward those whose hearts are burning to respond. Commission them and meet with them again. You could use a gift discovery tool such as www.DestinyFinder.com to help you in the identification process.
As you gather and mentor your emerging evangelists, look for those with a large scope of leadership who are the most effective in winning souls. Once these individuals are identified, pull them aside to form an evangelistic leadership core team who will help you write training materials for the whole church and impart their gifts to others. You could even assign an emerging evangelist to each of your small groups to help the other members reach out to their worlds.