Evangelism and the Spirit of Expectancy – California Southern Baptist Convention

Evangelism and the Spirit of Expectancy

Published Feb 07, 2023

Creating an evangelistic climate in your church is one of the most important things a church leader can do. Does the spirit of evangelistic expectancy permeate your church?

It has been said that evangelism is one of the church’s highest values but also one of the least practiced. Two things are necessary to raise the evangelistic expectancy of your church:

  1. Churches that are effective in reaching people with the gospel are intentional – Intentionality speaks of what a church does on purpose. In the simplest of terms, churches that are effectively reaching people with the gospel are trying to reach people with the gospel.
  2. Churches that are evangelistically effective train Christians to share the gospel – There is a direct correlation between evangelistic results and evangelistic training. A national survey of Southern Baptist Churches found that less than half of members who attend church on a weekly basis had talked to someone about Jesus in the past year. It also found that only one out of every eight that attend church weekly had led anyone to Christ. The encouraging news from this survey is that those who had been through some kind of witness training were four times as likely to lead a person to the Lord as someone with no training.[1] Thom Rainer in his book, Effective Evangelistic Churches, shares the results from a survey of 576 of America’s most effective evangelistic churches. It really came as no surprise that 76 percent of the pastors in those churches were strong advocates of evangelistic training.[2]

Below are some ideas that can help a church maintain an evangelistic atmosphere that will result in more people accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior:

  • Calendar training for believers to be equipped with effective methods of sharing their faith.
  • Annually challenge members to commit themselves to be a witness.
  • Never miss an opportunity to extend an invitation to receive Christ during a worship service.
  • Use special events to attract lost people.
  • Encourage members to always have three people for whom they are praying to be saved.
  • Use testimonies of witnessing encounters during worship services on a regular basis.
  • Train Small Group (Sunday School) leaders to find creative ways of presenting the gospel.
  • Leaders must seek to model evangelism for church members.

The pastor of the church is the evangelism catalyst. Where the shepherd leads the sheep will follow. Someone rightly quipped that evangelism is caught more than it is taught. An evangelistic spirit will permeate the church in direct proportion to the evangelistic heartbeat of the pastor. Paul admonished Timothy (2 Timothy 4:5) to “do the work of an evangelist.” The work of telling others the Good News will never be completed until Jesus returns. A church with an evangelistically hearted pastor will ensure the church maintains an evangelistic climate.

[1] North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Research and Statistical Resource Division, U.S. Congregational Life Survey: Conversion and Witnessing Among Southern Baptists (Alpharetta: North American Mission Board, 2001), 3; available from http://www.namb.net/root/research/stats/default.asp; Internet.

[2] Thom Rainer, Effective Evangelistic Churches (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 37.