Pastors and church leaders are always looking for ideas and inspiration on how their church can reach its community with the gospel. We attend big conferences, hear from megachurch pastors, and then try to duplicate what they’re doing – often with unrealized hopes for success. Like David wearing Saul’s armor, we try and face the mission with someone else’s mega-plan. The very best plan for evangelism is one unique to you.
Consider this Venn diagram below – designed by pastor Shawn Beaty with concepts he stole from multiple authors. We can discover our unique ministry sweet spot if we consider three areas – our church leader’s passion and gifting, our church’s passion and gifting, and the needs within our community.
The area these overlap is your evangelism sweet spot. Every church, no matter its size, has a sweet spot. A church of 8 senior ladies has its sweet spot. Let’s assume these ladies are highly experienced cooks, and a need in the community is for young single moms who have no idea how to cook. What leader doesn’t enjoy good cooking? Trifecta! This church starts an 8-week cooking/baking class, free to the community, and spends $300 in Facebook ads promoting it. It ends with a baking competition where the students invite their friends to come to participate. At the event, the pastor strategically plans when the gospel will be presented. The winner of the bake-off gets a $500 Walmart gift card. See how this little church of 8 senior ladies and a pastor has just created a unique outreach leveraging their gifting against community needs? The total cost is about $1,000, which could be secured through a CSBC Evangelism Grant found here: https://csbc.com/evangelism-grant-request/
If your church is struggling to find an evangelism plan – hope is not lost. Dwight Moody was criticized throughout his ministry for his unorthodox evangelism plans. His common reply was simply, “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.” If you can’t identify a plan, then might I recommend an idea?
Here is a plan that can work in almost ANY church size. A few years ago, I visited Judson Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. Walking into their church, the first thing I saw was a map of Nashville across their foyer wall, with a counter on the wall and a tablet on a stand in front of it. The pastor had bought his church t-shirts with the saying, “Ask me my story” across them. He trained his people on how to share their personal stories of faith in conversations that lasted 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 30 minutes. The church would wear their shirts as they went shopping, to the gym, etc. As people engaged with the shirt, they’d share their story, and on Sunday, they would enter the number of gospel conversations they had that week. The church would celebrate with videos and testimonials of how they shared their story. “This week I spoke to my neighbor about my story. He didn’t place his faith in Christ, but on Easter he is coming to church with me!”
We can’t control outcomes, but we can celebrate faithfulness! Would this be a good fit for your church? Everything you need to get started on this program can be found here in these files.
Not every idea will be successful. Some of the best ideas suffer from circumstances outside your control. Don’t give up! Keep trying.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me. Isaiah 6:8