Leading Evangelism in the Church

By James M. Rochford

Many Christian leaders set an evangelistic ethos in their church, while others are confused at how to do this. Here are some suggestions on how to lead your church into the great work of evangelism:

Make sure that your Christian community is thriving. Jesus taught that the unbelieving world will “know” about the truth of his forgiveness through the love and unity of his followers (Jn. 13:34-35; 17:21-23). Most people who met Christ as adults mention this as a powerful factor in their decision to come to faith. It’s important to go out to reach people for Christ. Jesus said, “Therefore, go…” (Mt. 28:19). However, God primarily seems to reach people through a group effort, rather than lone star Christians. Moreover, if you do not have a healthy group to incorporate a new believer into, this will also create major problems for follow up later on.

Teach evangelistically in your group. When you teach in your homechurch, always teach as though a non-Christian is present. If you teach like they are present, they will show up. The people in your group need to constantly be affirmed of the fact that your meeting is friendly and conducive for non-Christians. If they sense that it’s not, they’ll never bring their non-Christian friends there. If you teach evangelistically, people in your group will hear your teaching, and they’ll wish that they brought their friend there. If you teach in Christianese (or like a workers meeting), it will only reaffirm the fact that they should not have brought their friend to the meeting.

Put up your best teachers every week. Good Bible teaching can have a powerful effect on evangelism. Moreover, if the group isn’t growing, why should new teachers be put up to teach? Wait until your group starts to gain morale before having younger teachers up. For groups that are really struggling, you should have your top two or three teachers up on a small rotation.

Leaders need to model evangelism. Modeling is one of the biggest reasons why groups grow stagnant in evangelism. You cannot lead people somewhere that you haven’t gone yourself. Most evangelism is better caught than taught. When you witness to someone, bring your friend along with you. They could read 10 books on evangelism, or they can sit under a skilled evangelist only once. Modeling is one of the premier ways to motivate evangelism in Christian community.

Focus more on the positive benefits of evangelism. Emphasize how God opens doors and empowers you to witness. Do not focus on the moral obligation, the agonies of hell, “their blood is on your hands,” etc. Instead, explain that you like to witness, because it’s exciting and fun—even when you encounter failure.

Pray that the eyes of their heart would be opened. Pray that God would open up the eyes of the hearts of your people to see the spiritual poverty around them.

Share stories about evangelism with them. One of the ways to inspire evangelism in someone else’s life is to share stories about it. Before you hang out each week, consciously remember stories of when you were sharing Christ to someone. While stories about success are moving, so are stories of rejection or failure. Here we can explain that we faced rejection, but it wasn’t as bad as we thought.

Be sure to meet the friends of people that you’re praying for. Do you know the friends of the members in your group? Why not? Initiate a hangout where you can get their friends over to your house for something social. Ask them what their friends think about their involvement with Christ. Write down their names. Pray for them on your prayer list. Set a vision for reaching their friends for Christ. Share stories about how people have won entire pockets of friends through just one person.

Celebrate when someone leads a friend to Christ. If angels celebrate this (Lk. 15:10), shouldn’t we? This is also a good time to encourage a person publically, and also learn from what happened by hearing the story.

Pray big.Start praying big prayers in your prayer meeting. Ask God for a specific number of salvations by a specific time. God enjoys answering big prayers like this.