Churches with an evangelism strategy have many more baptisms, some 60% more. The key is to be intentional and specific seeking the Lord’s leading in planning. Each CABA church is urged to have a Missions Committee focused on lostness. Here are five steps that pastors should share with a Missions Committee leader.
Step One: Research lostness
Internal assessment: I recommend the “Fruit Inspection” guide available free on our website, www.CincinnatiBaptist.com
in the “Leadership” section. Use it to look for strengths, weaknesses, and even gaps in equipping/discipling among segments of members – missiology, doctrine, depth, lifestyle issues, witnessing experience, etc.
External assessment: Boots on the ground knocking on doors is vital. Over the past three years, teams of volunteers have mapped the most ethnically-diverse areas of Cincinnati. The same principles apply in canvassing the community where you serve. Then compile the resources into a prayer guide – “the” place to start for mobilizing workers among the lost. CABA’s prayer guide for the “Nations” is on Cincinnati.com
, too. Look for it in the “Missions” section.
Evaluate resources available: Be realistic about people, time, and budget.
Step Two: Pray intentionally
Teach your people to pray. The book, One Cry, is a “win” to draw believers into a closer relationship with the Lord (www.onecry.com
) It is encapsulated in a six-week program, but can initiate a movement. Sunday School classes need to know how to pray and what to pray for. Getting segments within the church engaged in specific ways is important.
Contact Ken Slaughter, CABA’s prayer encourager to begin praying for the lost across Cincinnati. Contact Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Ask him to add you to our early-morning prayer times.
Step Three: Equip for disciple-making
Role models: Pastors and church leaders must set the example for their members.
Personal evangelism: No Place Left uses the Three Circles method of evangelism. It is highly conversational and doesn’t assume prior biblical knowledge. It also has a clear path to becoming disciples that can immediately share their faith with the lost.
Decision Counselors should help new believers after their decision to follow Christ and make it public. New believers need to know how to lead someone to Christ. Follow-up must be required to help new believers become active witnesses and disciple-makers.
Step Four: Sow down the Gospel
Widespread evangelization: Initiate a blitz during an evangelistic “season” that may last for one month at a strategic time. The ideal time are the weeks prior to Easter.
Internet: Recording and uploading member testimonies of believers in your church can be promoted using business cards. You may use an existing service such as www.mostimportantthing.org
, or perhaps your church’s website can host it.
Commit to making disciples. That should be every CABA church’s number one biblical priority. Make sure everything done is reproducible and holds people accountable for spiritual development. I believe Bible Storying holds relational and supportive keys to reproducibility. I can provide a catalog of resources to those who write email@example.com
. You can order online the book that Avery Willis and I wrote titled Truth That Sticks that really gets after disciple-making.
Step Five: Celebrate with a purpose
Baptisms should become more inclusive and celebratory. New believers should invite family members. The focus of the service should be on the need for salvation and baptism. This helps the new believer be a bolder witness for Jesus.
As the campaign continues throughout the year, testimonials and experiences should be showcased in every communication vehicle of the church including the pulpit as a prioritized act of worship. Remember, you’re not bragging on what you, a committee, the strategy, or the church did, but giving glory to what God did through your church through the activity of the Holy Spirit. This is an Acts 14:27 event as the church gets together and learns how God “opened a door of faith.”
Mark Snowden is the Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. Follow him on Twitter at @wmarksnowden.