All pastors know that they need to lead their churches in some form of evangelism. The issue that I find is that many pastors lose the effect of evangelism by forgetting to plan for it. Pastors are busy, and church life can be busy. Between all the pastoral duties and church events, church-wide evangelistic efforts can fall to the back burner of priorities. So, in this post, I want to offer a few things to think through this month as you are planning out the New Year to keep an evangelistic emphasis in 2020.
Plan 2 Big Outreaches for 2020
Pastor, you set the agenda for your church. If evangelism is not happening, maybe you should get it on the calendar. I realize churches are good at serving their communities, generally speaking, so this may not be a stretch for your people. But let me ask, are these events being used for evangelistic purposes? For our church, we make sure to leverage our activities for the Gospel by planning a Gospel emphasis at each event or at the least plan for a robust follow-up process for all the visitors.
If your church is not great at reaching out to the community, you have a clean slate to work with. Begin to plan at least 2 evangelistic events to help your members get involved with sharing the Gospel in the community. Maybe you could host a Fall festival, a Christmas Presentation, or a Community Meal. The point is to plan 2 events your people would get excited about inviting their friends to and plan an evangelistic focus around them.
Plan 2 Opportunities for Training in 2020
Pastor, your role is to equip the saints. A major part of your job is to help your congregation share the Gospel. This is good news for you; it means that you don’t carry all of the weight of sharing the Gospel with the entire community. You are not responsible for reaching every man, woman, and child with the Gospel. You have a congregation of fellow-Christians to help you reach the lost, but you have to train them.
Do this. Pick some methods and share them with your people. There are a ton of evangelism methods and programs on the market today. While some can get caught up trying to discern which way is best, I have found that equipping my people in multiple evangelism approaches has been the most successful. So, I lead my people through 2 different evangelism training opportunities a year. In some cases, this can be done through a sermon series on how to share the Gospel. In others, it may mean an in-depth Bible study class. However you choose to do it, train your people to do the work of evangelism.
Plan to Get Involved in 2020
You are the leader of the congregation and you have to lead by example. The adage is true—congregations model after their pastor. If the pastor is a compassionate shepherd, the people will be compassionate. If the pastor is a devoted student of the Bible, the people will be devoted students of the bible. If the pastor is excited about sharing the Gospel, then the people will get excited about sharing the Gospel.
The point is that the congregation must see you, their pastor, sharing the Gospel with lost people. The congregation must hear your stories of evangelistic encounters and the congregation must see your vision for reaching the lost in your community. The people must see you doing the work of evangelism before they will do the work of evangelism.
So here are your marching orders as you plan out 2020.
- Plan at least 2 evangelistic outreaches
- Plan 2 opportunities to train your people how to share the Gospel
- Plan to get involved in the work of evangelism
May God bless your efforts and your church for His glory and His great name!
PhD Evangelism @swbts.