By Kevin Ezell
For too many church leaders, one of the least clear areas of mission is engaging our people in evangelism. We can point to many causes for this challenge, but many times lack of evangelistic effectiveness goes back to leaders not providing a clear pathway forward and simple first steps in sharing the gospel. The SBC Pastor’s Baptism Task Force highlighted these challenges and their findings in their recent report.
Turning around our evangelism and baptism decline will take some serious soul-searching and a long-term approach. But there are also some things every pastor can do right away to rekindle evangelistic fervor.
- Train everyone to use the 3 Circles: Life Conversation Guide – Teach every person engaged in your church how to share the gospel through the 3 Circles presentation. While there are many evangelism tools out there, we’ve seen 3 Circles work well in numerous settings across North America. It is simple, easy and transferable. And we’ve already seen pastors like Ronnie Floyd, Johnny Hunt and Bryant Wright training their entire congregations on #3Circles on Sunday mornings! You can download the app for free on IOS or Android platforms, order the guides from NAMB directly, or download the presentation from NAMB.net.
- Call your people to share Christ on Engage24 (Oct. 14, 2014) – If you prepare your people to share and give them a tool to present the gospel, the final step is to set them up for success by setting a date for action. Over the last three years SBC college students have taken one day in fall to share the gospel with at least one person in their sphere of influence (engage24.org). I invite you and your church to join with them in engaging lost people with the gospel on October 14, 2014 this year. Imagine the impact on your people, your church and your community if everyone in your church shared the gospel like this church. The people in your church will grow by preparing for this event. They will learn to depend on prayer. And your church will gain a collective momentum that can’t come from any other kind of engagement.
Our goal at NAMB is to see 15,000 churches planted in 10 years. But plants don’t just happen. They require disciples who leverage their lives for the gospel, and disciples are made only when believers sow the gospel in the lives of others. As a church leader, will you join me in challenging your church to live the gospel at home, at work and at play? Will you utilize October as a time of vision casting for your church to engage the world with the gospel?
Thank you for your life in Christ and your ministry on His behalf. May God continue to bless you and your church as we continue to live life on mission together.
Dr. Kevin Ezell serves as the President of the North American Mission Board, providing strategic vision, direction, and leadership as NAMB works to reach North America through evangelism and church planting.