by Kevin Ezell
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — For too many church leaders, one of the most challenging areas of mission is engaging our people in evangelism. We can point to many causes for this, but many times the lack of evangelistic effectiveness goes back to leaders not providing a clear pathway forward and simple first steps in sharing the Gospel.
The North American Mission Board’s pastors’ task force highlighted these challenges and their findings in their report in May. For the report, click here. Also see a related video here and Baptist Press story here.
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 Southern Baptists’ evangelistic fervor.
1. 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.
2. Call your people to share Christ on Engage24, Oct. 14.
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 Baptist college students have taken one day in the fall to share the Gospel with at least one person in their sphere of influence through Engage24. I invite you and your church to join with them in engaging lost people with the Gospel on Oct. 14. Imagine the impact on your people, your church and your community if everyone in your church shared the Gospel like August Gate Church in St. Louis, for example.
The people in your church will grow by preparing for Engage24. 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 the North American Mission Board 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.
Kevin Ezell is president of the North American Mission Board.
Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.