The Bible describes gospel preaching as seed sowing. Every farmer knows that more seed he sows, the better chance there is of a large crop. Christ has commanded that the gospel be preached to every soul (Mr. 16:15), so very church should aim to get the gospel to every individual in the immediate community and beyond as aggressively as possible, as far as possible. This requires wise planning by the leaders and zealous participation by the entire church body.
Another metaphor for gospel work is fishing. One pastor friend talks about putting out a lot of fishing lines. The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely it is that you will catch fish.
The goal should be to get every member involved. As soon as an individual is saved, he is a gospel preacher! Every child of God has been appointed an ambassador of Christ (2 Co. 5:20). Every child of God is to put on his gospel shoes as part of his spiritual warfare equipment (Eph. 6:15).
The pastors must lead in evangelism. When a preacher starts a new church, he is usually very visionary and aggressive in evangelism. If that vision has shriveled, it must be revived.
Evangelistic fishing lines are things like the following:
- An aggressive, well planned door-to-door visitation program to reach one’s entire area
- An effective tract distribution program (obtaining quality tracts, keeping them in stock, teaching the people how to use them, exhorting them to use them, teaching the people to set personal goals of tract distribution)
- Mass mailings
- Preaching on the streets and in market places accompanied by tract distribution and personal conversations. Musicians can be used to help draw a crowd.
- Using the church’s web site or Facebook for evangelism (gospel material, apologetics material)
- Gospel Bible studies in homes (see the Seeker’s Bible Study at the Way of Life web site); gospel Bible studies can be advertised in the church’s evangelistic literature and mailings
- Gospel ministries to nursing homes, schools, truck stops, prisons, etc.
- Gospel meetings. Our church has a monthly gospel meeting. On that day, everything is geared to evangelism. We have a gospel message, testimonies, gospel videos, skits, whatever we can think of. After the meeting, we serve refreshments to keep the visitors around so we can talk to them. Our people are taught to focus their evangelistic efforts toward trying to get new contacts to these meetings.
In a typical church today there won’t be many members that will join the pastor in aggressive evangelism, but a church leader has to start where he is and use whatever resources he has. If he can start by getting one or two people enthused about this business, that is better than none.
An attractive, well-designed, well-maintained web site and/or social media site that is advertised on all of the church’s literature. Our church’s gospel web site has multiple gospel tracts, testimonies, apologetics material, gospel videos, a gospel correspondence course, and more.
We need to constantly analyze what we are doing, to see what is working or not working, to see what needs to be changed, to see what could done be better, to see what more could be done or what new things could be done, to see how we can get more people involved.
Effectual evangelism requires lots of prayer. Paul taught this when he said to the church at Thessalonica, “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you” (2 Th. 3:1). The Word of God is glorified when it bears good fruit as it did in Thessalonica, when the people “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Th. 1:9). Paul said this type of fruit is a product of intercessory prayer.
The more prayer, the better. There can’t be too much prayer. We need to figure out ways to pray more for evangelism.
A couple of years ago, we instructed our church members to make an evangelistic list of relatives, friends, and contacts for whom they would pray daily. The list is also to include prominent contacts of the church family at large, such as unsaved wives or husbands or children and church visitors. New names are added as the Lord leads. By having every member of the church engage daily in intercessory prayer, the amount of prayer for the church’s evangelism has increased greatly.
Following are materials that can be helpful for this task:
SOWING AND REAPING: A COURSE IN EVANGELISM. This course is unique in several ways. It is unique in its approach. While it is practical and down-to-earth, it does not present a formulaic approach to soul winning, recognizing that individuals have to be dealt with as individuals. The course does not include any sort of psychological manipulation techniques. It does not neglect repentance in soul winning, carefully explaining the biblical definition of repentance and the place of repentance in personal evangelism. It explains how to use the law of God to plow the soil of the human heart so that the gospel can find good ground. The course is unique in its objective. The objective of biblical soul winning is not to get people to “pray a sinner’s prayer”; the objective is to see people soundly converted to Christ. This course trains the soul winner to pursue genuine conversions as opposed to mere “decisions.” The course is also unique in its breadth. It covers a wide variety of situations, including how to deal with Hindus and with skeptics and how to use apologetics or evidences in evangelism. There is a memory course consisting of 111 select verses and links to a large number of resources that can be used in evangelism, many of them free. The course is suitable for teens and adults and for use in Sunday School, Youth Ministries, Preaching, and private study. OUTLINE: The Message of Evangelism, Repentance and Evangelism, God’s Law and Evangelism, The Reason for Evangelism, The Authority for Evangelism, The Power for Evangelism, The Attitude in Evangelism, The Technique of Evangelism, Using Tracts in Evangelism, Dealing with Skeptics. 104 pages,
SEEKER’S BIBLE STUDY is a Bible study for unbelievers and non-Christians. It explains the gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance, and faith. It begins with a study of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 which deals with the Bible, Christ, sin, Jesus’ atoning death for sin, Jesus’ burial and bodily resurrection. The studies on repentance and faith are extremely practical. The last section answers the question, “When Is Jesus Coming?” The study is designed to be used as a multi-week, one-on-one teaching course. In our church, we assign a qualified believer to go through the course with every willing visitor. The teacher is instructed to try to grow the class by involving family, neighbor’s, and friends of the original student. The teacher’s notes can be found in the file “Seeker’s Bible Study - Teacher’s Notes.” Both the study and the teacher’s notes are available at the following page:
IDEAS FOR EVANGELISM. This book is packed with practical suggestions for evangelism. Following are some of the topics that are covered: The Importance of Pastoral Leadership, Training and Challenging the People, Discipleship, Standards for Church Workers, Training the Church to Be Visitor Conscious, The Church Services, Prayer, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Door-to-Door Visitation, New Move-ins, Religious Surveys, Advertising, Church Papers, Correspondence Courses, Adopt a Bus Kid, Testimony Gospel Tapes, Gospel Tracts, Telephone Calls, Christmas Plays, Targeting Special Community Events, Tragedy Outreach, Campus Ministry, Foreign Exchange Students, Immigrants, Foreign College Students, The Deaf, Ministry to Military Personnel, Creation Science, Evangelistic Bible Studies, Tent Meetings. Fourth edition, 236 pages
WITNESSING WITH GOSPEL TRACTS
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Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials