Pastors and church leaders – the new year is an opportunity to reflect on our priorities and to re-settle for ourselves what really matters – in our lives, our families, and our churches. So often, as we consider the lives of the members of our churches, it’s easy to overlook what is perhaps the most significant thing we can help them invest in – helping other people to know Jesus.
Why is that? Why is witnessing a prospect that often inspires anxiety rather than joy? It’s a joke that sadly proves true – the one thing both Christians and non-Christians have in common is that they both hate evangelism!
The problem is severalfold. Most churches have no plans, programs, or goals for evangelism; they have no mission program beyond their own community. Those that do often teach that evangelism has to look a certain scripted way that more often feels like an uncomfortable sales pitch than a natural outpouring of faith.
How can we help point our members in the right direction? Here are several ideas to get started:
Share the joy of leading someone to the Lord
Bringing somebody to heaven with you is the greatest thing you can do with your life! Determining the eternal destiny of someone else is going to outlast every hobby, job, or anything else you did on earth. Imagine getting to heaven and having someone come up and say, “Thank you. I’m here because you led me to Christ, you brought me to church, you helped me to know the good news.” Your members may be missing out on one of the most significant things they can do with their lives!
Emphasize a balanced life
Of all the essential tasks we are to perform as followers of Jesus, evangelism is often the most neglected. People – and churches – tend to focus on the spiritual area that resonates most with their talents and personality, whether that’s worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, or evangelism. Help your members understand that healthy, growing Christians work to improve in ALL these areas.
Explain their role as a witness
Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere” (NLT). Jesus doesn’t ask us to be the attorney, arguing his case, and he doesn’t tell us to be the judge, judging other people. He wants us to be his witnesses. What does a witness do? A witness just says, “Here’s what I’ve seen. Here’s what I heard.” A witness tells other people the story of what God has done in their life. This perspective shift can help lower the fear factor for your members to share what they’ve seen God do in their lives.
Share the responsibility
Pastor, we must help our members understand that they can share the Good News with their neighbors – they don’t need to wait for us to do it for them. Evangelism isn’t simply the work of professional ministers or far-off missionaries – it’s for each of us, every day.
A historic movement called Finishing the Task is working to fulfill the Great Commission – the task to reach all the world and make disciples of all nations – in our generation, by 2033. It will be the largest coalition of Christian churches ever in history to collaborate together for the Great Commission over the next 10 years!
Pastor Rick Warren recently recorded a video series that explains more about this movement and how we will work together to equip your members to live out the Great Commission and reach their neighbors like never before.
Click here to watch the first video in the series to hear more about how we plan to mobilize ALL of the Church in ALL its diversity, to do ALL Christ commands, with ALL people in ALL places, ALL for God’s glory by 2033, the 2000th anniversary of the instructions given to us by Jesus.