Training Members to Evangelize
Evangelization from church members is likely the most important factor in church growth. Without it, the church simply will not grow. Members must see the necessity in evangelizing, and they must also have the desire. Not only is it vital for the church to grow, but as mentioned earlier, God has commanded that it be done. There are two specific ways that a church can accomplish this goal. First, they must develop an ongoing evangelistic training for the members. If they are not trained, they will not know how to do it, nor will they have the confidence to do so. Such training can take place in a Bible class setting, or even a separate class held at a separate time in the building or in someone’s home. Second, there should be a development of opportunities for the members to use their evangelistic training. Here are a few ways this can be accomplished. Getting them active in the community will give them opportunity to evangelize. Giving them a goal or challenge from the pulpit or in Bible class is another way.Holding seminars or gospel meetings, and organizing days in which there will be canvassing within the community. Vacation Bible School is along the same line as the seminars. A community questionnaire regarding commonly asked religious questions, followed up by a teaching or preaching series answering those questions is another possibility. If people feel they are involved in something they are more likely to attend. There are of course many other possibilities for evangelism, and members should have the opportunity to share those ideas.
Having a specific ministry or ministries with regard to evangelism is important. It must first be determined how any currently existing congregational ministries (e.g. visitation,education, benevolence, youth, etc.) can have an evangelistic element. Visitation is often thought of as something that is done for members only. This does not have to be the case, and is not always so. Ministers and members within a congregation should visit other members, but they can and should also visit non-members. Places such as nursing homes are great places to visit and evangelize. People there are in need of help, spiritually and physically. Often, they are just happy to have someone visit them and talk with them due to a lack of family or friends. In addition to the patients or residents, there are multiple workers who provide evangelistic opportunity. Events such as food and clothing drives are also excellent avenues for sharing the gospel. Not only must the current ministries be utilized, but there should also be a development of specific evangelistic ministries that may be lacking within a congregation. All of these opportunities allow for the importance of developing relationships. People are more responsive to the gospel if they hear it from those whom they trust and know. There are multiple such ministries that could be developed in the Central North church. Some of these include a prison and hospital ministry, working with the homeless and drug and alcohol abusers, weddings and funerals. Another idea is having something like a bus/van ministry. Meaning a regular vehicle to 15 pick up those people who are not able to drive. In addition, there could be a greeting ministry, as well as a follow-up ministry for visitors. Naturally, a full-time evangelist/preacher would be someone who can be the initiator, encourager, and leader of these is important. A permanent preacher is also able to more easily make some of these visitations.