Six Simple Ways to Spark Evangelism in Your Church
Cool church buildings are great.
Updated websites are nice.
Huge billboards are awesome.
Church signs are helpful.
(I get the idea…I’m just not sure how many unchurched people responded.)
But signs, billboards, and websites miss something when it comes to reaching the community: the unchurched, dischurched, and mischurched (yes, I’m making up some terms).
The people you passionately want to reach…
What are they missing? In one word: RELATIONSHIPS.
For many of us, we can point back to A relationship as the thing that truly softened our hearts and opened us up to the truth of the Gospel.
So here’s my big question: when it comes to evangelism, why do we invest our stock in things that are non-relational, like billboards and websites?
Again, those things are great. But they can’t be THE answer to impacting your community and reaching more people with the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ.
So let’s change the conversation when it comes to evangelism. And let’s hone in on six ways you can create a place where people passionately invite their neighbors to church.
#1. Preach It.
There are a lot of pastors who tell their congregations, “Invite your neighbors to church.” But in my experience, it’s usually an add-on to the end of an unrelated sermon.
There’s a difference between mentioning something and teaching about it.
You must cast clear, compelling vision as to why it’s so vital for your church-body to be inviters! That requires more than just an “Oh, by the way” announcement at the end of your sermon.
That takes focus.
Dedicate one sermon series per year on the power of relational evangelism. Like you do with every other sermon topic, work hard to inspire people with the truth of God’s Word. Instruct your church body to demonstrate love to the people around them and become bold in their willingness to invite them to church.
#2. Ask It
Pastors, how clear and direct are you when you ask your church to participate in anything?
Asking your church to invite their neighbors to church should be no different than asking them to tithe: it should be obvious.
You are their leader! Anytime you lead people, your job is to stretch them outside of their comfort zones.
Asking your congregation to invite people to church should be as crystal-clear as it gets!
Make a bold invitation in the middle of an upcoming sermon. And be clear about it!
#3. Breathe It
Reaching lost, unchurched people shouldn’t be a one-time event.
Inviting people to church does not need to be an afterthought in your mind.
It should be part of your church culture.
If members of your congregation don’t know that evangelism is a big deal in your mind, that probably means it isn’t.
For something to stick in the minds of people (who only focus on what you say once every seven days), you must say it consistently, passionately, and joyfully.
Quit making evangelism a side-leg of your church “body”: make it part of the heartbeat!
#4. Explain It
The more anxiety someone feels about a subject, the more clearly you need to instruct them. For some people, inviting someone to church is at the top of their anxiety list.
As their leader, you can chop down on a lot of their anxiety by teaching them how. Walk through what an evangelism-centered relationship could look like. Address the fears and obstacles they’ll encounter. Model an example conversation that shows them how to invite someone to church.
Be realistic, not idealistic. The best way to do that is by interviewing someone (either ahead of time or during your sermon) who successfully invited a friend or neighbor to church. Have them walk through the entire process. Or, even better, interview someone who was invited to church and showed up! Get into their mind and emotions: what were they thinking and feeling during the process?
#5. Celebrate It
My pastor often says, “What’s rewarded is repeated.” If you want to move this up in the priority list of your congregation members, thank the people who are already doing it.
Write them handwritten notes. Send them texts. Share stories of real people that highlight the big-picture vision of relational evangelism. Give them shout-outs on social media. Humble yourself and thank people who are being courageous in this area.
#6. Practice It
As a leader, the best way to shepherd your congregation is by knowing what they’re going through. And the best way to relate with them—and lead them—is by doing it yourself.
Also, anytime you practice what you preach, it’s obviously a big win for your church (and THE Church at large). Once people hear and see, they’ll be more likely to do. It’s the idea behind the simple phrase “follow the leader.”
To recap, here’s the Spark Evangelism Cycle: