Gospel Starters

At Risen Life Church we have been thinking about how we can encourage our people to do evangelism. I recently shifted my pastoral roles to include missions, which means I have been thinking about evangelism a lot. The task of motivating our people towards evangelism is not easy. So what do you do to motivate a church that has grown sluggish in evangelism?

I think the root of evangelism motivation comes from an experience with God. We can think of Isaiah’s encounter with God in Isaiah 6 that fueled him towards mission. We could look at many Psalms where the Psalmist is motivated to proclaim to the nations the works and salvation of God after He has moved in the Psalmist’s life. Or we could think of Paul and his Damascus road experience. All of the individuals above were motivated for mission through an experience of salvation with God. As a church our preaching and teaching should encourage and shepherd our people towards an encounter with God. We need to give them the tools so that they can have an on-going encounter with God in their life that will fuel them in mission.

That is the foundation of mission, however, we can do some easy things to help our people get in the practice of sharing their faith. I call these Gospel starters. To assist our people in reaching their friends, families, and coworkers, I prepared an evangelism starter pack for everybody in our congregation. The pack consisted of five business cards for our church that serve as invitations and three tracts. Now some of you just stopped reading when you heard the word tract. And I want to remind you that tracts are not the end-all be-all of evangelism, but they can be a part of a well rounded strategy for your church that can you help your people grow in evangelism. They are three ways church invite cards and tracts can be used as Gospel starters by your people to help them grow in evangelism.

1. The Grenade Method – If you have never done evangelism then it will be a win just to intentionally take a church invite or track to one of your regularly attended restaurants, coffee shops, or work place -and leave it. You in essence pull the pin drop the invite or tract and run. Everybody can and should do this as a regular part of their life. This simple activity trains you to have an intentional mindset that is thinking about evangelism throughout the day as well as how to trust in God’s sovereignty in evangelism. How can a piece of paper on a table save someone? Only by God’s Spirit working in the hearts of those that might pick it up. But we should desire to do better and begin to use our mouth to proclaim the Gospel.

2. Personal Invite – Another way church invites and tracts can be used is through a personal invite. Here you take a church invite to a friend or neighbor and hand it to them and verbally invite them to your church. For the tracts you can do the same. You can take a tract and give it to a friend or neighbor and invite them to read it and to think about the Gospel. These invites are all done in love for the other person. What you will find is that a lot of times this simple invite will blossom into a Gospel conversation that is natural and beneficial. This step helps us learn how to open our mouths and stand for the Gospel. May God give us more opportunities and boldness to invite people to consider the Gospel.

3. Gospel Witness – This level of evangelism takes the most boldness, but should be the goal of our Gospel starters. You can take a church invitation card and invite someone to church and then proceed to ask them what they think about Jesus. Then you can verbally share the Gospel with them. The same can be done with a tract. You can approach someone and ask them if they wouldn’t mind taking a minute to read through the tract with you and talk about the Gospel.

In addition to these simple Gospel starters, church invites, and tracts, we are attempting to canvass the neighborhoods that surround our church twice a year with door-hangers. On the front of these door hangers you will find a church invite and on the back you will find the Gospel. Again we can apply our three levels of engagement above to this Gospel starter as well. You can place the door-hanger on the knob and run, or you can knock on the door and give a personal invite, or you can knock on the door and verbally proclaim the Gospel.

As I have mentioned previously none of these tasks or trinkets will be the end-all be-all of evangelism, but they can be tools for assisting you and your people towards a more bold witness for Christ. Maybe if your evangelism has grown stale these simple Gospel starters can help you get back in the routine of regularly sharing the Gospel.

Finally, we know that the results of evangelism are in God’s hands. We don’t have to be afraid of or downplay simple Gospel starters; rather we should seek to be faithful in engaging in evangelism any way we can and pray that God would move others and us through our meager attempts.

*The pictures above are the original work of entrustedwiththegosepl.com and should not be used without permission.
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