Evangelism is the process by which a congregation:
1. Becomes open to the dynamic indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
2. Develops a contagious atmosphere in its life of worship, nuture, and fellowship.
3. Turns outward in orientation to the community and the world.
4. Learns to organize and plan effectively.
5. Reaches out to meet the needs of people in the name of Jesus Christ.
6. Offers the opportunity for those persons to make a commitment to Jesus Christ.
7. Includes new people totally in its life, nurture, and mission.
Because of the impersonal nature of modern life, people are looking for intimacy and fellowship. They are seeking community at a deeper level. The small church often offers that type of fellowship. The problem is not the nature of the small church, but rather the inclusion of new people. Such inclusion must be intentional. People need some center, some steadying influence in the midst of constant flux. Encountering the gospel in the setting and atmosphere of the small church can often bring that needed stabilizing influence.
Because of the intimate, relational nature of the small church, personal visitation evangelism remains the best means of outreach. But a word of caution: visitation as a canned approach to entice people to come to church will not work. Visitation must center on getting to know the persons visited, and expressing genuine concern for their needs. Visitation that depends solely on the pastor will also fail. One reason is if the members are not the primary ones visiting, the people being reached will not take the church's ministry seriously. They expect the pastor to visit and show concern. That's their job. But a show of concern by the laity of the congregation often is not expected and will have a much stronger impact.
Excerpts from: "Evangelism in the Small Church " by James E. Cushman.
Sharing Your Faith
Losing Your Friends
Evangelism is joyfully sharing the Good News of the sovereign love of God, and calling people to repentance, to personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, to active membership in the church, and to obedient service in the world. Blessings from evangelism are rediscovery of your first love, personal growth, and seeing people come to faith and grow in discipleship.
Costs for evangelism are time, reputation, holiness, spiritual danger, and personal discomfort.
People matter to God because God created each one of us; Jesus demonstrated this on the cross; Jesus modeled this; Ephesians 5:1 "Be imitators of God"; does it show in our use of time? and your neighbors, co-workers and family.People are Spiritually Lost: Jesus uses the word "lost" (Luke 15, 19:10; Matthew 10:6, 15:24,18:4). We are sinners separated from God.
People need Jesus Christ: Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Jesus Christ is the assurance of forgiveness. People might want to take a chance and Christ gives us the certainty.
People need cultural relevance: They need a language to explain biblical terms, music that is relevant to culture and motivators (issues that cause people to connect to the gospel).
People need time: Time to think about what they hear, to evaluate and wrestle, to move at their own pace and to count the cost.
We are light and salt: We are salt of the earth. Salt adds flavor, zing: don't be boring; it's a preservative, political and social activity; stings in a wound, pricks the conscience; creates thirst, a desire to know God We are the light of the world; a beacon of hope. Seasoning and shining is our business.Get close to people: Get close to people by going to where they are. Establish relationships with people to do evangelism.
A place to start: Three spheres of influence: family, work and friends. Build bridges of trust, and groundwork for the future. Focus on a few and spend quality time. Allow for down time, don't rush it.
The work of prayer: whose life is God working in and what role can you play? Pray for your family, co-workers, and neighbors to receive, to be aware of their need, to be aware of God's love, and to experience the joy of salvation. Pray that you will have courage, perseverance, pure motives, wisdom and discernment, the ability to recognize opportunities, direction and thanksgiving. Ask them "Can I pray for you?"
Practical Ideas: Discover and share what you have in common. Have dinners or other meals together. Invite them to everything the church does. Join them for some of their activities.
What's your style? Confrontational (Peter, Acts 2), intellectual (Paul, Acts 17), testimonial (blind man, John 9), invitational (woman at the well,John 4), serving (Dorcas, Acts 9:36), signs and wonders (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
How to share: Bridging: create/seize an opening, permission: May I tell you? sharing: your story, God's story, decision: closure: thanks for letting me share.