Evangelistic events are like church buses… they are considered by some to be old school, but they still work.
As a matter of fact, Georgia Baptist churches that host evangelistic events on average baptize 27% more people than churches that do not.
The types of evangelistic events are too numerous to list. When we say “evangelistic events,” that can range from harvest revivals, Vacation Bible School, block parties, car shows, wild game dinners or any number of possibilities that best fit your community.
Let’s just look at the old but effective “block party.”
These offer several positive opportunities for every person in your church:
- They get to personally experience missional living.
- They get to personally exegete (get to know and experience the make-up of) the immediate neighborhoods.
- They get to personally express of the love of Jesus to people one-on-one.
But hold the phone.
There is a difference between hosting an event and hosting an evangelistic event.
An event is only evangelistic if these 3 things are true about it:
- The lost are present.
- The gospel is clearly communicated.
- The opportunity to respond to the gospel presentation is offered.
So here are six essentials for hosting a blockbuster block party:
1. Next month won’t work. Think strategy.
For every successful event, there must be good planning. Put it on the calendar, put it in the budget and start mobilizing your people months in advance. Select the optimum location, keeping in mind that crowd containment makes for better personal impact, in summer the need for some shaded areas are important, and rest rooms… well, you’ve got to have them.
2. Know your peeps. Think community.
Take music, for example. Southern gospel music won’t work in every community any more than salsa works with caviar. Know the people you are reaching. Listen to their radio stations and match up your Christian music with that genre.
3. Go big or go home. Think quality.
Those attending will immediately correlate the quality of the event to your personal love for them and they way you do everything else in church. Do it right. Big doesn’t just mean size, it means quality. Don’t do just enough to get by, go overboard.
4. Throw onions on the grill. Think publicity.
The quality of your publicity components will speak volumes. From flyers to Facebook, communicate just how great this event will be. Hit all the senses. Give great eye-appeal to the people in your neighborhood. Make sure the sound system puts out quality vibes. And take it from me, nothing grabs attention better than good smells. Amazingly, grilled onions and fresh popcorn are premium.
5. Company is coming. Think hospitality.
There are several things to keep in mind for this very important aspect. Those people who don’t have good people skills and look like they just ate a lemon? Let them work behind the scenes. Way behind the scenes. Community ministry can get very messy. It is possible that up to 80% of those who attend do not have a church home, much less a personal relationship with Christ. They are already suspicious of church folks. So every person who comes to this event needs to see the generous love of Jesus in the lives of every church member they encounter.
Don’t be stingy or judgmental. Keep in mind that Jesus said the way we treat those far from Him are the way we are actually treating Him!
6. Call the guy. Think evangelistically.
This is an evangelistic event. Showing people a good time and giving them the opportunity to experience how friendly your church members are is huge, but that doesn’t mean you are being evangelistic. No matter what public figure or entertainer or sports star you have as the “special guest” to speak, you need a harvest evangelist to effectively share the gospel and draw the net. They have a giftedness from God to do what others simply won’t be able to do as effectively.
7. It isn’t over until it’s over. Think intentionality.
The most important team you will enlist is the follow-up team. You have invested lots of resources and hours and commitments from your church family. Make sure you are intentional in not only getting as much personal contact info as possible, but within 36 hours make sure those attending get a personal touch from the people of your church. They accepted your invitation. They came to your event, possibly on your property. Make them know about why your church is there, and that is to make much of Jesus. No matter what they look like or where they come from, these are the fields that are white unto harvest!
You can check out a great website where we unpack more of best practices for evangelistic events by visiting RevivalPrep.com There you will find different videos covering every aspect of hosting an effective evangelistic event.