If someone brings up an idea around something your church “should be,” but isn’t, doing well, it often feels instantly overwhelming.
For instance, if you’re not connecting with the local schools in any meaningful way, and then when someone says “you need a strong ministry to the local schools,” you literally feel that pressure inside, don’t you?
And, if the case is made well, you’ll feel guilty. After all, it’s something you SHOULD be doing.
Few subjects trigger that feeling more than evangelism. Especially when you’re not it doing well already.
And, let’s be honest, the average church is NOT doing it very well.
The normative Southern Baptist church baptized 3 last year.
Fifty percent of churches baptized two or less.
Seventy-five percent baptize in single digits.
It’s not lookin’ good for the home team.
And what’s worse… this isn’t a game.
Eternal lives are on the line.
If those stats aren’t too far off from what you’re seeing in your church, then you may be feeling the guilt — and the pressure — to raise your evangelism temperature.
Or, better yet, you may be feeling the passion to simply reach more. But you don’t know how to “move this bunch” you lead into action to actually start DOING evangelism.
The easiest way to make evangelism a priority in the church you lead is this: using a pencil and a calendar.
In other words, you’ve got to schedule evangelism.
If you’re the pastor, it won’t happen without you.
You’re the leader. You’re the vision-caster. You’re the example. And you’re the only one who can get evangelism into the life of the church… and that goes back to what you’re scheduling.
Just like you often tell your church: your wallet and your calendar reflect what you worship.
Yep. That is correct.
But it’s the same for a church. The wallet and the calendar reflects the true values of that church.
I don’t know how much influence you have over your budget, pastor, but most of the time, the church is waiting on YOU to tell them “the whats” and “the whens” that show up in the life of the church.
Here are some things you can SCHEDULE that will radically raise the evangelism temperature of your church over the next church year:
- Sermon series.
Calendar a set of Sundays to preach on the Great Commission and reaching the lost in your community. Teach them outright that they are a “sent people,” message-bearers with the Gospel. Show them expositorily from the Text why God left them on this planet after they got saved. Be sure to tie it back to the vision of your local church.
- Prayer evangelism campaign.
On the heels of a sermon series on evangelism is the perfect time to launch a praying-for-the-lost-by-name campaign. The “call to action” at the end of the series would be to ask your folks to write down the names of lost people they’ll be praying for over the next _____ months. NOTHING raises evangelism temperature in a church like getting folks to pray for lost people by name.
- Several evangelistic outreach events.
Schedule events which you can promote as a draw for lost people to attend. Make it appealing so that your folks can get excited to invite others. Use a celebrity, known sportsman or athlete testimony. However, make sure you get a main speaker that is gifted at presenting a clear gospel message with a clear call to respond in some way. These events could be just about anything: a wild game dinner, a Sunday where you schedule something or someone who’ll draw a crowd, a post-football-game series of events for students where someone presents the gospel.
Despite hearsay, evangelistic revivals still work if promoted well. Just don’t call it a “revival,” since lost people can’t relate to that word. Call it a “festival,” a “gathering,” or even a conference. Give it a good “brand” and get the word out. Make sure your preacher is gifted as an evangelist.
- Evangelism training.
Schedule evangelism training on the heels of that sermon series we talked about earlier. Schedule a one-day training or a one-night training during one half of the year and then during the second half of the year, schedule a longer multi-week training (or vice versa, whatever works for you). Only a few may come, or many may come, but scheduling it is half the battle… and sends a message to your church about what you expect around evangelism.
- Lastly, make what was already on your calendar more evangelistic.
After you’ve been intentional about getting some evangelistic efforts on the calendar, take a quick look at what was already there. Those regular events put there by different ministries and perhaps event those traditional events (like a Christmas Eve candlelight service) and think through ways to make them more evangelistic.
Golden opportunities often exist already, we just need to see them through a gospel lens.
The power of the pencil is yours, pastor, to lock in dates in the life of your church where reaching the lost becomes part of the schedule. Help your church “make a date” with the unsaved in your community by wielding the power of a church calendar.
Want more ideas? Get access to our REACH Strategy (Formerly called “6E) which is your in-depth dive into comprehensive, local church evangelism.