Culture of evangelism: evaluating programs

Lee Stephenson
Kids sitting in church pews at vbs 2018

Converge executive director of Church Planting Lee Stephenson shares eight components needed to create a culture of evangelism in your church in the current issue of Point magazine.

In this eight-part blog series, Stephenson expounds on each of the things he says church leaders must do to create an evangelistic environment.

Part 8

Every church has programs. Some of them are steeped in history and have a place of tradition, while others are new and cutting edge. 

Let me take a moment to encourage you to sit down and think about what your church does and why it does it. Programs have a way of sucking the life out of a church. Specifically, they have a way of sucking the life out of evangelism and discipleship.

We have a knack of dividing discipleship and evangelism into separate strategies, programs and steps in our church. For a church to grow in its evangelistic fervor, it has to move beyond programming and introduce evangelism as being linked to being a disciple. If all we ever do in our church is offer a program (an event) to reach people who are far from Christ, the best we will ever experience is malnourished evangelism.

Oddly enough, it often seems that evangelistic programs do other things better than what they were intended to do. They produce community among participants, open the doors to new places of ministry and encourage people to make a stand for Jesus. These are all great things.

However, they tend to do little when it comes to actual evangelism. We want evangelism to not just make converts, but to make disciples. If you are consistent in linking the two and helping people live out what it means to be a follower of Jesus, evangelism will happen.

We have limited time and resources. If a program exists that lost people aren’t coming to, the gospel isn’t being communicated and next steps aren’t being laid out, cut the program.

Leaders, this is your responsibility. You have to decide what is important and what people give their time to. The size of the mission is too big for us to ignore. Let’s make disciples who change the world. 

Part 1: pray 

Part 2: model in their midst

Part 3: paint a picture

Part 4: help people develop a plan

Part 5: training

Part 6: create consistent reminders

Part 7: connection matters

    Point - September 2018

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