Characteristics of Churches DOING Effective Evangelism:
In effective churches, leaders focus on a growing relationship with Christ. Emphasis is given to sharing our faith with others. Training in evangelism is common place. There is peer support and encouragement in doing evangelism; helping others to come into a personal relationship with Christ. Faith is alive as indicated by statements like, "I'm seeing answers to my prayers" "more sensitive to the Spirit's leading" "life feels better, I feel more significant" "more in touch with God" "interesting coincidences" "it's good to be a 'full time' Christian." These are expressions of what we read in Philemon 6, "I pray that you will be active in sharing your faith so you come to a full understanding of all that we have in Christ." (NIV) They have come to know and experience more fully the difference being a Christian makes in their lives.
Ineffective churches indicate that they are not reaching the unchurched. Secondly, they say they do not have ongoing training in sharing Christ with others. There is no focused emphasis on evangelism, leaders are not nurturing a culture of evangelism. Through the years there's been a drifting away from evangelism by denominations. Seminaries provide very limited training in evangelism. Many pastors struggle with communicating the Gospel in our culture. Evangelism isn't a significant part of preaching and teaching. An increasing number of pastors and leaders have limited training. If they are not excited about evangelism, it's unlikely their congregation will be.
The primary focus for doing evangelism should not be, "So people will join our church." The motive shouldn't be summed up with, "We need more people in our church." Too often our faith slips into thinking first about church; the building, the ministries, the activities, the friendships and doesn't emphasize the faith relationship with God. The "church" part of the Christian life can lead up and build into the personal relationship with Jesus part of faith. But too often the we wait too long to get to it. Both are important. But to focus on the church emphasizes the less crucial. God matters more than church activities. The purpose of evangelism is to help men and women, boys and girls come into relationship with God in Christ. Church supports a relationship with God. A failure to focus on our relationship with God mixes things up letting church slide into God's primary place.
Go to: "Being Bold for Christ"
"Nurturing a Culture of Evangelism"