I’m excited to start some evangelism training this evening (Wednesday’s from 6:15-7:00). I’ve had several indicate they were coming to the training. On Sunday evening I decided to read “The Disciple-Making Pastor” again and was surprised by a statistic in the first chapter. “Gallup poll indicated that of the 22 million churchgoing evangelicals, only 7 percent had taken any evangelistic training and only 2 percent had introduced another person to Jesus Christ.” I hope those numbers are in no way indicative of Burlington Baptist Church. I want us to be a Great Commission, disciple making church. I want to continually encourage us (myself included) to regularly be looking for opportunities for gospel conversations.
I know that when I talk about evangelism, many (maybe most) people fear that they are not adequately trained for evangelism. Now is the time to get some training. If you wait until you feel completely adequate for evangelism, you will never start. Yes, there will always be some fears involved in sharing your faith. Evangelism involves spiritual warfare because the enemy doesn’t want people living in darkness to see the light of Christ. That is why prayer is so important in evangelism (talk about that more on Sunday). I want to encourage you to pray for evangelistic opportunities each morning, look for opportunities throughout the day, and to boldly (and compassionately) speak about the Lord when you have an opportunity.
You have probably heard the Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” I believe that is true. There are multiple evangelism programs and strategies (Evangelism Explosion, FAITH, Share Jesus Without Fear, Romans Road, 3 Circles, etc.) but what I have found to be most effective is creating a culture of evangelism. In other words, we are always looking for opportunities to plant gospel seeds, water gospel seeds, pray for gospel opportunities, and seek to have gospel conversations. Whether we are at a restaurant, a family reunion, ballgame, or a church outreach, we look for opportunities to speak about Jesus and how He has changed our lives.
This week I am working on a sermon about being steadfast in prayer (Ephesians 6:18-20). We need the Lord in every area of our lives. If I am going to grow in purity and holiness, I need the Lord’s help. If I am going to be a godly husband, I need the Lord’s help. If I am going to be faithful in evangelism, I need the Lord to give me both opportunities and courage. If I am going to preach with any power, I need the Spirit’s help. If we are going to have an impact on our community, we must be faithful in prayer. Apart from the Lord, we can do nothing (John 15:5). I would love to invite you to come out on Sunday evening for a time of corporate (churchwide) prayer (6pm). We will meet in the worship center, share our prayer request and desires, and seek the Lord in prayer. I love praying with the church family. I hope you might join us if you are free on Sunday evening. To God be the glory! Bro. Harold