“So, How do you start an evangelism program?” Mary asked.
We were invited into Mary’s church to conduct a Diagnostic Consultation, one of the most popular and most effective services we do for churches.
Mary was part of the random cross section of members scheduled for a confidential interview with the consultant…me!
Since my primary responsibility, in the role of a consultant, at that point, was to listen, not to teach, I tried to frame my answer in a way that would not move our conversation off track.
“Have you ever had an evangelism effort since you came to this church?” I asked.
Mary said, “Years ago, we had a group of…oh, I don’t know, maybe twelve people who made calls on those who had visited our church.”
“What happened to that program?” I asked.
“I don’t know….” she thought out loud… “I think the people involved just got tired…” she paused. “Actually, we quit having so many visitors to church, it seems. I don’t know. People don’t just visit as often as they did. And…most who do are already Christians. You know, they weren’t satisfied with their present church, or they were new in town.”
Mary is right about the social phenomenon that has changed. People who are not already Christians very rarely “show up” at a worship service. It reflects the level of secularization the church is facing today. A lot has changed:
- Greater secularization.
- Evangelism programs don’t work like they used to.
- The “you all come” concept of inviting people to church doesn’t produce much of a response.
- That means, we actually have to get back to what Jesus called us to do: “Go, make disciples” and, afterward, they come to church.
- So, Christianity, evangelism, witnessing must become a movement—a biblical lifestyle on the move.
Tomorrow, the focus is on movement.