We recently moved to a large, new church with an “anti-evangelism” mindset. Unfortunately, my husband didn’t handle it very well when the elders informed him they wouldn’t support Bible prophecy meetings at our church. Many of the members told us, “Evangelism doesn’t work here anymore.” My husband and I are both passionate about sharing the love of Jesus via evangelism meetings and planned great things for our new church! Did we misread God’s will and move to the wrong place? We’re praying daily for God to change the hearts of the congregation, especially the church leaders. Any suggestions as to what we can do while we’re waiting—and frustrated?
On Our Knees
Dear On Our Knees,
Clearly, you’re both disappointed and surprised at the same time. Make no mistake, God has great plans for you and your husband, even if evangelism doesn’t happen in
the way you’re normally accustomed to.
You may need to spend some time listening. Perhaps members are spiritually discouraged themselves and need revival before preaching the Word to their neighbors.
Maybe past evangelism efforts have not included adequate preparation, prayer, or followup. Your church members need your enthusiasm and vision, but you also need
their lifelong understanding of the community they serve.
In the meantime, evangelism can be integrated into everyday church and community life. You may have heard it referred to as friendship evangelism. In fact, this type
of evangelism was demonstrated by Jesus during His earthly ministry. He spent time in people’s homes and even touched the untouchable. Some also refer to this as
“building bridges.” Before you know it, others will notice and want to be included in outreach!
Below are a few ideas to inspire your church members and benefit the community you serve:
1. Bottled-water giveaway at a local community festival or fair with a label attached connecting people to your church.
2. Umbrella escorts in your downtown area on a rainy day.
3. A free children’s clothing pop-up event (“boutiquestyle”) hosted by your church.
4. Walk-through nativity events with refreshments and literature.
5. One-day VBS programs for children who live near your church.
6. Free health clinics.
7. Free car wash with “drive-through” prayer station.
8. Brainstorm more ideas with members!
You may have heard this saying: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And I believe that’s true. When people see your church genuinely caring for them and their needs, they are more likely to be interested in your faith.
Even though Jesus was a wonderful teacher, He loved spending time with people. As He did that, He could easily issue this invitation: “And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So
he arose and followed Him” (Matthew 9:9, NKJV).
God loves people more than anything, and we should too. Pray and enthusiastically share the above ideas and many more with your church, and expect God to bless your