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Evangelism: What the Fastest Growing Churches Know

Churches that are growing understand that the power is in the simplicity of the Gospel! “The thing that excites me the most at Cornerstone Chapel is seeing lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit,” says Gary Hamrick, Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia. “I am continually amazed at how the simplicity of the gospel can be life-changing. We have witnessed people coming to Christ, marriages being healed, addicts being delivered and people growing deeper in their knowledge of Scripture and their relationship with Jesus.”

4. For a culture of evangelism, create an environment of humility and authenticity.

According to Senior Pastor Brian Tome, “The 11 friends who started Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, wanted a great environment to meet with friends and explore questions about God without having to pretend they had it all together or wade through a bunch of religious lingo. The 11 turned into thousands of people seeking truth and authentic community. The goal was never size; the goal always was, and continues to be, based upon the ideas of authentic community, honest conversation and exploring the question: Where is God taking us next?”

5. For a culture of evangelism, nurture an environment of grace.

Tome says, “Remember that everyone is broken…It’s calling people into freedom. The New Testament says where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Freedom. Not religion. Not rules. Not bigger numbers. Not cooler services. The church needs to be all about leading people into freedom—freedom from strongholds and religious obligation and freedom to take risks to stumble and fail on the path to becoming the new creatures God intends.”

6. For a culture of evangelism, create an environment of diversity.

“We launched an initiative called ‘Undivided,’ which puts white and nonwhite people together in a learning and discussion process that spans several weeks. The church needs to step into this serious issue in our country and view it as an element of spiritual formation,” says Tome.

7. For a culture of evangelism, have “Catalytic Events.”

Gene Appel tells the story of a fruitful Christmas season. “By the time Christmas hit, we ended up having the largest event in Eastside’s history: 6,200 people attended our Christmas services. We did eight services and had to turn people away at five of them. That was a catalytic turning point for the church. We saw an immediate effect—a burst of energy and attendance. A lot of people came to faith as a result of a follow-up series to our Christmas event…There were new people, new energy and brand-new Christians joining the church. The whole congregation recognized this as the beginning of a new day.”

Need ideas for creative catalytic events for churches of any size? Check out these 12 church outreach ideas.

8. For a culture of evangelism, make evangelism EVERYONE’S job.

“We work hard at developing the kind of culture that is informed and inspired by the Great Commission and Great Commandment. We want to stay close to the heart of God and continue to grow in our relationship with Jesus. There is so much we simply cannot take credit for and would be foolish to do so. People in our community who are not yet convinced should see something tangibly different about us because of Jesus. When this happens consistently, I believe it’s contagious. People are looking for that,” says Aaron Brockett, Lead Pastor at Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Remove every excuse for everyone to evangelize their friends, family, neighbors, and community. Ed Stetzer says about the gift of evangelism) with the ‘gift’ of evangelism. There is no gift of evangelism, but a call for all to evangelize. The church is gifted with evangelists, and their job is to equip all of God’s people to do evangelism.”

The church is at risk of losing its personal evangelism edge. Francis Chan on evangelism said in a ChurchLeaders interview said, “To me, the biggest problem with evangelism, the way we see it in the States, is that it’s gotten too impersonal. People in the church don’t know how to look an unbeliever in the eye and actually love him or her and carry on a conversation with them. Churches are filled with some of the most socially awkward people on the planet, and they go there because people have to be their friend. Otherwise, it’s a sin.” 

9. For a culture of evangelism, use creativity and innovation.

We keep asking ourselves what new things can we try. The entrepreneurial God of the Bible wants us to take risks in reaching new people in new ways,” says Tome.

Seek God for new and interesting ways to reach your community; for example, check out the 94 servant evangelism ideas to do just that.

10. For a culture of evangelism, plan to disciple the converted.

Crossroads Senior Pastor Brian Tome, says that “a few years ago, I asked our staff team to stand if they had come to know Christ through Crossroads. When the majority stood, I realized we were on the right track.

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Christine Yount Jones is Content Director for Outreach Media Group. She has published several books and hundreds of articles about ministry in the last three decades. Before his death in 2003, Michael Yount and Christine had three children. Now, she and her husband, Ray Jones, together have five grown kids.