I'm thinking about my own church today. I want us to be much more evangelistically oriented, so I'm asking these same questions I list for you today as I evaluate my church:
1. Am I personally evangelistic? If not, I cannot expect my church members to be evangelistic. In fact, I wrote a post years ago about questions church leaders need to ask about their own evangelistic efforts.
2. How would my church members define "evangelism"? We can learn a lot with this question. If our folks define "evangelism" wrongly, they'll also practice it wrongly (or not at all).
3. What percentage of my church members can name at least one non-believer for whom they're praying to be saved? My preference is that they're praying for at least 3-5 people by name, but I'd be happy to start with most members praying for at least one.
4. What percentage of my church members can give a clear, biblically-supported explanation of the gospel? We cannot know this answer without testing our members, but getting the gospel right is too important to simply assume our members know it well.
5. What percentage of my church members know how to share their testimony clearly and concisely? They won't know how to do it unless we train them—and far too many churches offer little or no evangelism training.
6. How many of my church members have ever really shared the gospel with someone? I need to know the answer, but I'm not sure I want to. At least one Thom Rainer study has shown that few members even invite someone to church—much less evangelize them.
7. How many of our current attenders are here because somebody in the church led them to Christ? In the first church I pastored—a smaller, country church in Ohio—most of the people in worship had come to Christ through somebody else in the room. Frankly, I miss those days.
8. When was the last time we baptized a new believer? In my denominational heritage (Southern Baptist), baptism is a picture of one's new commitment to Christ. If it's been months—or even years—since we've baptized someone, it's likely our church is not evangelizing much.
How would your church respond to these questions?
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for theological education strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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