The Missionary Heart of the Congregation Evangelism and Assimilation The Evangelism Pyramid There are three distinct types of congregational evangelism Different methods are applicable to these different types Evangelism Pyramid Persuasion Proclamation Presence The Evangelism Pyramid We won’t talk much about “Presence Evangelism” Brainstorm different things you can do to raise your congregation’s visibility in its community We’re going to focus on Proclamation and then Persuasion (Assimilation) The Problem of “Proclamation” What words and images come to mind when you hear the word “evangelist” or “evangelism”? What words and images come to mind in the minds of the unchurched when they hear the words “evangelist” or evangelism? The Problem of “Proclamation” Proclamation Evangelism should be… 1. Authentic 2. Natural 3. Personal 4. Verbal And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Rom. 10:14) The Problem of “Proclamation” 5. Process Oriented 6. Team Oriented 7. Service oriented (Puts others first) Benefits of Proclamation Being Proclaimers brings great benefits Adventure Purpose Fulfillment Benefits of Proclamation Spiritual Growth Need for Scripture Better prayer life Personal purity Better church attendance Doing God’s Work Being Yourself Six Styles of Proclamation Evangelism Based on Bill Hybels, et. al. “Becoming a Contagious Christian” ß Six Styles of Proclamation We are not all the same God likes it that way! 1 Cor 12 Ephesians 4 Six Styles of Proclamation At least six different evangelism styles are found in Scripture. Most people find they fit into one (or a combination of) these six styles. Six Styles of Proclamation Confrontational Style Key Verse: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2 Biblical Example: Peter, Acts 2 Six Styles of Proclamation Characteristics Confident Assertive Direct Six Styles of Proclamation Contemporary Example Billy Graham Caution Be sure to use tact when confronting people with the truth. We don’t want to unnecessarily offend anyone! Six Styles of Proclamation Intellectual Key Verse: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5 Biblical Example: Paul, Acts 17 Six Styles of Proclamation Characteristics Inquisitive Analytical Logical Six Styles of Proclamation Contemporary Examples Lee Stroebel Paul Maier Caution Don’t substitute giving answers for giving the Gospel. Be careful of being drawn into an argument. Six Styles of Proclamation Testimonial Key Verse: We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3 Biblical Example: Blind Man, John 9 Six Styles of Proclamation Characteristics Clear communication Good story-teller Good listener Vulnerable about life's ups and downs Six Styles of Proclamation Contemporary Example Corrie ten Boom Caution Beware of talking about yourself but not relating your experience to the other person’s life. Listen to the other person and then connect your story to theirs. Six Styles of Proclamation Interpersonal Key Verse: To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 1 Cor. 9:22 Biblical Example Matthew, Luke 5:29 Six Styles of Proclamation Invitational Key Verse: "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.’” Luke 14:23 Biblical Example: Woman at the well, John 4 Six Styles of Proclamation Contemporary Example Me Caution Avoid valuing friendship over truth telling. Don’t forget the goal: bring people to Christ Six Styles of Proclamation George Barna: 25% of unchurched adults would attend a church service if a friend took the time to invite them. Mosteffective way to get someone to join a specific church. Over 75% of people surveyed said they joined a specific church because someone invited them. Six Styles of Proclamation Characteristics Hospitable Relational Persuasive Six Styles of Proclamation Contemporary Example Friendship Sunday Caution Don’t let someone else do the talking for you. Share your own story! Don’t be upset if someone refuses you. Help develop outreach events. Six Styles of Proclamation Serving Key Verse: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 Biblical Example: Dorcas, Acts 9 Not serving instead of evangelism, but evangelism through service! Six Styles of Proclamation Characteristics Other-centered Humble Patient Six Styles of Proclamation Contemporary Examples Mother Teresa Caution Words are no substitute for actions; Actions are no substitute for words. We need to verbally point to Jesus. Be careful not to be overwhelmed with the needs of others. What Do We Proclaim? God God is loving. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16b) God God is holy (absolutely pure). But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Peter 1:15-16) God God is just (a good and honest judge). God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you. (2 Thess 1:6) Us We were created good, but we have all fallen short. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) Us We deserve death—both physical and spiritual For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23 Us We are spiritually helpless. All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6 Christ Christ is God, who also became human. Inthe beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 14 Christ Christ died as our substitute. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24 Christ Christ gives forgiveness as a gift. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ or Lord. Rom. 6:23 Us (Again) We must believe. ForGod so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 Yetto all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— John 1:12 Us (Again) Faith is a gift. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 Us (Again) When we believe, Christ changes us. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 Other Models Theology of Glory vs. the Theology of the Cross “Do vs. Done” Joyous Exchange Bounced Check The Bridge Other Models The Roman Road Romans 3:23 Romans 6:23 Romans 10:13 Persuasion Evangelism We got some new members ––now what? Assimilation This is a huge issue. The LCMS is declining Not just because no new members are being brought in the front door Butbecause we are losing more out the back door Assimilation People are assimilated into a local congregation as they Grow in the knowledge of the faith Learn the language of the faith Learn the structure and practices of the congregation Take ownership in the congregation Give of themselves to the congregation Assimilation Characteristics of an assimilated member Regular in worship Regular in communion attendance Regular in Bible study Regular in giving Process of Assimilation How do we make a non-member into a member? Process of Assimilation The process begins with the very first time someone walks into your church Process of Assimilation Do you call them visitors or guests? I’m not sure what a “visitor” is or what you do with one. Other than church, where do you hear the term “visitor”? Process of Assimilation But we all understand the word “guest” Guests are invited Guests are expected Guestsare people that we want to make comfortable and welcome Guests are people we want to see return Process of Assimilation Encourage people to be aware of guests in worship and to greet them Use the “two-minute” rule Use neutral statements “I don’t think I know you.” “I don’t remember meeting you before.” Ask guests to join you for Bible class or fellowship hour Process of Assimilation Don’t wait for people to come inside your building to welcome them Put people outside the building in good weather Especially the pastor! Process of Assimilation Few other things Don’tput guests on display (e.g. having them stand before or after service) Make the service folder user friendly Idea: ask someone (preferably non-churched) to come in and review your service Process of Assimilation Follow up Follow up with note from the pastor or other member Ifthe person returns then it’s the best time for a visit from the congregation Can be pastor or lay visit Process of Assimilation New Members Class New Members Classes are important for every member New Christian Transfer Even established members Process of Assimilation Goals of a new members class Review (or teach) the basics of the Christian faith Learn about the congregation and the pastor Build relationships between established members and new members Good to ask established members and leaders to take part in the class Help new members find their niche in the congregation Process of Assimilation Sponsor families From the earliest times, new members in churches have had sponsors In Baptism, we call them “sponsors” or “godparents” important for new members to be assigned It’s sponsors in the congregation The success of the sponsor program lies directly on the sponsors themselves Process of Assimilation Sponsors need to be Active in the congregation (worship and Bible class) Well-known to several members Willing to mentor the new members into the congregation If some came to the church via a friend, that person would be the ideal sponsor Otherwise look for some affinity: interests, age, children, etc. Process of Assimilation Sponsors Invite To worship To Bible Classes To small groups To fellowship functions Process of Assimilation Sponsors Pray For the people the sponsor For others to come to know Christ For the health of the church Process of Assimilation Sponsors Model Christian growth Generous giving Sacrificial service Process of Assimilation Service in the church One of the most important dynamics is the person’s relationship with the pastor Know people’s talents, abilities, likes and dislikes If you do a time and talent, use the information! Reward people for their service (e.g. thank you cards, appreciation gift, etc.) Process of Assimilation Keep your church positive Don’t overburden people Keep time commitments Ask people personally to help Don’t just put in a bulletin announcement Process of Assimilation Group life Important to involve new members in some sort of group Spiritual growth Relationship growth Leadership growth Congregational growth The larger the church, the more need for more groups Process of Assimilation Groups can be: Support groups Bible Study groups Service groups Choirs and entertainment groups Process of Assimilation Leadership groups Recreation groups Gender groups There tend to be more groups for women than for men Process of Assimilation Need to start new groups instead of encouraging people to join old ones Determine the target group Discover their needs Select and train leaders Build the group around one—and only one!—group or issue It’s OK if a group fails—just try!
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