Having been in soul-winning and aggressively evangelistic churches all my life, I have always seen a disconnect between those who seemed to be natural soul-winners and those who are not, or those who thought they could not share their faith with others. Why is it that most Christians believe that they should witness, but they can never get the nerve to do so? We preach on soul-winning and witnessing, we have training classes and seminars on how to share our faith, we even do one-on-one mentoring, and some pastors model it by winning souls themselves. Yet, there still remains a disconnect. Somehow, we need to get everyone in the church involved in personal evangelism. But how?
Two influences started me thinking about how to get the whole church involved in personal evangelism and not just a few bold soul-winners. The first influence was Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” philosophy that is taught in his Financial Peace University. The second influence was a video series by Sunday School advocate Allen Taylor entitled “Sunday School Matters,” which is produced by LifeWay. In the third video of this series, taught by Bob Mayfield and entitled “Souls Matter” (it is worth your time to watch), he gives eight levels of evangelism. I saw them as “baby steps.” We preach and expect our people to become great soul-winners, but it takes “baby steps” to get them there. So, I started the “baby steps” process to get our church people to take their first steps.
We took a good look at the tracts in our tract racks. We bought new tracks and put them in bundles of 20. We handed them out on a Sunday evening, asking people to try them out to see how well they were received. I asked them to help me decide which tracts we should purchase to put in the tract racks. We made 25 bundles, and they were gone the first Sunday. We had to make more bundles for the next two Sunday evenings!
Then, a few months later, on a Sunday evening before testimony time, we began asking these four questions by raise of hands. (Now we do it every Sunday night.)
- Who had the opportunity to hand out a gospel tract this past week?
- Who had the opportunity to personally share the Gospel with someone this past week?
- Who had the opportunity to lead someone to Christ this past week?
- Did anyone have someone saved on the buses, in Sunday School, or Jr. Church?
From time to time we have someone give a testimony of how they shared the Gospel or led someone to Christ.
The results have been amazing! To God be the glory!! We are seeing souls saved almost every week, and not just by our seasoned soul-winners. Now, every week we see more and more of our folks raise their hands saying that they handed out a tract or shared the Gospel with someone.
The truth of the matter is that “What we focus on, we are drawn to,” or, as someone has said, “We become what we celebrate.”