EVANGELIZE Up Close
“How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans10:14).
The two final principles of RENEW—Evangelize and Witness—are closely related. Evangelism is the church’s public presence and its efforts as the body of Christ to reach its community and beyond. Witness refers to the personal presence of the church’s individual members in the community. Paul alludes to both of these when he says, “I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20).
Examples in the Early Church
Philip did evangelism when he “went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip” (Acts 8:5, 6). Today, the cities are still filled with countless souls longing to hear the Word of God. The church is called to reach them through evangelism.
Peter put forth evangelistic efforts when he preached to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem from many different regions (Acts 2). Another example is Peter’s work with Cornelius and his whole household (Acts 10-11). The evangelism of both Philip and Peter prepared the movement for the next phase—church replication.
Every church must develop a public presence through evangelism. This step enables the church to grow strategically in preparation for replication. The early church was first replicated in Antioch. Some there began preaching to the Greeks and “the news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch” (Acts 11:23).
A centralized organizational style allowed the church in Jerusalem to send Barnabas to Antioch. Then Barnabas brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch and “for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people” (Acts 11:25,26). Paul learned church planting fundamentals during his time in Antioch. Then he began his work of expanding the church externally, beyond the border of Judea and Samaria, into all the world.
Every church has a public presence in the community. Whether the church is seen as a blessing or a little-known group with strange beliefs has everything to do with evangelism and outreach. Public meetings enable the community to understand the church and appreciate its contributions. Once we have reflected upon God’s leading, sought the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and nurtured our spiritual growth, we must step out of our church bubble and engage the world in intentional evangelistic efforts.
We cannot force evangelism on our church members. Until we have a congregation of nurtured and empowered disciples that are wholly committed to Christ and His church, evangelism will not be truly successful. Once Spirit-filled disciples are ready and willing to put forth the effort necessary to reach the community, then evangelism can make a real impact.
It’s also vital that we carefully evaluate our evangelism methods to see which ones are the most successful. These are the ones that should be repeated as we continue our ongoing evangelistic efforts.
The purpose of the RENEW evangelism training is to:
- Expand your knowledge of types and methods of public evangelism.
- Learn how to prepare for success in your public meetings.
- Discover how to develop an effective public evangelism strategy for your church.
- Receive online and onsite guidance and support from KYTN Renew staff.