Every pastor and church leader wants to see their church grow. Beyond ego and money, numbers represent life change. An addiction overcome or a lost sinner calling out to Jesus to be saved; a new follower being baptized. These are all events that center a community on her true mission. Sadly, many churches go years without seeing any type of these events. Here are some simple first steps in equipping your church to be an evangelistic people.
Invite People to Church
A shepherd has tremendous effect in shaping the culture of a church. If you truly have compassion on those in your community and are actively engaging neighbors and strangers, your actions are going to create an environment. I am not saying do programmatic events to show the people how spiritual you are. I am saying be a missionary in your neighborhood. Love your neighbors. 9 out of 10 times, your kindness and sacrifice will not be seen. But your behavior is creating a culture. And when it is seen, the witness will know this is an actual part of your life. So, church leader, do the work of an evangelist!
Share stories of inviting people
I once heard Rick Warren say, “What gets celebrated gets repeated.” If you have the pulpit, there is no greater place to extol the values and vision of the church. You are not merely expositing the text, you are applying it to your context. To quote John Piper, “You are not a commentator, you are a preacher!” Be intentional about celebrating the things you value and have a desire for your church to value. If you are baptizing a new believer, and their story of salvation includes a disciple sharing their faith, then share their story naturally and affectionately.
When these stories become part of a church over time, they begin to sink in. Your people don’t need a method or a packaged response. They simply need to believe that the world is walking to hell on that wide road, and Jesus is offering every person you meet the straight and narrow way that leads to life.
Provide an easy way for people to invite their friends
Offer a business card invitation to your people. This card can have the church logo on one side, and on the back have the day and time in the largest text. Our invite card says in big bold letters, “Sundays at 10a.” All this invite card is doing is giving people the knowledge of when and where to be. Forget Sunday School. Forget midweek. The more information you cram onto a card, the less focused it becomes. You want the recipient to know what he is supposed to care about. In smaller print place a call-to-action—a way the recipient can find out more information if they need it.
These invitation cards are printed in bulk every quarter at our church. I always put five of them in my wallet every Monday, and by the time I get to Sunday, they are all gone. So many conversations end with people asking where we meet and when, I give them this succinct little card and they know where to be. I can leave it at local restaurants with big tips. Our people know these cards are there to be taken and used.
These are some simple ways you can empower your people to invite their friends and neighbors to church. Remember, you can’t fake this. If you don’t love lost sinners, then there are no tricks to hide that. The first thing you need is Jesus-filled compassion. Then you need some Spirit-filled action. These tips are just waterways to direct the flow of this passion.