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FIRST-PERSON: Congregational evangelism

FORT MYERS, Fla. (BP)–We’ve been talking over the last several articles of ways that pastors can begin to fire up the church.

Pastor, have you noticed that everybody tries to bring their friends and lost people to you to do the work? What happens is they lose the joy of the commandment of the Great Commission. Depending only on you, they lose the experience of watching the Holy Spirit change a life.

Pastor, why not use what I call congregational evangelism? After your sermon, instead of a classic invitation, simply ask those who are born-again to raise their hands. Then say to them, “Please look around you for those who are not raising their hands. Ask them, ‘May I have permission to share some verses that God used to change my life?'”

I saw this done in a church recently. Thirty percent of the congregation that morning surrendered their hearts to Jesus Christ. There’s more good news: those new believers made a connection with the church members. Suddenly, they were connected with someone who would take them to Sunday School, walk them around the church, answer their questions. Discipleship began.

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Each weekend in that church which used congregational evangelism, they lived with the anticipation of watching and waiting for the pastor to do this. He didn’t do it every Sunday but when he did, the members were ready, Bibles in hand.

With congregational evangelism, you are equipping your people to do the work.
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Bill Fay is an evangelist and author of “Share Jesus without Fear.” To contact him, visit www.sharejesuswithoutfear.com.