SBC Life Articles

Evangelism — It’s More Than Numbers

I continue to hear from pastors across our nation about how evangelism outreach accomplishes Kingdom work each and every week. Any church going out into the highways and byways of a community — either to reach new people or to minister to their members — cannot help but grow. But it's not just about the numbers. It's about doing ministry. And those they visit are aware that the church or their Sunday School class cares enough about them to venture out to their home. The community recognizes and appreciates a church that will come to them. You can see this in the testimony of Ray Stonecypher, pastor of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Ardmore, Alabama.

Piney Grove Baptist Church has been impacted by our focus and training in intentional evangelism. Our Sunday School has increased in numbers from 213 to 255 during our first semester of FAITH back in 2006. Our enrollment went up from 373 to 515. Our evangelistic efforts are reflected in our baptisms and other additions we have experienced in the last couple of years.

But evangelism is more than numbers. The vision of our church for reaching the unsaved and the unchurched has greatly multiplied. The area where our 156-year-old church is located is growing rapidly in population, and evangelism training has provided us with the motivation, vision, and means to reach out to those moving into our area.

Every person who has participated in our evangelism training is better prepared, discipled, and trained to be an effective member of the body of Christ. Each participant gains an understanding of the New Testament vision of the church. They take this vision into their Sunday school classes. This is helpful to our total Sunday School ministry because we have many FAITH participants and former participants spread throughout our youth and adult Sunday School organization. Sunday School is the small group organization of our church that does much of the ministry work of the church.

As a pastor, I cannot know everything going on and all the hurts of our people, but the Sunday School is right on top of so many personal happenings in their people's lives. God bless them! Being trained in evangelism and outreach allows them the opportunity to share the Gospel or conduct a "ministry visit" in the homes of those needing encouragement. We are ready for that divine appointment where the Lord leads us. And our teams are blessed and prepared to meet the needs of our community.

I am personally blessed, as a pastor, in many ways. First, intentional evangelism enables me to consistently be involved in knocking on doors and sharing the Gospel. Second, it helps me develop relationships with those who serve on my team. I look forward to the participation of Piney Grove Baptist Church in evangelism outreach for the foreseeable future.

People are so isolated these days — they yearn for fellowship; the church needs to provide that as it leads people to the Lord, and then helps grow and encourage them in the Lord. You cannot do that by sitting in the church and not getting out where they are. This can be the greatest year for your church as you, personally, get involved in training members to win souls and meet needs. God bless each of you!

    About the Author

  • Bobby H. Welch