Evangelism (along with discipleship, and multiplication) does not need to be as complicated as rocket surgery, nor should it be something we are uncomfortable with.
However, often just saying or hearing the word “evangelism” can bring up all kinds of fears or issues.
I think most of the problems or fears begin when we make it harder than it needs to be.
Evangelism that leads to multiplication really can be quite natural and not scary at all.
Believe me, if I can do it, you can too — probably even better than me!
In the early 2000’s, I had the privilege of being part of a multiplication movement that began on the campus of the University of Texas.
Several friends and I had the honor of developing, equipping, and empowering young leaders to be the hands and feet of Jesus by starting “missional communities” in the places they lived, studied, and played.
It was the first “movement” I had personally ever seen in the United States, and there was real measurable transformation.
The University was noticeably different to students and faculty, and the data showed that this saturation approach was impacting all areas of campus life… grades, attendance, addiction, crime, etc.
Since then, campus and church leaders all over the world have picked up the principles and tools and have implemented them with amazing results!
Read more about what God did, and continues to do, through the amazing work of Campus Renewal Ministries.
What if I told you that you do NOT need to be a college student or live on a college campus to do the very same thing?
What if I told you that you could see the very same kind of results in YOUR OWN neighborhood?
What if I told you it was SIMPLE and that you could quickly see REAL RESULTS?
The following 8 principles, when regularly practiced in your own life, will help YOU to see a movement in the places YOU live, work, and play!
1. Pick a people group.
God has given you an “oikos” (your sphere of influence) and has you there for a reason.
The places you live, work, and play are likely the very places He wants to use you to bring light to the darkness.
What is the natural grouping of people where you see the greatest amount of lostness? What is the “unreached people group” you happen to have some influence with?
2. Partner with another believer.
It’s not good to do this alone. Having a friend on this adventure is critical as you can have each other’s back, hold each other accountable, and encourage one another.
Jesus sent out his disciples two by two — you too should find a partner and commit to the mission together. It is also critical for the next principle …
3. Pray and plan.
Get together with your partner and seek God together.
Ask God to reveal His heart for the group and to reveal a plan, a strategy, an insight, a bridge, etc.
Pray for the people in the group, pray for their spiritual needs, pray for breakthrough, pray for open doors.
4. Presence in the community.
You need to spend significant amounts of time in the community you are trying to reach. Because of this, you are likely to face the tension of “being the church versus going to church.” If you don’t wrestle with it at some time, you are probably not spending enough time with them.
Relationships take a lot of time to develop and these people are not projects, they are your friends.
Spending time with them and allowing the “Jesus in you” to rub off on them is the objective.
See, this is not scary… right?
At this point you don’t need more head knowledge, you need to be equipped and empowered to do the work and to gain some “hands-on” experience.
With that in mind, I’ll share the next four principles (yes, they all start with “P”) in October, after you’ve had some time to begin living out these first four.
Go for it!!!
I look forward to hearing the stories of what God is doing in and through you.
Please comment below with your stories.
Obviously this is not the full training.
The Spark Course was developed as a resource for college students, but the 8 principles are the same for believers of all ages.
If you are interested in equipping and empowering a group of folks at your church (to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the places they live, work, and play) feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to help!