The most basic, successful principle of church growth is simply encouraging your church members to witness to family, friends and coworkers and invite them to church. Churches who have a good percentage of members practicing personal evangelism on a regular basis grow faster than any other approach. Therefore, any pastor that desires to have a growing church should strive to create a culture of personal witnessing within the church.
There are a number of ways you can encourage this. First, church leadership should be actively involved in the evangelism ministries of the church. Pastors and worship leaders should be able to talk about who they are witnessing to and are teaching home Bible studies with. Evangelism involvement should be a quality you ask of all ministry leaders. Being a Sunday school director or choir leader should not excuse you from being a witness. Bottom line – it is almost impossible to inspire people to do something that you are not willing to do yourself.
Secondly, evangelism should be made a part of every department and ministry. When the Ladies Ministry schedules an outing for the church ladies, emphasis should be placed on inviting an unsaved friend, with gift incentives given to those that bring someone. The Maintenance Department should strive to involve unsaved husbands in helping around the church with lawn maintenance and building repairs. With a little creativity, every department can inject outreach into their calendar regularly.
Thirdly, those who desire to be soul winners should be consistently rewarded and inspired. A program called Constant Contact Consciousness (CCC) has been very successful in doing this. CCC team members make a mental note of how many they witness to and invite in a week. Sunday morning, each team member hands in a slip that notes how many contacts they made that week. The pulpit regularly has the team stand and are recognized for the “362 contacts that the team made that week” (or month). Church members are regularly encouraged, “if you want to win a soul, you need to join the CCC team.”
Finally, the entire church is taught, at least annually, the “art of soul winning.” Various methods and techniques are shared during this training (often taught on Bible study night) that help the average saint to become an active soul winner. One method, called the SHOT principle (Somewhere, Help, Our place, Their place) has seen excellent results. First, invite an unsaved person to go “somewhere” with you – anywhere. Next, ask for their “help” with a project, such as painting an elderly person’s house. Next, invite this person to your house for dinner or cookout. The final step is when you get invited to their home, because you have established a trusted relationship. During this process, whenever the Holy Ghost inspires, take a “shot” at sharing the gospel with them, invite them to church or ask for a home Bible study.
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