Monday, 28 May 2018

How Evangelistic Is Your Church?

There are many churches in Scotland which describe themselves as ‘evangelical', but how evangelistic are our evangelical churches? If the church is to grow in the 21st century, it will be through effective evangelistic work carried out by local evangelical churches.  

The website, defines an evangelical church as, any of the classical Protestant churches or their offshoots, but especially, churches that stress the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, personal conversion experiences, Scripture as the sole basis for faith, and active evangelism (the winning of personal commitments to Christ).”

At this crucial juncture in the life of the church in Scotland, it is an opportune moment to ask the question: how much 'active evangelism (the winning of personal commitments to Christ)' actually takes place?  

Further, what are the hallmarks of an effective evangelical church that takes its responsibilities to communicate the Gospel of salvation through faith in Christ to unbelievers in its locality?

The following is a subset of ‘How Good Is Our Church’. It is an attempt to help believers (church leadership teams or more general congregational meetings) start a discussion which might lead to an honest appraisal of the priority given to the evangelism of the locality by their church.   

It relates to the direct impact the church is having on individuals in the local community.  It focuses on evaluating the extent to which the church’s work in communicating the Gospel of Christ (evangelism) is having an impact on unbelievers in the local community. 

Key Themes 

Ø  The priority given to the Gospel and evangelism in the life of the church.

Ø  Vision, effective planning, leadership and evaluation arrangements related to the
    effective practice of evangelism.

Ø  Confident, skilled, committed and active church members who are committed to
    and carry out a variety of forms of evangelism. 

Ø  Productive evangelistic networks and relationships with other churches and

Challenge questions

These questions should be used as evaluative discussion questions leading to an action plan for the local church.
·       To what extent is evangelism and outreach to unbelievers in the community a priority in the day to day life of our church i.e. in preaching/teaching and prayer? Is evangelism viewed and emphasised as a responsibility of every member of our church? Do all church members have a clear understanding of what constitutes the Gospel?

·        Does our church have a written plan or strategy for the perpetual evangelisation of its locality? To what extent are the full resources of our church in terms of money, time, personnel and effort allocated to evangelism? Does our church employ a wide variety of methods for communicating the Gospel to unbelievers in the local community? What evidence does our church have that its evangelism activities are being effective?  Do our church members regularly participate in reviewing the  evangelism strategy? Do our church leaders research, review and regularly update the methods used in our evangelistic efforts? 

·        To what extent does our church make effective use of social media to communicate the Gospel to unbelievers? What impact does our church’s use of social media have on unbelievers in our locality?

·        To what extent does our church leaders i.e. minister, pastor, elders and deacons take the lead in motivating, training, equipping, supporting and leading our church members in their evangelistic work on an ongoing basis? To what extent are all members of our church confident and enthusiastic about sharing their faith with others and do so on a regular basis. To what extent are our church members able to confidently engage with unbelievers in a variety of settings to give a Biblical perspective on the key social and moral issues of the day?

·        What provision does our church make for the support and building up of people who come to faith? How successful is our church in retaining those who have come to faith?

·        What contribution does our church make to networking with other churches and organisations in evangelistic activities?  How effective are these networks?  How involved are the members of our church in these networks?