Posted by James Hall on
"REVIVAL" BRINGS, DISCIPLING ADDS. The Jerusalem church did not count decisions at Pentecost, they only counted additions who "devoted themselves" to participating in the life of the church - which included continually adding more (Acts 2:41-42,47). Following is a simple cycle of increase patterned after the New Testament church that I call "Everyday Evangelism". Consider it prayerfully. There is no easier or more economical way to mobilize an entire congregation to do one-to-one evangelism and one-to-one discipling of new believers - every day! (Ask Pastor Earl Banning, Braeswood Assembly of God, Houston, Texas.)
Phase One: "Seedtime" - On a designated Sunday morning, distribute to every person present a packet of 100 "God's Adoption Contracts" (or other interesting looking, clear, honest-to-Gospel tract). On four consecutive Sunday mornings, encourage the people to not leave home without tracts in pockets and purses and "day-timers". As they go to work, school, store, recreation, and to visit family and friends, remind them to share with those they meet their little Good News announcements with a smile and a "Here's some good news". (This is THE easiest way to start and continue witnessing. One individual sharing 3-4 tracts a day for 30 days will bring the Gospel person-to-person, face-to-face with 100 persons.) On the next three Sunday mornings after the launching, ask for testimonies (this is essential!) from the people, about how the Holy Spirit has "opened doors for the Word, so they can speak forth (or give out) the mystery of Christ" (Col.4:3). The testimonies do not have to be dramatic. The more mundane they are, the more the timid ones will be encouraged to follow the example. God is a great booking agent, and the people will have testimonies! (In following months, this phase can be made ongoing through S.S. classes, home groups, or ministry groups.)
Phase Two: "Planting" - Have the people write down a spiritual "Hit List" of lost persons the Spirit is impressing on their hearts to concentrate on reaching. Often that will be a person contacted during "Seedtime". Have the church members form Prayer Partnerships, to pray for each other's witness and for the #1 "wanted" person on each others' witness lists. Partners should be in contact at least once per week to encourage each other and exchange witness updates and pray together. Urge all Prayer Partners to purchase a StartUP Studies booklet, and begin to discuss with each other and put into practice the simple training lessons on friendship evangelism. The lesson on discipling should also be discussed thoroughly in preparation for the next phase.
Phase Three: "Harvest" - Have Prayer Partners discuss together the four lessons for new believers. This is preparation for personally discipling a new believer for one month (one regular lesson per week, plus the evangelism/discipling training lessons) in their home or other place convenient to them. While discipling during the week, on Sundays bring them to church, sit with them, and introduced them to pastoral staff, Sunday School teachers, friends, and other appropriate ministry leaders. Look for new doors for evangelism to open during the discipling process, both for new believers and for disciplers. This brings everyone back to Phase One and Two...
Bottom lines: 1) No special outreach events or meetings; weather is not a factor; no advertising costs. 2) 100 Sunday morning attenders with 100 tracts each can witness face- to-face, person-to-person to 10,000 lost persons (low cost, high contact) in a short time. (Do the math!) 3) People will be saved and added through relationships! (Other references available.)