Listen to your congregation members and the people around you to find the person with the evangelist’s heart
Many times we depend on methods, but God’s methods are often people | by Don Corder
I want to tell you about a church service I attended last year. It was Easter morning. The church was packed. As the pastor was making the weekly announcements, I could hear a young woman sitting behind me talking to a friend or family member of hers. The whole pew was filled with her family and friends. She was telling them about all of the great things that the church did and how involved the church was in the community. I could tell by her conversation that she was proud to call that church her home and she had a passion to bring people to the Church.
That’s the person who has the evangelist’s heart and wants to grow your church.
The pastor asked everyone to turn in their Bibles to John, chapter 11. The young woman grabbed a pew Bible and began searching for the Gospel of John. Her searching began in Genesis. As the pastor was reading from the Word, I could hear her continue to flip through the pages searching for the passage and eventually she gave up and put the Bible back in the pew.
Some people reading this may think it is a tragedy that someone in church didn’t know that the Book of John is in the middle-back of the Bible and that someone has failed this young woman in her discipleship training.
What I saw was the heart of the evangelist promised to the church in Ephesians 4:11. What I saw was a gift, sent by God to help grow that local church.
The evangelist’s heart genuinely wants her church to grow.
In Ephesians 4:11, we read of the fivefold ministry of the church. In this verse, the Bible tells us that some are appointed to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.
Not everyone is appointed to be a pastor and not everyone is appointed to be an evangelist. Apostles go. Prophets exhort. Pastors shepherd. Teachers teach. Evangelists connect. It is through the passion of the evangelist that many undiscipled people hear the gospel and connect with the Body of Christ.
The woman who was sitting behind me certainly had a heart for bringing people to church. She was so proud of everything the church was doing and took the social risk to bring guests. The evangelist(s) on your team needs to be so willing to proselytize that their passion will sometimes rub other people on the team a little raw. If you don’t have someone on your team like this, get one. Perhaps it’s a board member, a volunteer, or a young woman sitting in the pew.
When you find that person, you want them in leadership. This person can serve as the director of evangelism and outreach or, depending on the size of the church, they may be just responsible for the annual chili festival or vacation Bible school. This person needs to be part of the process of communicating with the community and neighborhood around you.
In the vast majority of churches, this person is a creative and relational person. They might not be the best at administration or technology. Even though good administration and technology are important, being passionate about bringing people to church and making an emotional connection is most important for the evangelist. The burning desire to see others find Jesus cannot be outsourced.
Do you want your church to grow?
Action Step: Identify at least one person in your church with an evangelist’s heart and meet with them. Ask them to dream with you on how your church can reach your community and neighborhood. Then together, try and turn one of those dreams into reality.
Learn more about how to grow your church in Connect.