This is an excerpt from my latest book: Naked Man Running: 100 IDEAS that work in a small church. More excerpts coming! Get all 100 ideas here.
Catagory: Outreach, Chapter 75: How to motivate your people to share their faith
A church, left to itself, will not naturally gravitate towards being outward focused. A church, left to itself, naturally gravitates towards being inward focused. It’s the job of the pastor not to let the church be left to itself. This can be the hardest job a pastor has. If the pastor values outreach and personal evangelism they will need to pound this value into the hearts and minds of their people.
Here are six steps to motivate your people to share their faith.
Model. The pastor has to model this value. It’s great when the pastor has stories to tell of his or her personal experiences in sharing their faith with others. The problem with this is that parishioners expect the pastor to be sharing their faith (that’s their job), so testimonies like this have less of an effect than we would hope for.
Define. A while ago George Barna did a study and discovered that an alarmingly high percentage of churchgoers were unable to define the ‘Gospel.’ Don’t assume your people know what you mean when you use words like: outreach, evangelism, sharing your faith, etc.
Demystify. I believe we need to help people see how evangelism can happen naturally throughout their week. Often when people think of evangelism they think of an ‘Evangelist,’ or walking up to a complete stranger and telling them about Jesus, or knocking on a stranger’s door. Being ‘light and salt’ should be a lifestyle rather than an event.
Equip. Train your people how to explain the gospel in one to three minutes. Give your people ideas on how to recognize opportunities that present themselves to share their faith. Give them examples of how to initiate a conversation about spiritual things.
Celebrate. As your people begin to step out and share, they will have stories to tell. Give them an opportunity to share these stories on Sunday morning.
Celebrate any opportunity someone had to represent Jesus to someone. Remember the principle: Celebrate what you want to reproduce.
Repeat. This process never ends. You keep doing it and doing it and doing it because a church left to itself naturally gravitates away from, rather than towards, an outward focus.
99 more ideas are waiting for you here.