Evangelism God’s Way


     The “Back to the Basics” strategic structure is a biblically based model developed to train Christians to reach lost people with the gospel through ministries of the church. I am writing this paper to offer suggestions to church leaders as well as the laity and in order to encourage them to fulfill the “Great Commission.” This configuration will help create intentionality and make evangelism forethought rather than an afterthought. This is accomplished by incorporating the concept of organizing or developing ministries for the sole purpose of mobilizing Christians to share the gospel with unbelievers. The ministries targeted for discussion which will assist in cultivating a spirit of evangelism within the body of Christ include: prayer, worship, discipleship, fellowship, and outreach. In addition, I will also discuss the possibility of multiplying laity into evangelists who verbally share the gospel everywhere and with everyone they meet. Jonathan Falwell writes in his book Innovate Church “In fact, evangelism is never complete until the person is incarnationally driven to multiply their witness experientially and verbally with the unsaved as a part of a normal daily life. When this occurs genuine disciples are created.”[1]

I believe that as the under-shepherd of the flock—the senior pastor, supported and aided by others in leadership, is primarily responsible for mobilizing individual believers to share the gospel through witnessing. My style has been and will continue to be that of one who promotes the mobilization of the laity to share the gospel. I feel strongly that the more often people are exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more opportunities they are given to be forgiven (of their sins) and be saved. I have been challenged by Darrell W. Robinson in his book titled Total Church Life to apply the five “Steps to Involve Laity” principles to my ministry.  Through the use of scripture I am better able to illuminate or highlight the responsibility of each believer and their evangelistic ministry within the church.  Robinson states, “The laity must realize that witnessing is not an option. Jesus gave no choice. Witnessing is His mandate. Sharing Jesus is every Christian’s job.”[2] My next step is to enlist members of the church for witnessing. Robinson notes, “Laypeople are at different levels of spiritual maturity, but they need to be involved at some level of outreach.”[3] Third, Robinson suggests that I equip Christians to share the gospel. “They must be enlightened, enlisted, equipped, and engaged in witness for our Lord.”[4] Fourth, it is important that the laity be given an opportunity to witness through weekly outreach-visitation ministry. This is a primary adjustment that must be made due to the fact that at my church “event evangelism” is the dominant philosophy.  Lastly, laypersons should receive consistent encouragement and reassurance. According to Robinson, “Continuing and consistent encouragement is essential to keep the fire of personal witnessing burning brightly.”[5] The greatest form of inspiration to other believers is my personal involvement in door-to-door or street witnessing. The apostle Paul writing to a young protégé name Timothy in order to encourage him to be an example and to complete his ministry by evangelizing said this: “But you be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)

Timothy as well as all believers are called and commanded by Jesus Christ to sow the gospel in the hearts of non-believers. The “Parable of the Seed” found in chapter four of the gospel of Mark, divulges the Sovereign role of God in evangelism. “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows—how, he himself does not know.” (Mark 4:26-27) Similarly, the responsibility of believers according to “Basic Church Growth” principles is to pray, plant the gospel seed, and to harvest. If these principles are ignored the church should not expect a harvest of souls. Falwell writes in his book Innovate Church, “In other words, the only way to kill the harvest is to not plow and plant…”[6] It is crucial that I mobilize and train individuals in my church to witness or sow the gospel, because lost people are dying daily without Christ. A similar emphasis must be placed on the organization of a prayer team engaged to plow. In addition to prayer, the “Back to the Basics” model discussed in chapter four instructs that worship, discipleship and fellowship must focus on outreach within the community. Evangelism must be at the center of every ministry within the church.  Robinson writes, “But witnessing is simply sharing Christ in a natural way out of an intimate walk with the Savior. A witness denotes one who can or does tell what he has seen, heard and knows.”[7]

In order to reach these evangelism goals, it is important that I understand the basic church growth principle of plowing, planting and harvesting. Thom S. Rainer notes in his book Surprising Insights From The Unchurched “Reaching the Unchurched world, they said, is hard work. It requires a life of prayer and an evangelistic spirit. It also requires leadership skills, and many of the church leaders shared with us that they found themselves ill-equipped to lead their churches. Leadership is vital, they said, but many were not prepared.”[8] Having served as a church planter, church planter strategist, and evangelism missionary, I have had the opportunity to see or witness the outcome of the previously mentioned principles. The most important of all three church growth principles is plowing.

Falwell writes, “Keep in mind that if the plowing is ignored, the seed may never sink into the soil.”[9] The heart is an analogy referred to in scripture as being the ground and the seed is identified as being the Word of God. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.”(Matthew 13:19) Prayer, supplications, and petitions are made to God the Father on behalf of the lost. The Lord is responsible for softening the heart, so that the Word might penetrate and bring forth fruit. Dave Earley writes in his book Prayer: the timeless Secret Of High-Impact Leaders “I don’t fully understand it, but I know that the more we pray the more God works…On many levels prayer is the determining factor of spiritual leadership.”[10]Therefore, it is essential that I organize not only prayer groups but structure every ministry of church with an evangelistic priority.

Jesus stressed the importance of praying for laborers to enter into the field in order to harvest the crops. “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:3) I can impact my ministry by stressing evangelism not only during prayer service, but also incorporating it into the worship service, fellowships, discipleship, and mobilization training sessions. Songs like “I Surrender All” or “Send Me” can become common place in the worship service, chosen for the sole purpose of stressing evangelism, fellowships can invite speakers who highlight reaching the lost, weekly street witnessing or door-to-door opportunities, and regular or ongoing evangelism training sessions scheduled to mobilize laity. Robinson writes, “This must also be true as the church intentionally includes intercession for the unsaved into their prayer ministries; or discipleship ministries that intentionally seek to create believers who will multiply their witness; or an approach to worship that celebrates redemption and prioritizes evangelism or ministries that are not merely for the redeemed inside the church walls, but are designed with real evangelism as the driving force.”[11]

As born again believers come to faith in Jesus Christ as a result of each ministry having an evangelistic priority, it is critical that they be assimilated into a church ministry. The purpose is to multiply, disciple or mentor new Christians into developing an outreach mindset. Falwell writes, “Ultimately, just as multiplication illuminates from the heart of God, it must also shine brightly through the organisms that make up His church.”[12] The Lord uses the apostle Paul writing to Timothy in his second epistle to communicate the importance of reproduction. Timothy was instructed to take the divine revelation that he received from his mentor, the apostle Paul, and to communicate it to other faithful men within the church. They in turn, will pass on biblical truths to the next generation, insuring generations of godly leaders. By implementing the “Back to the Basics” model, I am assuring that new converts will be taught by mature believers on how to lead people to Christ through the use of their spiritual gifts (intercession, vocal or instrumental, teaching, evangelism, hospitality). My goal is to partner recently born again Christians with individuals who can develop them through the Word and by example. Robinson notes, “What joy Christians discover when they begin to use the gifts God has given for the world of ministry…Lay persons may have as strong a ministry as any preacher…the Christian is on mission in the world to touch people for Jesus Christ”[13]

This impacts my current and future strategy of multiplication and mentoring tremendously. I am currently training and mentoring men to share the gospel, but I never considered the other ministries of the church to be evangelistic outlets. Other than the preaching that occurs on Sunday morning, the ministries of the church have always been viewed (by me) as ministries to help develop and mature believers into Christ-likeness. It never occurred to me, until reading the “Back to the Basic” model, that Jesus’ is setting an example for us to emulate in more ways than one. His sole purpose for coming to earth is to seek and save the lost. Jesus states, “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”(Luke 19:10)  Everything He did, revolved around His mission to reach lost people. I am hoping to encourage church leaders, as Christ did, to follow His example of seeking and saving the lost in each of its ministries. Robinson notes, “One of the greatest challenges in church life is enlisting and involving members in the Lord’s work. Jesus is the champion enlister of all time.”[14]

Jesus, once again, is revealed in scripture as setting an example for believers to imitate. He combines both discipleship and evangelism together. Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) Similarly, David Wheeler (Innovate Church) implies that church leaders must implement a similar model in their church. He notes, “Again, properly understood, evangelism is not a mere compartment of God’s strategy relating to the church, rather it is the engine that drives intentionality and direction of every aspect and outcome of the congregation.”[15] Having served on the mobilization and equipping team at the North American Mission Board, an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, I know first-hand that Mr. Wheeler’s assessment is accurate or creditable. My responsibility with NAMB was to training church leaders and laity to witness in or share the gospel in their communities. Only those who felt called or gifted by God in the area of evangelism participated. Those involved in the music ministry, discipleship groups, fellowship groups, and prayer didn’t see it as their responsibility. Wheeler notes, “Unfortunately this is the usual result when the church is seen as an organization, and evangelism is narrowly defined and not given proper biblical interpretation.”[16]

Robinson’s five steps to evangelism are necessary procedures to help me to enlist the laity at my church. Church leadership is responsible for enlightening the laity. It is important that each member realize their responsibility in fulfilling the Great Commission. Aubrey Malphurs notes in his book A New Kind Of Church “The early churches were very evangelistic, and evangelism was key to the Jerusalem church’s outreach in the Jerusalem community and beyond.”[17]Second, members of the body of Christ should be enlisted to participate in church outreaches and evangelism training sessions. Next, a type or method of evangelism training should be selected in order to properly equip laity for evangelism. Wheeler suggests using Share Jesus Without Fear, Faith, Got Life, The Way of the Master, Evangecube, or God’s Special Plan. Once members are equipped to share the gospel, then opportunities should be provided for them to engage the community. Robinson recommends that Public Proclamation, Caring Ministry, Event Attraction, Geographic Saturation, and Personal Presentation be used to accomplish this task. Constant and continual public recognition or encouragement is suggested in order to keep the moral as well as the enthusiasm. Robinson writes, “People do what we recognize and reward.”[18]

Discipleship and evangelism should succinctly work together according to our reading from Models 4 and 5. Beginning with the mission statement, evangelism is considered the highest priority in every ministry of the church. The mission statement must clearly state that each member of the church be trained within their ministry or area of service to “fish for men.” Everyone contributes or participates in the “Harvest Principles” mentioned in Innovate Church. The heart for the lost is developed through prayer, plus sowing and ultimately equates with the heart of God. Wheeler states, “Properly defined, do not hesitate to reestablish evangelism as both the purpose and priority of your congregation.”[19] In addition, building enthusiasm through involvement, repetition, reporting and sharing, enlisting, and time management is crucial. Church members must not only recognize that they have been commissioned but they must also be equipped and prepared to share the gospel. The next step is to develop a method to share the gospel. This could include general evangelism, servant hood evangelism; feeding and clothing evangelism, and personal evangelism. Once a format is developed then identification of the lost is necessary. Robinson suggests that surveys, visitor follow-up, bus ministries, friendships, and contacts with new converts be used to reach lost people. Robinson notes, “We find lost people behind doors—in the houses and apartments of our community. We must knock on their doors.” [20]

Leadership in our churches who fail to mobilize or disciple laity to evangelize will eventually plateau and experience spiritual stagnation in there congregations. The “Ephesus Tendency” outlined by Robinson in chapter thirteen of his book suggests that self-interest, stagnation, and stress is the cause of this phenomena and the result of turning inward is a gradual decline, dissension, deterioration, defeat, and deadness. Robinson writes, “Every church is moving toward plateau and eventual decline unless it comes to grips with making the necessary adjustments to grow again.”[21] Church leaders as well as the laity can be vitally restored by applying Robinson’s three prerequisites for revival. 1. Extraordinary Praying 2. Unity of Believers 3.Obedience to Christ

A healthy church is characterized by an outward reaching attitude within the church, resulting in the starting of a new church plant. Churches that place strong emphasis on church planting can be labeled as a “Great Commission” churches. Statistics reveal that new church plants reach lost people more effectively than existing churches. Dave Earley (Innovate Church) quotes Ed Stetzer of Global Church Advancement as saying, “New testament Christians acted out these commands as any spiritually healthy, obedient believers would; they planted more New Testament churches…the Great Commission is church planting.”[22] Sadly, studies have shown that the Western world is the only section of the world that is experiencing decline in church attendance. Instead of mobilizing and sacrificing members to start new works, pastors are making excuses. Earley lists four common reasons why more church plants are not started. Many Pastors believe that their church is too small in attendance to begin another work. Next, the myth that only a healthy church is able to start new churches is common among church leadership. Earley writes, “Nothing helps a church get healthy like getting involved on the front lines of fulfilling the Great Commission. He also mentions that fear of failing hinders many leaders from attempting to start a new church as well as not being able to finance it. The key is to develop a multiplication value within both the leadership and laity.”[23]

This impacts my current and future ministry at my current church significantly. Falwell suggests that I cast the vision of multiplication to the church leaders as well as challenge the culture of the church to become evangelistic. My wife and I are considering stepping out on faith and starting a new work on our own. I am in agreement with Baptist Bible Fellowship and its motto in the mid-tenth century, “It is easier to give birth than to raise the dead.”[24] My position ended with the North American Mission Board on the 31st of last year. I’ve continued sharing the gospel daily with lost people and have started an evangelism training class for those interested in learning how to street witness. In order to begin a new church, members must be skilled, as well as comfortable in their ability to share their faith.  This means that the Church Planter must mobilize and train believers to aggressively pursue or reach new people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dave Earley writes in model six, “We are not to be passive cowards who are hunkered down in fear of the world around us. We are to be a militant, aggressive army on the offensive for God, working to rescue captives from hell.”[25]

Having planted a church, I am familiar with many of the obstacles and difficulties associated with church planting. One of the greatest challenges is finding people within the church who will share the good news with the unsaved. Ken and Paula Hemphill write in their book titled, Splash “Those who measure such things indicate that only about 4% of those who claim to have a personal relationship with Christ have ever told anyone about that relationship…we have made it a program to grow the church, and only a small number of brave individuals sign up for evangelism training.”[26]

Splash is written to remind the church to be the “salt of the earth.” Salt can only have an impact if it is shaken from shaker and used to preserve, flavor, and initiate thirst. The authors of Splash emphasize believers showing Christ through their personal lifestyles, attitude, and behavior. Sadly, lost people are turned off by the behavior, lifestyles, and attitudes of professing Christians. According to Ray Comfort in his book titled God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life: The Myth of the Modern message “An October 2003 survey conducted by the Barna Group found that 45 percent of those who profess to be born-again Christians believe that gambling was morally acceptable. According to the survey, 49 percent believed that “living with someone of the opposite sex without being married” was morally okay. Just under half of those questioned (49 percent) were comfortable with “enjoying sexual thoughts or fantasies about someone,” while one third (33 percent) of those professing to be born again thought that it was okay to kill a baby while it is still in the womb.”[27] Charles Spurgeon said, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that” The reason for these statistics is because many people in the church are unsaved, therefore, the concepts mentioned in Splash are difficult to implement.

Splash suggests that believers show the love of Christ to a lost world through good works. According to scripture, Christians are commanded to express the love of God by preaching the gospel. The best way that I can demonstrate love for the lost is to emulate the example given to us by God our Father. The Bible states, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. God’s greatest demonstration of love was to send His Only Begotten Son. Yet, while on earth, Jesus demonstrated His love for mankind through healings, feedings, resurrections, and by giving His life to be the propitiation for our sins. Very few were saved during His years of ministry, even after witnessing His miracles. The best way I can “Show People Love and Share Him” is to point out that they are under judgment (John 3:18), and to share the gospel as instructed by our Lord. Compassion and concern is evident by my willingness to tell them the truth. (John 15:22) Hemphill writes in his book titled Splash “Jesus pointed to her sin to bring liberation and not condemnation.”[28] Biblical evangelism is described by the apostle Luke in the book of Acts, “…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

The church is weighed down with false converts who are responsible for much of the conflict within the church, therefore making revival difficult. How this occurs is described by Jesus in chapter thirteen of the gospel according to Matthew. “But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away…” (Matt 13:25) Satan is identified as the cause of disunity and conflict within the church. Frizzell writes, “Not only do these patterns utterly quench God’s Spirit, they badly damage our witness and power in evangelism.”[29] Satan’s objective is to immobilize the church and to keep it from impacting its community. The best way to deal with conflict within the body of Christ is through prayer and the use of scripture. We are told in the Bible that our weapons of warfare are spiritual, because we are in a spiritual battle or war. Therefore, church leaders are instructed in chapter eighteen of the book of Matthew to confront those who cause conflict with truth. In his book, “Releasing the Revival Flood: A Church-wide Journey to Miraculous Unity and God-Glorifying Fellowship” Frizzell lists twenty-four common conflicts that occur within the church each of which can be resolved by practicing church discipline. The purpose of confronting members in the church is to restore them and if done correctly, then “you have gained your brother.”[30] If he remains impenitent then other leaders as well as the church are to be involved in lovingly perusing the person who is sinning. God has implemented this process not only to expose the problem to everyone in the church but to remove his/her detrimental influence from the fellowship of the church. This individual becomes an evangelistic prospect rather than a brother.

Only when biblical application occurs in the area of evangelism and church discipline is implemented will revival occur in the western church. We are marketing and implementing cheap substitutes for true biblical evangelism (Friendship Evangelism, Servant evangelism, block parties, giveaways, etc.) instead of going into the hedges or highways and compelling the lost to come to Christ. These modern methods of evangelism are producing false converts who are strategically placed within the church (Deacons, Ministers, and Laity) by Satan for the purpose of stirring up conflict and division. This is clearly evident by the immorality, backbiting, slander, hatred, and the like that frequently happens within the church. This type of behavior reflects the nature of an unredeemed person, not the characteristics of a saved man. Sadly, much of this ungodly activity is ignored and often goes unaddressed by church leaders. The result is “a little leaven, leavening the whole lump of dough.” Church leaders as well as the laity who spend time in prayer, God’s Word, and obeying His voice will experience personal, as well as corporate revival in their congregations. Frizzell writes, “Dear saints, we will never understand repentance, revival or loving God until we get our motive and perspective right.”[31] The Bible instructs me to both seek the Lord about everything, so that all current and future decisions regarding my future ministry will be cast upon the Lord. Jesus says“…casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7) As I wait on my next assignment, I first must position myself spiritually and relationally so that God will pour out His spirit on my ministry.

    In conclusion, the “Back to the Basics” strategy of cultivating a mindset of evangelism within the body of Christ applies to every believer sharing the gospel. Ministries are to be intentionally developed with the goal of reaching or focusing on lost people through prayer, worship, discipleship, fellowship, and outreach. Christians are purposely multiplied in order to be empowered, mobilized and trained to fulfill the Great Commission. New converts once reconciled with Christ are also equipped in order to point others to the cross of Calvary through evangelistic encounters. Once the ministries of the church are all focused on sharing the gospel with the lost, the possibility of revival occurring in the congregation greatly increases. Churches who are Great Commission minded are not only considered healthy, but they bring glory to God by becoming reproducing congregations. Falwell notes, “God intends the church to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom so that His kingdom will spread to every people group on the earth. The passion in God’s heart for the expansion of His kingdom is a desire for all nations to glorify God the eternal King.”[32]

















Comfort, Ray God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life (Bellflower: Living Waters, 2010)

Earley, Dave Prayer:The Timeless Secret Of High-Impact Leaders (Chattanooga: AMG, 2008), 9

Falwell, Jonathan Innovate Church (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2008), 130

Ibid., pg. 126

Ibid., pg. 126

Ibid., pg. 131

Ibid., pg. 127

Ibid., pg. 131

Ibid., pg. 158

Ibid., pg. 158

Ibid., pg. 163

Ibid., pg. 159

Frizzell, Gregory R. Releasing The Revival Flood (Oklahoma, OK: Master Design, 2005), 19

Ibid., pg. preface

Malphurs, Aubrey A New Kind of Church (Grand Rapid, MI: Baker Books, 2007), 83

Rainer, Thom S. Surprising Insights From The Unchurched (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 172

Robinson, Darrel W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 175

Ibid., pg. 175

Ibid., pg. 176

Ibid., pg.180

Ibid., pg. 180

Ibid., pg. 129

[1] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 130

[2] Darrel, Robinson W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 175

[3] Ibid., pg. 175

[4] Ibid., pg. 176

[5] Ibid., pg. 180

[6] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 126

[7] Ibid., pg. 130

[8] Thom Rainer, S. Surprising Insights From The Unchurched (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 172

[9] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 126

[10] David Earley Prayer: The timeless Secret Of High-Impact Leaders(Chattanooga, TN: Living Ink Books, 2008), 9

[11] Darrel Robinson W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 180

[12] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 131

[13] Darrel Robinson W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 93

[14] Darrel Robinson W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 99

[15] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 127

[16] Ibid., 126

[17] Aubrey Malphurs A New Kind of Church (Grand Rapid, MI: Baker Books, 2007), 83

[18] Darrel Robinson W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 180

[19] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 131

[20]Darrel Robinson W. Total Church Life (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1973), 158

[21] Ibid.,192

[22] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 158

[23] Ibid., pg. 158

[24] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 156

[25] Ibid., pg. 163

[26] Ken and Paula Hemphill Splash (Travelers Rest, SC: Auxano Press, 2007), ix

[27] Ray Comfort, God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life (Bellflower: Living Waters, 2010), 10

[28] Ken and Paula Hemphill Splash (Travelers Rest, SC: Auxano Press, 2007), 56

[29] Gregory Frizzell R. Releasing The Revival Flood (Oklahoma, OK: Master Design, 2005), 19

[30] Ibid., 8

[31] Gregory Frizzell R. Releasing The Revival Flood (Oklahoma, OK: Master Design, 2005), preface

[32] Jonathan Falwell Innovate Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2008), 159


2 Responses to Evangelism God’s Way

  1. Thank you Barbiere. Please sign up to follow our posts and get our newsletter updates periodically. In addition, our talk radio program which highlights the work of evangelism is aired at http://www.blogtalkradio.com the program is evangelize4life with Steven Glover.

    God Bless,


  2. Barbiere says:

    it’s an awesome post. i like reading it. thanks.http://www.ogloboesporte.org

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