I was saved in 1982, and since then my passion to see people saved has steadily grown. During the 80’s I completed a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, qualified as a trained teacher, and followed this up with a degree in Theology.
Early in the 90’s I turned down a job as a principal of a primary school in obedience to God’s call to dedicate my life to mobilizing young people for short term missions in New Zealand. After doing this is for most of the 90’s, God led me away from working only with young people.For most of the past decade He has given me a passionate desire to motivate and equip the wider body of Christ for evangelism. This meant working closely with pastors and church leaders.
It was about the year 2000 that I discovered, through further study, that evangelism was God’s priority for His Church. (To see how I came to this conclusion, click here). It is not difficult to see this in the book of Acts, and I find it hard to believe that I didn’t discover this truth earlier in my Christian life.
However, all around me today, from theological colleges to individual Christians, in almost every sphere of the Church, I can see evangelism, generally speaking, is not the priority.
Why is this? How could this have happened? Who or what is to blame? What must we do to return to the priority? My book, which took 10 years to write and research, answers these questions and gives solutions.
In it you will learn everything you need to achieve victory with evangelism!
After the writing of this book, and on the basis of it, other resources have been developed. All the resources are designed to help pastors and leaders grow their churches numerically and qualitatively.
“Evangelism Strategies International” (ESI) is therefore a Christian ministry passionate about:
1. Motivating and equipping Christians to re-establish God’s priority for His Church. i.e. to evangelise the world.
2. Growing the Church numerically and qualitatively.
3. Working with pastors and leaders who resonate with the 9 goals listed below.
1. Read my book to become aware of the issues.
Become familiar with the revelations and teachings found in my book. We can’t act on what we don’t know (Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for lack of knowledge”). I believe my book addresses many of the fundamental core issues hindering evangelism in the Western church, and provides some solutions.
2. Reconnect pastors and evangelists in local churches.
Almost every church has an Ephesians 4:11-13 gifted evangelist sitting in the congregation. Leaders of flourishing, growing churches have managed to establish a vibrant working relationship with the evangelists in their midst. Tragically, in many churches today there is an awkward disconnection between these two groups of gifted people. I believe it is God’s plan and ideal for pastors and evangelists in the same local church to work closely together to build the church (Ephesians 4:11-13).
3. Re-ignite powerful, anointed, relevant-to-real-life, Bible based, Holy Spirit empowered preaching and teaching from the pulpit on Sundays.
These churches major on the quality and type of messages they preach from the pulpit. The messages preached in these churches are delivered with passion; they are faithfully and accurately gleaned from the Bible, relevant to real life, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. They are pregnant with application, not just information. Because of this, the Christians in these churches want to bring their non-Christian friends to hear the messages.
4. Re-configure the physical environment of many churches so that non-Christians entering feel comfortable and at home, even uplifted.
Such churches tend to look and feel fresh and inviting, even modern.They get their cues about how their church should look and feel by studying the latest house designs and décor. To bring churches up to spec does not mean spending large amounts of money. In many cases, it means simply redecorating.
5. Synchronise all the ministries of a church to focus on the priority, which is the evangelization of the earth for the glory of God.
The various ministries of these churches are firmly connected to this priority, and with each other. When the worship team, prayer team, children’s church, youth group, seniors group, counseling ministry, teaching department, Alpha ministry, hospitality ministry, food bank, homeless shelter etc all get the vision to work together to evangelise the world, real and significant progress is made. The leaders of flourishing, growing churches are absolutely certain in their minds about what the Biblical priority is, whereas the leaders of static churches are not, or they have a mistaken idea of what it is.
6. Re-ignite an emphasis on making disciples.
They have a strong emphasis on discipleship for three reasons. First, they have clicked onto the fact that strong disciples are the product of strong discipleship programs, and strong disciples have a strong desire to evangelise. And churches whose people have a strong desire to evangelise grow.
Secondly, they have come to realise that strong discipleship programs help close ‘the back door’. It’s like this. If people are ‘saved’ in a church with a weak discipleship program, unless they are part of the committed core, they will soon leave if they are not being spiritually nourished. Flourishing, growing churches recognize that if members of a church, whether old or new, are not fed green grass – life changing, rich, Bible based, relevant-to-life teaching to help them grow and flourish in their Christian lives, they will eventually leave, searching for ‘the grass’.
Thirdly, flourishing, growing churches don’t want to just close the back door. They also want to widen the front. Let me explain. When existing Christians in these churches know there is a dynamic, well organised, powerful, and relevant discipleship program operating in their church, where the leadership of the church take a keen interest in their progress and development, like top schools do with their pupils, this motivates them to participate in evangelism. They think ‘I really want to be involved in evangelism, because I can be assured that if I bring my non-Christian family and friends to church they will truly be looked after through our great discipleship program.’
7. Work on creating an atmosphere of love and acceptance in our churches.
Flourishing, growing churches work hard to establish the right ‘feel’ for non-Christian walking in the doors. They do this by making sure everyone in their church is connected to a small group or an interest group. Being in close relationship with other Christians in the church is extremely important. Existing Christians in these churches are keen to participate in evangelism because they can be assured the non-Christians they bring to church will be loved, welcomed, and celebrated. The leaders of flourishing, growing churches want their members to feel excited/confident/proud about bringing their non-Christian friends and family to church. They work hard on getting the existing Christians in their church to be friendly to ‘outsiders’, and on provided avenues and activities where existing Christians can build meaningful relationships with one another i.e. small groups, lunch in the park etc. However, having said this, I believe that the best way to develop the best relationship with someone is to do God’s mission together.
8. Mobilise and equip the entire church to spread or proclaim the gospel.
They are deliberate in their attempts to mobilize all their people to be active in evangelism. This is by far their most challenging goal.
9. Renew our commitment to strive for excellence in all things at church.
These churches are committed to excellence. In all things – their written and oral communication, their planning and execution of events, the physical environment of their churches, their manner and demeanor, the standard of their music, their preaching, and their hospitality on Sundays etc, they strive for excellence. Excellence includes being gracious, being kind and friendly, and being authentic. It also includes leadership being vulnerable and ‘real’ about their weaknesses and shortcomings before the people.
10. A renewed commitment to social action.
Flourishing, growing churches are committed to interacting with the non-Christian world around them, doing good works and making a practical difference.
You can no doubt think of other goals. Maybe you disagree with me on some or all of the eleven goals listed above? I welcome the opportunity to dialogue with you, as iron sharpens iron so that together we can work towards solutions and breakthroughs for the body of Christ.
If what I have write here resonates with you, I would welcome the opportunity to work with you, as time permits. Of all the eleven goals, I am particularly interested in working with you on (2), (5), (6), and (8). Please contact me.
This is not always strictly true. I have seen some old historic churches attract people simply because they are old and historic, like St Pauls in London!