“How long will it take to complete the Evangelism training?”
This is a question we receive periodically from elders, preachers, and members regarding the HTHSOE congregational model. This is completely understandable. Many of our auditoriums are draped with themed banners that emphasize a particular teaching for the year. Once this is completed, we move on to the next topic. I am certainly not opposed to these themes. Congregations need leadership and direction. We are task oriented and motivated by completion. I would like to propose that evangelism is not an annual theme or a task that you finish; evangelism is a lifelong mission.
When Jesus came, He had one mission; to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He never took His eyes off His objective. No matter the circumstances, His physical condition, or the treatment He received, Jesus remained focused on reaching one soul at a time. Although he reached out to thousands, the masses were not converted.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He provided us the same mission. We must make disciples. When understood properly, it provides a blueprint for sustainable church growth. Jesus was clear in Matthew 7:14-15 and 22:1-14 that it takes a constant effort to seek the many in order to save a few.
In view of this teaching, HTHSOE sets a congregational goal of baptizing the equivalent of ten percent of a church’s membership annually. We understand you cannot baptize the majority, but you can reach one soul at a time. If you follow this simple strategy patiently, you can double your membership in a matter of seven years.
We are not running the 40-yard dash; we are running a lifelong marathon. We are in this for the long-haul. It is a work that will last until the “end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The history of the early church demonstrates this execution (Acts). By focusing on the lost, the church of Christ in the first century took the gospel to the whole world (Colossians 1:23). Training never ceases. The work never ends. We must enter this mission with realistic expectations. We will not convert many, most, or even a lot, but we can convert a “few.” By converting one soul at a time, the church of Christ can grow.
If you need more information on the three booklet study series or the new training/evangelistic video, please contact me at: Rob@housetohouse.com.