REACHING THE LOST – STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
By Rob Whitacre
Evangelism is not organic! It will not happen because one person wills it or prays about it alone. Evangelism, as with any successful endeavor, takes good leadership and management. The church of Christ is unique in makeup. No one is drafted into the Lord’s Army. Draftees complain and go AWOL. More is expected of volunteers. Christian Volunteers are made up of people from every walk of life. We must be intentional for the body to work together to achieve the one mission. Here are three areas of focus that we have learned from past success.
First, trust the process. We have created the model from the New Testament. We have made the process from thriving congregations and soul winners. We know it works. We aim to take what works and franchise it like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A. Tweaking and editing before trying it is not a recipe for success. Give it 12 months, and then if the recipe needs a change, go for it. If something else works better, share it!
Second, spark the effort. What gets pushed gets praised, and what gets praised gets pushed. Without a weekly effort to motivate the congregation and spark the effort, it will die. We are seeking to change congregational culture, which will take years of persistence before it becomes natural. Personality is required. Motivation is needed. Excitement is contagious. Whoever stands before the brethren must cheerlead the effort and inspire the members.
Third, unify the congregation. Unity is crucial to success. If a Sanballat is sitting in the pews, we must deal with him/her. Evangelism is too essential to allow selfish Christians to inhibit soul-winning. The body is not made of one member but many, and in this effort, the various parts of the congregation are working together to achieve the mission. At times, the enemy from within is more dangerous than the enemy from without. Satan loves to deceive Christians and keep the church of Christ from reaching the lost.
An eldership or the congregation’s men can choose any faithful man to lead the effort. Some congregations chose an elder, deacon, preacher, or member. Regardless, the person who becomes the administrator of this work should remember these three points. Do what works, light a fire in the pews, and never forget this is a team effort. Learning from those who have been successful will help everyone become successful, too. Ignoring success is a recipe for failure.