How a six-step evangelism strategy could lead people to their Saviour
Want to improve your evangelism to the local community? A Baptist minister has suggested a six step outreach strategy could help - and has even written an App to capture it
The Revd David Newton, minister of Gildersome Baptist Church in Leeds, says that many churches have great 'first contact' activities which raise the profile of the church in the community.
Many also do lots of 'reaping' activities, where people who have started attending church can make a commitment.
However, in between there can be a big gap, where people do not progress any further - yet some simple adjustments to the church programme can make all the difference, David says.
Using the image of a river, with the church on one side and the community on the other, he believes that the churches need to think in terms of creating stepping stones to help people emotionally cross over.
David, who has helped churches develop their evangelism for many years and seen his congregation at Gildersome grow, says, 'People commit hour upon hour to the life of their church with a desire to share their faith with people in the local community. It can be frustrating if they don't see people joining their church and coming to faith.
'My observation is that much of the work is excellent and valuable in its own right, but with a little strategic planning could become really powerful in bringing people to join their local church and come to know the Saviour.'
After the first contact, which may be through a toddler group or handing out mince pies at a Christmas fair, he suggests the next phase is building friendships. Inviting involvement as a helper would be step three, with a low key event containing a gospel message as step four.
By assigning each outreach activity to one of the steps, it becomes possible for a church to see where people fall by the wayside, David explains.
That allows the church to think about what it can do to help people to the next step. David has published the evangelism strategy in the form of an Android App. He made it after learning how to write one on the Andromo.com website.
'It's fairly simple,' he says, 'and once I'd launched one which made us the first British church to have its own App I wanted to have another go. I've created about a dozen now but the Evangelism Strategy one is my favourite.' So far the App has been downloaded in over 20 countries across the world.
It can be downloaded from Google Play by searching for "Evangelism Strategy"