Craig Whitney of ELI Church Planting talks about the role of relational evangelism in planter effectiveness:
“One of the four characteristics the ELI measures [in church planters] is relational evangelism. One of the things we asked in our research was what percentage of those attending a new church were previously un-churched. We discovered that the higher the ISA score in relational evangelism the higher the percentage of un-churched people in a new church – and this relationship was statistically significant.”
If you’re going to be reaching people for Christ, then that becomes part of the DNA of your church. If not, then not. That’s a critical issue of confirming church planters. That’s why I’ve always recommended that planters have their first converts before groups and their first groups before worship services—it embeds the DNA right from the beginning. And relational evangelism is definitely a quality you want embedded right from the beginning.