If you are a church leader asking this question, you are not alone. The vast majority of churches are currently not where they would like to be with reaching the unchurched. I’ve consulted with many denominations and churches that are waking up to the steady decline that has been decades in the making. Many churches are closing their doors. Instead of quickly looking at programs to reach more people, it may be time for some internal investigation…
What is your reach?
Evangelism always and only starts with the modeling of the leadership. If they don’t see you doing it, they won’t do it. God calls us– all of us– to be the light of the world. In a world that is often dark, we are to shine the light of God in a way that is visible to other people. Consider your own life and ministry. Meditate on these questions and ask God to help you answer honestly.
- How intentionally am I developing relationships with people outside the church?
- What do I do to reflect God to the world around me?
- In what ways am I continuing to cultivate my heart in compassion for the lost?
- How am I personally serving unbelievers?
- Am I engaging them in spiritual dialogue when I sense openness?
- How well am I personally sharing the gospel of Jesus?
- What promptings are you sensing from the Holy Spirit? What are your next faithful steps?
Expanding your reach
The early church grew so rapidly because Christian leaders eagerly and naturally shared the gospel with the people they knew. Among our natural network of relationships, there exist pre-established communities of love, trust, respect and interests. These natural relationships provide the best and most effective avenues for evangelism.
Being the light of the world starts with you but it can’t end with you. If you make disciples, you are adding to the Kingdom of God. If you make disciples who in turn make disciples who will also make disciples, you are multiplying your impact for the Kingdom of God. Once you’ve renewed your own heart for the lost, it’s time to consider how to help others do the same.
- How are you modeling evangelism and discipleship for those you lead?
- What can you do to foster a heart for the lost in your staff and congregation?
- Are your current discipleship environments, relationships and processes bringing about true transformation? If not, what changes need to be made?
The Discipleship Difference– Discipleship can begin before a person comes to know Christ. The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship. It is simple in structure and flexible enough to meet each person wherever they are and help them take their next best step in their relationship with God.
The Discipleship Cycle— How can we make and grow disciples—all the way from the harvest fields to full maturity in Jesus? This six-stage discipleship cycle begins at the top with focusing your vision. It then guides you through the essential steps of implementing discipleship in your community… all as you journey together in the footsteps of Jesus, following wherever he is leading. Download The Discipleship Cycle today for FREE!
Fuller DMin: Leading for Healthy Growth
This Doctor of Ministry cohort at Fuller Seminary is focused on a vision for healthy growth. It has been designed for pastors who are leading existing churches and for planters who are starting new churches.
Especially during these challenging times, it’s important that we zero in on the essentials. The program focuses on missional discipleship, transformational leadership, and fruitful ministry.
Together, these components create a simple ministry flow that results in healthy ministry growth, flourishing churches, and communities reached with the gospel. We’ve put together a cohort that helps you live into each of these areas in turn.
The deadline to join the first cohort is October 1, 2021! Click here to learn more and sign up.