For a listing of all the previous posts in the Reap the Harvest Series, click on the link to the index below.Reap the Harvest Series Index
Our church has a vision statement that expands each letter of the word, "LIFE". The letter "E" of the "LIFE" vision statement means, "Evangelism through Community Home Groups." Right from the beginning of the small groups/cell groups launch this has been something that has been promoted, evangelism in the home groups.
"Evangelism within the cell groups." This is such an important principle, as evangelism goes, church growth goes. The thing with cell groups is that it is mobilizing the body of Christ to become more then pesters. Or has the potential to do so.
The statement "evangelism through..." is not a statement that performs on its own. It can actually be a barrier for some, as they do not understand what it entails, or should entail. Not saying that I am an expert on evangelism. Sometimes I get the feeling when I hear people talk about evangelism and how to do evangelism that we really understand what evangelism constitutes. Is it just dropping a flier in a mailbox? Is slamming a Bible in someones face down in the market of the city and saying to them that they are headed to hell? Is running from conference to conference each weekend? (Really you could possibly attend a great conference and hear great speakers all weekend 52 weekends a year)
When you take the statement "evangelism through...." out of the equation, or out of "LIFE", you then have groups that are closed groups, and now the group becomes less mobilized, Yes they are providing fellowship and community to each other, but they are lacking so much of what each group could be, what each member can become. Sometimes I think that when it comes to evangelism we start focusing on the end results so much, and think of huge events for evangelism, so we don't do anything.
We become thankful that the church is growing through walk-ins coming through the front door. Hey, we got the back door closed after all. We are thankful for the transfers from other churches. We are thankful for those that left the church and have returned. Slowly one-by-one chairs become occupied. Not saying that is not good, and that we should not be thankful for those people.
Are we really doing our part?
But Reg, we are praying for revival, and people one-by-one are coming in the door. Comiskey makes the statement, "Today it's still all too common for pastors and leaders to relegate the growth rate of their churches to the "will of God." Many believe that if God desires numerical and qualitative growth, He will grant it."
Should we become satisfied? Should we just turn back to the bomb-shelter thinking and hunker down till Jesus comes? Isn't there more for the church?
What does it really mean, evangelism? What should evangelism constitute? How do you evangelize in today's 2005? Is it different then before, say 20-30 years ago? Does evangelism have to be through small groups, cell groups, home groups, whatever you want to call them?
If you have comments, send me an email, post a comment, would love to hear your opinion. I don't think I finished with this principle yet.....then again can you ever be?
/continuing the journey...reg