Week 7: Different types of Evangelism

Evangelistic tools: tracts, evangelism cards,
Outreaches, Mission Work, Street Evangelism, Servant Evangelism
Friendship Evangelism, Internet Evangelism
Utilizing the programs of the local church body
Your sphere of influence – home, workplace, shopping, etc.

Memory verse: Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

There are many different kinds of evangelism. You’ll probably find yourself involved with different types and using different evangelistic tools as you walk with the Lord and He directs your path throughout your lifetime.

Evangelistic Tools

For the purpose of this class I’m defining evangelistic tools as things that we give or show people, or things we wear, in order to have them interact with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You’ve probably seen things that I haven’t seen, and by the time you read this I’ll have probably encountered some new type of evangelistic tool that I wish I would have shared in this section. God has given people great creativity and we, as Believers, love to use our creativity to share the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Some of the evangelistic tools I have seen so far in my own walk with the Lord include: Tracts, Small crosses, Pennies, business cards, bracelets, necklaces, t-shirts, caps, tennis shoes, chewing gum, mints, bumper stickers, billboards, music, movies, videos, books, web-sites, etc.

Be open to the Lord directing you to utilize different evangelism tools in your own witness for Christ. They can be very powerful and effective to help you win souls into the Kingdom. A visit to a local Christian book store or some time spent “surfing” the internet will uncover many tools that you could use to witness to people.

Outreaches

In the book of Mark Jesus says:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15 ).

In other words, Jesus is commanding us to reach out and tell people about Him. We’re supposed to step outside our comfort zones, reaching outside of the walls of our homes and local churches. This is the purpose for outreaches. Outreaches are events where we, as Christians, work together and share the love of God with the community in different ways. Through outreaches we share the love of God with people, which is the second most important commandment given to us by God.

““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-39)

The full name of our church is “His Light On The Hill Outreach” and we do live up to our name by having various outreaches to our local communities.

O.R.O.(Operation Reach Out) is an evangelism outreach program we’ve set up where we go out into the community to share the love of Jesus with people. We bring food, clothes, games, prizes, music & puppet shows to the people in hopes of seeing souls saved and building bridges between un-churched people and the church. Outreaches are always aimed at people coming to know and experience the love that God has for them, so that they’ll be drawn into a personal relationship with Him themselves. Other types of outreaches within our church include food banks, thrift stores, the Harvest Festival, the Thanksgiving feeding, and the toy team, among others.

As a disciple of Jesus Christ every believer should be involved in some type of outreach to the lost. We show our love of our Savior, by our obedience to His commandments. By taking part in outreaches with joy and a willingness to serve the Lord we have the delight of not only doing what the Lord commanded us, but we have the blessing of ministering directly to God, Himself.

In the book of Matthew the Lord tells us that when we reach out to our world we are touching Him. What a glorious reason to participate in outreaches with joy.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, saying ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (Matthew 25: 42-45)

 

Mission Work

 

Definition:

 

\ Mis" sion\, n. [ L. missio, fr. mittere, missum, to send:

cf. F. mission. See { Missile}.]

1. The act of sending, or the state of being sent; a being

sent or delegated by authority, with certain powers for

transacting business; commission.

 

2. That with which a messenger or agent is charged; an

errand; business or duty on which one is sent; a

commission.

 

3. Persons sent; any number of persons appointed to perform any service; a delegation; an embassy.

 

4. An association or organization of missionaries; a station or residence of missionaries.

 

5. An organization for worship and work, dependent on one or more churches.

 

 

There are numerous ministries around the world whose mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with unsaved people. These ministries are always looking for people to serve with them. Usually when we think of mission work we think of missionaries who travel to India , Africa or some other far off country. While this is true, the bible says that each one of us, as believers in Christ, are appointed to “mission work.”

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:20)

The Mission Field covers the entire earth. Everywhere there are people who need to hear about Jesus and experience the love of Christ. God has chosen to use us, His disciples, as His hands and feet. It’s an awesome privilege to take part in mission work. In fact, though mission work is difficult, at the same time vastly rewarding. It is work not for the faint hearted, however we don’t have to be afraid of the calling God has placed on our lives because God has promised to help us.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

One of the biggest resources available to missionaries (people involved in mission work) are the prayers of the body of Christ on their behalf. I want to encourage you to not only pray for the mission work that God has for you in your life now, but to adopt a mission organization and pray for them. I can tell you from experience, I know that missionaries can feel your prayers. In times when discouragement and sometimes even life threatening situations face them it’s the prayers of God’s people on their behalf that gives them the strength to keep going and the provision and protection that they so desperately need on the “frontlines.”

As I’ve already alluded to, each one of us has mission work that God has ordained us to be part of. As a mother, father, son or daughter (in other words – all of us) your mission field is your family. As a church member, your mission field includes the outreaches your church is involved with and your brothers and sisters in Christ. As a disciple of Jesus Christ your mission is to the world that you function in, your school, your workplace, your community.

God has divine appointments for us to do his work in very surprising places. I’ve been used by God to lead people to Himself in many different kinds of places. Probably the most unusual place has been in the bathroom of a restaurant…who would ever think?! We never know what God is “up to” and we need to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit as we go about our daily lives. God is with us everywhere we go because He lives inside of us. Be open to the mission that He might send you on tomorrow when you leave your house.

As you can see, mission work has many different dimensions and different levels. None, however is more important than the other. They all require prayer, God’s assistance, anointing and strength and they’re all vastly rewarding.

As I’ve already said, evangelistic tools take many shapes and forms and so does evangelism. Here are a few different types of evangelism:

Street Evangelism

Street evangelism is used to raise awareness among the public and give an opportunity to those who perhaps don’t know any Christians personally to take another look at the claims of Christianity.

Different methods and tools can be used to communicate the Gospel of Christ out on the streets, including tracts, pennies, evangelism cards (invitations to church), mime, drama, music, dance, conversations, etc..

All it really takes are 2 or more people who have hearts for the lost and will prayerfully go out into their city and look for opportunities to talk with people about Jesus.

God brings amazing opportunities in our paths to witness and share His love with people when we step out into street evangelism. I won’t lie to you though, it’s not always a bed of roses. Street evangelism does come with insults and rejection, but as followers of Christ that’s part of our calling. We must always remember that it’s not us who’s being rejected, it’s Jesus.

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)

“Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.” (Matt. 5:11)

If God is putting street evangelism on your heart I’ll tell you from first hand experience that it’s extremely rewarding and fun. Just be certain that you go out with a group and with prayer covering. You’ll see God do amazing things right before your eyes!

“How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” ( Rom. 10:14-15)

Servant Evangelism

Servant evangelism is a simple, straightforward approach to sharing God’s love in simple, practical ways. It’s a way to reach our neighbors, neighborhoods and cities by serving others with no strings attached. It’s the offer of an act of kindness to people. With a smile, we can offer people free services, as bringers of God’s kingdom into their lives.

“…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23 )

This giving centered form of evangelism offers a safe place for ambitious people to expend their energy. It also provides an open door for the miraculous, if God moves. It’s something families can do together and it’s easily picked up by new Christians. It’s allows shy people to launch into effective evangelism and is a simple way to reach people with the love of Jesus Christ.

One of the immediate results of applying Servant Evangelism is that non-Christians will begin to open their hearts to God’s love. Also the church will become oriented toward action . When we ask the question “Why does the church exist?" what answer pops into your head? We certainly exist to worship God and to grow in wholeness and Christlikeness, but Jesus made it clear that we must also give of ourselves if we hope to keep growing. The Great Commission links God's special presence to the action of the church going into the world.

"Go therefore and make disciples... and lo, I am with you always…" (Matt. 28:19-20).

God is with us in an immediate sense as we carry His life into the world.

A long term result of doing servant evangelism is that the church would be redefined to the surrounding community. The church has taken a lot of blows over the last few years, especially in the wake of scandals involving sex and money. The world has falsely pictured the entire church as beggars always on the verge of going out of business. We've also been pegged as hucksters always looking to get something for nothing. The third picture the watching world has of the church is that of a monastery whose residents have only one message, "Come in and join us." The world isn't looking to be part of a failing cause, and they want nothing to do with fast-talking, slick approaches.

By doing humble acts of service in the community, we could restate our identity. Instead of separatists who are constantly judging the world, we must extend forgiveness, acceptance, and love from God. New definitions are slow to catch on, but hard work would get their attention. We would become viable in the eyes of the world as we got beyond ourselves and served our way into their hearts. In an age when the church has been judged by the world as being irrelevant and out of touch with people's very real needs and pains, servant evangelism can be a method to prove ourselves worthy of trust.

Here are a few Servant Evangelism ideas:

Public Places

Soft Drink Giveaways; Newspapers; Windshield Washing; Coffee Giveaways;Restroom Cleaning;
Grocery Bag Loading Assistance;Bag Packing at Self-Serve Grocers;Grocery Cart Returns;Quarters Attached to Cards for Phone Calls or Parking Meters;Donut Giveaway during Morning Traffic;Cookies;
Bottled Water Giveaway;Freshen-up Packs - (mints & moist towelettes)

Sporting Events

Coffee Giveaways;Soft Drink Giveaways;Popcorn;Popsicles;Windshield Washing;Peanuts;Sunglasses (cheap ones!);Hand Cleaning Towelettes; Freshen-up packs - (mints & moist towelettes);Trash Pick Up; Bottled Water Giveaway; Glow in the Dark Necklace Giveaway

Downtown

Windshield Washing; Soft Drinks for Shoppers;Parking Meter Feeding;Umbrella Escorts;Business Window Washing;Toilet Cleaning; Cart Token for Shopping Carts; Soft Drink Giveaway to Employees; Cookies; Cappuccino; Polaroid Photos at Carriage Rides; Shoe Shines; Hand Cleaning Towelettes; Stamps in Front of Post Office

Parks

Hot Dog Grilling; Helium Balloons for Kids;Polaroid Family Photos; Picnic; Ice Cream Coupons; Gatorade at Biking Trails; Pictionary in the Park; Flower Seed Packets; Face Painting; Doggie Dirt Cleanup;Doggie Wash; Golf Balls; Golf Tees; Golf Ball Cleaning; Pump-up Spray Water Bottles; Bottled Water Giveaway

Automobiles

Car Wash; Windshield Washing; Check Oil and Fill; Single Mom's Oil Change;Washer Fluid Fill; Tire Pressure Check; Interior Vacuuming; Interior Window Cleaning; Bulb Replacement; Car Drying at Car Washes; Windshield Washing at Self-Serve Gas Stations; Buy Down Gas to Bargain Price; Hand Cleaning Towelettes at Gas Pumps

House to House

Sunday Morning Paper and Coffee Giveaways; Leaf Raking; Lawn Mowing; Grass Edging
Screen Cleaning; Rain Gutter Cleaning; Garbage Can Return from the Curb; Food Delivery to Shut -Ins
Kitchen Cleanup; General Yard Cleanup; Door to Door Carnation Giveaway; Tulip Bulbs; Potted Plant Giveaways; Flower Seed Packet Giveaways; Sidewalk Sweeping; Windshield Washing; Window Washing; Minor House Repairs; General Interior Cleaning; Community Dinner; Doggie Yard Cleanup; Weed Spraying; Tree Limb Trimming; Light Bulb Replacement; Dog Washing; Garage Cleaning Shopping Assistance for Shut-ins; Poinsettias at Christmas; Picnics at Independence Day; Easter Baskets

Miscellaneous

Birthday Party Organizing;Pay Library Fines; Suntan Lotion; Summer Survival Kit; "Biggie Size" Food Orders in Fast Food Drive Thru Lanes; Blood Pressure Screening; Mother's Day Carnation Giveaways; Car Drying at Self-Serve Car Washes; Grocery Store Bag Packing; Free Bird Feeders and Refills to Convalescent Home Residents; Christmas Tree Collection; Christmas Tree Giveaways; Bait at Local Fishing Spots; Coffee at Bus or Subway Stops; Pay Laundromat Washer and Dryer; Memorial Service for Unchurched; Carnations to Cemetery Visitors; Easter Baskets; Pizza on Moving Day at Apartments; Move In Welcoming Party; Lawn Mower Tune-up; Time Change Reminder Flyer; Cocoons on Good Friday;
Church Match Books; Scotch Tape at Christmas

As you can see the possibilities for servant evangelism ideas are limitless.


Friendship Evangelism

 

Definition:

 

\ Friend\ ( fr[ e^] nd),

 

1. One who entertains for another such sentiments of esteem,

respect, and affection that he seeks his safety and

welfare; a wellwisher; an intimate associate; sometimes,

an attendant.

 

In today’s fragmented society, effective evangelism is based on relationships. Friendship evangelism should be the lifestyle of all believers, not just a job for pastors and vocational missionaries. We are all called to be faithful witnesses. Our response is a matter of obedience.

A friendship is an effective springboard for sharing the gospel.  People are often more open to the gospel when you approach them as a caring friend.

As we can see from the definition of a friend, friendship involves relationship. Relationship is cultivated through communication. A good communicator is someone who spends more time listening than talking.  Showing a person that you are interested in him will open his heart more than polished oratorical skills.

Poll a cross section of people about how they came to faith and participation in the church and approximately 90% will say "I was invited or brought by a relative, friend or neighbor." Friends invite friends to Jesus.

Today we live in the midst of a large spiritually yearning public. The mission field is no longer just overseas. It is in our neighborhoods and schools, our workplaces and homes. The hurts and hopes of a stress-filled, fast paced life contribute to a hunger for answers and meaning. Our congregations can be communities of hope and healing in a hurting and need-filled world.

Friendship evangelism is effective witness. It happens over time and is grounded in relationships and context. While some people experience dramatic conversion, most people come to faith and a relationship with Christ and the church over a period of time. During that time, the most effective witness happens through experiences of authentic and caring friends who invite and model discipleship. In this kind of "process evangelism", invited friends discover the reality and love of God through the genuine relationships modeled by God's people.

 

Internet Evangelism

The Web is no longer just a Western toy. It has become a medium for outreach to unreached people around the world, including the 10-40 Window. There is a big need to create evangelistic sites to target these people in an effective and contextualized way, in both English and other languages. This is an opportunity for both evangelistic agencies and individuals, including returned or retired missionaries who can maintain an outreach to their field of service.

God has given us the internet to use as a highly-effective means of evangelism. Yet to a very large extent, it is only being used by Christian missions for the perfectly valid uses of publicizing their work to the wider Christian world, or communicating with and equipping missionaries on the field.

Indeed, the Church as a whole has been slow to use this new opportunity. The vast majority of Christian websites are designed to resource and inform Christian readers, rather than help non-Christians.

The potential of the Web extends way beyond the rich West these days: a projected 100 million people in China will be online within a year. Even sub-Saharan Africa is being wired up with Internet Cafes, and many small-town African teenagers are using them. The Internet is a key to sensitive evangelism in the Middle East , as well as being a lifeline to disciple isolated converts anywhere. There are a wide range of countries where online outreach could be vital.

Yet only a tiny handful of mission agencies are actually using this tool for evangelism. This is sad because who else is better equipped to understand the culture and language of other countries, and have the time and resources to produce evangelistic websites? I know of no website effectively targeting Hindus in India . There is nothing for Sikhs and Buddhists; none for Parsees, Falun Gong or Bahai; only a few sites effectively communicating with Muslims and Jews.

Internet ministry is not just for technical people! Simple websites are not so very hard to make. And anyone can make a virtual visit to another country to witness in a chat room. One man speaks of 'witnessing in Kuala Lumpur every Saturday night' - by chat room.

 

Online Language Populations

 

How Many Online?

The art of estimating how many are online throughout the world is an inexact one at best. Surveys abound, using all sorts of measurement parameters. However, from observing many of the published surveys over the last two years, here is an "educated guess" as to how many are online worldwide as of September 2002. And the number is 605.60 million.

World Total

605.60 million

Africa

6.31 million

Asia/Pacific

187.24 million

Europe

190.91 million

Middle East

5.12 million

Canada & USA

182.67 million

Latin America

33.35 million

  Strategy to reach millions

"If you want to make an evangelistic page, don't write about the Gospel."

Are you serious?

But what are most people searching for online? The things that interest them!

Writing yet another presentation of the way of salvation is not going to reach any of them, unless we "fish on the other side of the boat", by using . . .

The Bridge Strategy: "Be what they are searching for"

"Bait the hook according to what the fish likes, not what the fisherman likes." (Hemingway)

Write pages on these secular subjects or felt needs and you can target any group of people. This is often called the 'Bridge Strategy'. Others may use a different name, but it means the same - identifying with the real interests. This does not mean that we make trick pages that are not really about the subject they claim to be. If we write a page about restoring VW cars, or breeding mice, or a favorite musician, the page must truly be 'about' that subject. It must be as good and informative as possible, maybe with many helpful links to other pages on the subject.

How to build a 'bridge'

There are several ways that you can draw people 'across the bridge' to pages which explain the Gospel:

a. Your testimony
Whatever sort of site you have, make a link to 'meet the webmaster' or 'my story'. Here is a chance to share your testimony. (But don't call it 'testimony' - that's a Christian jargon word.) Introduce yourself first, where you live, what you like, etc. Then go on to explain how something happened to you which changed your whole view of life. "People are interested in people." They always turn to the human-interest stories in newspapers first. Short audio or video clips of the person can also add interest to a testimony page.

b. 'Meaning of life' links
On any type of website, you can offer a link such as 'What is the meaning of life?' or 'Finding real fulfillment'. These do not sound preachy or even Christian, yet show some sort of non-threatening 'spirituality' content.

c. Parable meanings
Jesus used stories with a message as his main means of evangelistic communication. And he didn't always explain the meaning - he left people to go away and think! Whatever the subject of a website, it is possible to write a page which brings out a parable or allegory from the main subject. For instance, a site about restoring VW cars can include a page which suggests that just as old cars need new engines, we need something new inside our lives. A site about breeding mice, can include a page about how a mother mouse cares for her young, and this is the same as God's care for people. There is an angle like this for almost any subject. There is an angle like this for almost any subject. Films, books and music lend themselves very well to this approach. They often contain meanings which the writers never intended. All these types of pages can also link to a central part of the site which explains the Gospel in meaningful easy terms . . .

Explaining the Gospel
It is actually hard to explain the essentials of the Gospel in a web-page, taking these factors into account:

 

It may better to link to an existing Gospel presentation, instead of writing your own. There are some high-quality presentations available from major ministries, and they often have the advantage of a follow-up system for inquirers. Power to Change is a good presentation in a growing range of languages:

Power to Change http://www.web-evangelism.com/framelinks/12powertochange.php

Other good Gospel presentations
http://www.web-evangelism.com/framelinks/13gospelpres.php

If internet evangelism interests you take time and prayer to find a clear strategy and focus for an evangelistic site. The best sites are usually preceded by months of prayer and online research.

The Internet is a powerful and God-given medium to help us fulfill the Great Commission. Even its name reflects the nature of the fishing net which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13:47 and elsewhere.

 

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea,
and gathering fish of every kind.” (Matt. 13:47)