Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Repeat After Me

My name is (say your name), and I am an evangelist. If you are a Christian, you ARE an evangelist. Now whether you are a good evangelist or a poor evangelist is up to you, but you are an evangelist. As a pastor that is trying to fuse new people into the church, this is a major concern. How can I help fuse people that aren’t there? And just whose job is it to reach them? According to the interviews of the formerly unchurched in the book Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, 42% came to church because they were asked by a family member and 16% came because they were asked by a co-worker or neighbor. Now, to be honest, once they get into the building, the emphasis shifts. 90% said the pastor/preaching and 88% said the doctrine of the church led them to chose the church. But, 58% came to church in the first place because they were asked by a friend, co-worker, or family member (of the rest 25% came because of a life-crisis).

When asked what about the preaching led them to join the church, the two top answers were: preaching that teaches the Bible, and preaching that applies to my life. So, what I garner from this is that the preacher must take the time to prepare sermons that are both Biblically sound and have life application. This is a heavy burden; in order to prepare sermons like that week in and week out takes time. The average time to prepare a sermon in churches that are reaching the unchurched takes 22 hours a week. On the other hand, churches that are not reaching the lost have preachers that are averaging only four hours a week in sermon preparation. This means that preachers that are effectively reaching the lost are spending more time in the Word and more time honing the sermon to reach out with practical life application.

The bottom line is this, if we want to reach the unchurched, the preacher MUST spend adequate time preparing the sermon and the congregation has to do their part in inviting the lost to church. So, back to where I began, we are all evangelists. Are you doing you part in reaching out to your family members, friends, and co-workers? If not, why not?

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