Consider these three M’s that are helpful in developing an effective evangelism strategy …
One of the most influential people in my life was the late Dr. Lewis A. Drummond, an outstanding evangelism professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During this formative season, I needed a fatherly man of faith to pour into my life spiritual truths, personal encouragement and an explanation on the imperative of regularly sharing my faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. Drummond often implored students like me to present the gospel and “ask for a response.”
In addition to looking at evangelism’s history, practice and leadership, it was evident that Dr. Drummond was concerned his students would engage a hurting world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread,” the professor would often say.
As a pastor, I have attempted to use his transformational truths to model, train and encourage those under my leadership in the sharing of one’s faith. I use multiple approaches in evangelism, but often center them around God’s love found in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
As Dr. Drummond would often say, “There is enough gospel in that verse to save the entire world! But we must also share what the Bible says about humanity’s sin. I use scriptures found in the book of Romans. The following verses tell a dramatic story of need, redemption and how to receive Christ:
• The sin problem (3:23)
• The separation problem (6:23)
• The solution (5:8)
• The plan of salvation (10:9-13)
Dr. Drummond talked about how important it is to allow people to read these verses out loud and allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate the heart. Let’s seek to mentor others because “evangelism is more caught than taught.”
Today, we are in the midst of a steep decline in baptisms among Southern Baptist Convention churches. But churches can turn around. Preaching the gospel, winning the lost and baptizing individuals into the church must be the heartbeat of a gospel-centered church.
I encourage pastors to set the pace by organizing weekly efforts to evangelize the community. When I was pastor of First Baptist Church of Somerset, we initiated a GROW visitation program that took the gospel to our prospects each week. Personal evangelism still works. We baptized more than 100 people on multiple occasions.
Preaching the gospel from the pulpit each Lord’s Day is the privilege of every pastor. I believe an invitation to receive Christ should be presented after each address. But sharing one’s faith isn’t a Sunday-only thing. We must encourage our members and staff to be evangelists. We must change our mindsets.
Winning the lost is the mission of the church, according to Matthew 28:19-20. The Great Commission can be reclaimed by every church, every pastor and everyone.
The Kentucky Baptist Foundation (KBF) is ready to help you or your church in sharing the faith for years to come.
In the days ahead, we will begin introducing new KBF initiatives promoting ways to provide “forever funds” for church planting, church evangelism and disaster relief programs. It is time for our Kentucky Baptist Convention family to come together and begin channeling our eternal resources to fund church growth and ministry until the Lord returns.
I believe change can happen. Let’s sit down and strategize how to provide money for evangelistic efforts in churches and church plants. If you want more information on multiplying your influence through legacy giving, stewardship or church growth efforts, please contact me at our Louisville office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
French Harmon is president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation.