Recently Pastor Toby DeHay of Concord Missionary Baptist Church in White Plains answered a series of questions about being an evangelistic leader. DeHay is pastor of a church that, like so many Kentucky Baptist congregations, is under 100 in Sunday morning worship attendance. Concord Missionary, however, is doing a good job reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Some of the information from that interview was shared in an article in the Sept. 19 Western Recorder titled, “Wanted: Evangelistic Leaders.” This article is a follow-up to the September story.
Today, they aver they have baptized at a ratio of 8:1, meaning that it takes eight worshippers at Concord Missionary to reach one person per year with the gospel. A 10:1 worshiper to baptism ratio is considered by many to be an evangelistic church, and Concord Missionary is doing better than that under Pastor DeHay’s leadership.
I asked Pastor DeHay to share some of the ways he seeks to lead by example in evangelism, and here is what I discovered:
- He prays daily for lost people by name. Don McCutcheon who led in Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Reset Church Evangelism Strategy Training events said, “If we want to see lost people with names be saved then we should pray for lost people by name.” Pastor DeHay practices praying for lost people by name with a small list of lost people he prays for daily.
He also leads the church to pray for lost people by having them write names on cards to pray for. Pastor DeHay said, “Three or four times a year we fill out a ‘3-6-9 prayer card’ as a church. This card contains the names of 3, 6, or 9 lost or unchurched people. We fill out 2 copies. One for the individual to pray over and the other gets turned into me to pray for as well. I also utilize the www.pray4everyhome.org daily email list.”
One thing that each of us can do to be more evangelistic is to pray for lost people by name.
- He regularly reads books on evangelism. It was President Harry Truman who said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Pastor DeHay applies this maxim to his own life.
He said, “I educate myself by intentionally choosing at least two books a year on evangelism to read. I listen to podcasts that discuss evangelism and apologetics, and I attend KBC and associational training events to give myself more evangelistic tools for my belt.”
One simple way for pastors to keep evangelism on the front burner of their heart is to read a few pages each day from a good book on evangelism. The Kentucky Baptist Convention is often able to provide books to help pastors stay focused on reaching people for Jesus.
- He leads the church in witness training opportunities. Pastor DeHay said, “I also do my best to provide staff, volunteer, and whole-church specific training. As a small church, our staff consists of myself and our youth director/church secretary. Last year I challenged her to read at least one leadership book, attend a leadership training event, disciple one person, and lead out by sharing her faith weekly. We meet weekly and discuss our evangelistic interactions, go through a chapter in a leadership book together, and plan the week and upcoming month.”
Evangelism is a challenge for most Christians and therefore training church members to share the gospel is such an important ministry.
- He uses social media to encourage evangelism. Pastor DeHay said, “Our church is very active on Facebook, so I use this platform to place short articles, personal testimonies (written and audio), and encounters I or someone else has experienced throughout the week.”
Pastors today have so many opportunities to encourage church members to be intentionally evangelistic, with social media being one option.
- He partners with his Baptist association in evangelism. Pastor DeHay said, “As a church, we are currently working with Little Bethel Association to completely saturate our county with the gospel using the booklet titled, ‘Good News for You!’ We’ve also made a commitment to reach 2,017 people (as a church) with the gspel in 2017. So far we are right on track and many are beginning to share regularly for the first time in their lives.”
Pastors who set goals for evangelism and lead the church to do the same will typically see more evangelism happen through the church than those who do not use goal setting as a tool.
- He provides a structure for evangelism accountability. Pastor DeHay said, “I like to hold people accountable as well. I’ll usually ask the stronger members if they’ve been sharing their faith in front of weaker ones. This way both receive encouragement without embarrassing those who share less often. Staff and Sunday School teachers are expected to lead out as well. We meet as a group once a month on Sunday morning to do leadership development, and I’ll ask one of them to tell us how they’ve shared the gospel in the past month. These conversations have been very encouraging!”
This is how Pastor DeHay provides evangelistic leadership at Concord Missionary Baptist Church in White Plains. How are you providing evangelistic leadership in your place of influence? Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com or call at (270) 889-4276. Kentucky needs more evangelistic leaders.