Show your Ministry
Show your Ministry
OK, you know the three basic ingredients of effective evangelism. Starting with 'Prayer and Obedience to God', they are
You’ve also now added “BOOSTS”.
You would have BRANDED your Ministry with a relevant phrase or symbol, usually something you are or something you do. You would have looked at using all your OTHER RESOURCES in the best way possible, often seeing what God can do with so little. You would now be OVERFLOWING your ministry by expanding it through little or no extra work on your part. You would now be STANDING TALL above the ‘noise’ of those around you. You will now be taking practical steps to ensure your integrity through being TRUE to Scripture. Finally you would be SHARING the load and networking appropriately so more is achieved..
…at least I hope so.
So, always through prayer and obedience to God, GET ON WITH IT NOW!
…because there’s more to come.
Introduction: SHOW your Ministry
Hi, my name's Captain Andrew D. CARTER – I’d like to welcome you to the Fourth and final Lesson of Chocolate Evangelism™.
Please Note: If you are a veteran, having already an established ministry, I would ask that you bear with me while I explain the basics. This will still be of value as you 'sift through' this first part, looking for more 'Gold Nuggets' to enhance or change aspects of your already established outreach.
Now it’s time to "SHOW" your ministry. That means now is the time to REVEAL the last of it.
During our last Chapter here you’re going to learn how to complete your own 100% successful Evangelism Ministry. I promised previously to ‘reveal’ what I meant by this. Well, it’s simple. If your ministry presents Jesus to your particular target group in a way they can understand and respond to, it is 100% successful. Those first two essentials are all you need, nothing more, nothing less. Of course, both must always be done through prayer and obedience to God. Have I mentioned prayer and obedience before!!!
This Lesson we’re going to talk about how to finally “SHOW” your Evangelism. By the end of this Lesson you will “SHOW” by ‘Revealing’ your ministry. Specifically, you’ll reveal…
- A clear understanding of how to Respond effectively to people within your specific Target Group.
- A clear understanding of the role of Evangelists for ministry within your church and specific target group.
- A clear understanding of the Very important role of accountability and relating to those in authority over you in regard to ministry for your specific Target Group.
- A clear understanding of effective (as opposed to ineffective) Evaluation so successful ministry occurs within your specific Target Group.
- A clear understanding of when to think about starting or referring converts to Another church other than your own.
- A clear understanding of what it means to effectively Learn from others so your ministry keeps going forward within your specific Target Group.
By the end of this Chapter we’ll develop your ministry to the full.
In short, your ministry model will now be complete. Good, because your going to be constantly changing and adapting it. Why? ...because culture is constantly changing and adapting. How awesome is that (and you thought it all ended with the last section of this course :0))! Keep praising God for what He is doing, or about to do, through you!
Before we begin, let me start with a quick definition of Reveal… To make known; disclose; divulge; to lay open to view; display; exhibit. (The Macquarie Dictionary)
Interesting words here are 'to make known' and 'to lay open to view'. There are others there also.
Don’t we need to clearly ‘view’ our God given ministry so we can clearly ‘know’ what clearly needs to be done (as opposed to guessing)?
The best Chocolate is one that’s complete.
I love the way chocolate responds in different circumstances. Cooking chocolate just comes into its own when, well, it’s cooked with other ingredients. Chocolate Crackles come to mind. Yum. Also, for me, there’s nothing like a nice glass of red wine with some rich dark chocolate. Because of this we have to identify which chocolate is best where, which are consistently good and take into account my specific circumstances at the time. Likewise, in our evangelism, we need to respond effectively, know our role, be accountable, test what we’re doing, recommend the best communities of faith and be constant disciples (i.e. learners).
Show your ministry, R.E.V.E.A.L. it!
R – Respond with your SLR.
I believe in Spiritual Warfare. When I was in the Australian Army I was issued with an SLR which stood for Self Loading Rifle. It was an awesome weapon. It would drop a man instantly and at a great range. Thank goodness I never had to use one in anger. In saying this, God gives us a great weapon also called SLR. As we interact with our friends, family and people around us we can also push back Satan’s kingdom with our SLR. By this I mean Shut up, Listen intently, then (and only then) Respond Godly. SLR and then people will hear you!
Some call this Active Listening and I suppose in some ways it is. However, we have a Godly agenda. Jesus spells out this in his ‘Great Commission’ in Matthew 28:18-20: Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (New International Version).
In Fact, this is our reason for Evangelism. I believe all we do through the power of the Holy Spirit comes from this direct command of Jesus. That’s our agenda, to be ‘about our Father’s business’. I believe we do this best with our SLR approach.
Let’s look at the first one, Shut up. On the surface it seems simple. Just be quiet and listen. That certainly can be hard. Simply closing our mouth is hard for all of us at times. Remember our job is not to get our agenda over at any cost. God is still in control here, despite how we think and act at times. God may have a very different way of bringing this person to himself. Remember, there are more ways of somebody coming into the Kingdom than the one in my or your head at any particular time. Listen, see where the conversation heads, and take it from there.
The Second one is Listen. Again, it appears deceptively simple. It’s not, at least for me. A couple of issues instantly come to mind. Firstly, things people say often distract me. I’m reminded of other things to do, places to be. My mind wanders in a second. I start to miss what their saying. It gets worse as distractions lead to further distractions. I need to bring myself back and focus. Sometimes not an easy task. There are solutions to this though. One of the easiest is a notebook. If something comes to mind ask if you can write it down. You can be honest. Tell the person you need to write this down in order to listen to them more effectively and not be distracted. The only thing to remember is always use a method that is comfortable for you both and fits the situation at the time. Never underestimate the power of always carrying a small notebook and half pencil. I’m an Author so I do this routinely. A Diary (these days it can be on your phone) is always good. Work at your organization. I have to! The more I have my life organized, the less I am distracted.
Another issue I have is memory. During really intense conversations I find it very hard to remember! Again, I find the notebook invaluable. If you think another might be uncomfortable with you writing things down, offer to give it all to them in the end or even to destroy it in front of them. Obviously if you feel writing things down at all will be unhelpful, don’t do it. Maybe you could ask to discuss one issue at a time instead. Do whatever is appropriate in the specific situation at the time. Above all, give the strong message you are listening and wish to respond based on what the person says. Above all, don’t give a strong message you only want to get across your agenda.
The last one is Respond Godly. I think this has a lot to do with the right short comments at the right times. It’s a bit like making money on the share market. Anybody can buy or sell shares, it’s really not that hard. The hard part is knowing exactly what shares to buy and sell, at the exact time to buy or sell. Timing and knowledge is everything. Remember 1 Peter 3:15. Think about the ‘hope that you have’. Pray about what that means to you. Thank and praise God for it. When you do this constantly, you truly will be able to respond with your ‘reason’. The Word of God is a treasure trove of timely responses for every occasion. 2 Peter 1: 19 tells us God’s Word is a light in the darkness. Our friends need to see this light.
I could go on and on about this subject. Look into ‘Active Listening’ further for yourself. Practice what you learn. I believe we all need to keep practicing this skill. People really feel appreciated when their listened to. I believe this is a Godly command to God’s people. We really need to start listening to each other in the Church. As far as Evangelism goes, when we really and truly listen to others, they will listen to us as we tell them the good news of Jesus.
E – Evangelist’s role, both in church and outside.
I believe the book of Ephesians (4: 11-13) gives us the foundational equipping ministries of any Church. Jesus himself gave us these.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Ponder what God says here. Along with the others mentioned, Jesus gave evangelists to equip his people for works of service. Sure, the Evangelists should model evangelism. It makes sense, right. However, I notice here, Christ himself gives Evangelists the primary role of EQUIPPING OTHERS for works of service. Funny how God turns everything on its head, but it makes sense. Those who understand well the basics of practical Evangelism, coach as a PRIMARY FOCUS. It’s actually others who do the work. It fits in well with something I’ve heard over the years. Some are called to be Evangelists, others are called to do the work of an Evangelist. How so true!
Remember! Pastors and Teachers Equip Theologically. It is the Evangelist that Equips practicallly. Don't get these roles mixed up! Christ Himself seperates them for a reason.
Of course Evangelists must model what they teach and be proficient in it, but their primary role (at least according to Jesus) is to teach others so they can do the work. Ironic isn’t it that most of the work seems to be done by those who aren’t the Evangelists.
Often the situation in the Church is the opposite. I, myself have been guilty of this. This was reinforced by a conversation I had only this evening with my daughter-in-law. I’ve been involved in Evangelism most of my life. I’m now older. It’s only during the last few years that I have taken teaching people seriously, and even then I haven’t been outstanding. Yes, I’ve trained people in our particular ministry as they joined us, but I’ve never systematically taught others outside our ministry. This course goes some way to rectify this. Evangelists teach others, by compitent coaching, how to bring the good news of Jesus to our fallen word. I believe Jesus plainly says here Evangelists teach, as I said earlier, rather than shouldering the majority of the work.
How often do the Evangelists do the work almost exclusively while those who feel they don't really have a calling to Evangelism, well…don’t. Really that is clearly the job of the Evangelist, is it not? …or so some thinking goes. Well, this verse comes straight from Jesus and my reading of it says just the opposite. I think in some ways, we as Evangelists, have let the Church (and God) down in this area. If you consider yourself an Evangelist, who are you teaching in the wider Church? If not, why not! Do you consider yourself not to be an Evangelist? Great news! You’re the “equip His people for works of service” person. Some of you will have only a small role (I use this as a size reference, nothing we do is ever small with God!), some will have larger roles of Evangelism. That’s fine. blessed, blessed you. Jesus has sent Evangelists to equip and model ministry for you.
Remember 1 Peter 3:15. Think about how you would answer someone who said something like “What’s all this Christian rubbish you’re on about”. All of us must be ready to give a ‘reason for our hope’. Also ‘ready’ means ‘to actually be ready’. It’s not a suggestion from God. Think about your answer over the next few days and even test it on someone you relate to. The two of you could do it as a couple or even as a group. Just as an important note, I’d like to mention this is an exercise in getting you to think about an answer. I don’t want you to develop a spiel you’ll learn off by heart to give in all situations. What I’m getting you to do here is just put some pre-thought into your answer before the actual situation arrives. Just remember to do everything with ‘gentleness and respect’ as Peter says.
But how do you tell who is an ‘Evangelist’ and who is one ‘Called to do the work of an Evangelist’? I’m not sure there is any hard or fast rule. Usually a person can answer that for themselves. A calling from God is something very personal. A few questions may help though. Do you naturally find yourself among non-Christians? Do you have any non-Christian friends? Are the outreach events the ones you feel drawn to most? One indication might be somebody else making an unasked for compliment regarding yourself and those outside the Kingdom. The only firm advice I can give is still ‘prayer and obedience to God’. Do you have a desire to get beside fellow believers in order to encourage their particular outreach? Do you feel called to equip or do the work yourself?
V – Very important accountability and training. I love fishing, especially beach and estuary. One species of fish I aim for is the Flathead. They are great to catch and a real challenge. They lie flat on the sand finding food that falls down on the bottom. They have very small teeth and big fleshy lips. What they do is actually suck their food, rather than take a big bite and swallow it. This makes them hard to catch. Mostly the hook lodges itself in the big fleshy lip of theirs. Now, the Flathead is a large fish when fully grown so actually landing one is a huge challenge. You pull too hard and the fleshy lip will break (it heals fast so please don’t worry). If you pull too little, letting the line slack off too much, the fish will be lost as the hook moves around on the fleshy lip and simply comes loose or falls out. That’s the trick, keeping enough pressure on the line but not so much pressure the hook rips out. You’ve lost the fish either way if that happens.
Those who do the work of an evangelist are a lot like this. They need enough pressure put on them to be accountable but not so much they are held back or feel stifled. The Church often doesn’t understand this ministry. So Those who do the work of an evangelist need to keep informing the leadership in a positive and proactive way. I guess a lot of what I’m saying here is aimed at those in authority over Those who do the work of an evangelist. However, Those who do the work of an evangelist still need to know this stuff. Those who do the work of an evangelist must co-operate with their specific leadership or more pointedly find their appropriate leadership. Leaderless, church disenfranchised Those who do the work of an evangelist, I believe, are mostly a danger to themselves and God’s work in general. They become feral. The Church needs Evangelists and the Evangelists need the Church.
I believe Those who do the work of an evangelist can be a handful at times, especially for those God has put in authority over us. Those who do the work of an evangelist tend to be pig headed, critical and independent. This is a common description I get from Rectors and Senior Pastors I have spoken to. They are good and bad traits to have. It’s good to be pig headed about some things, but not all. It’s good to be critical at times otherwise nothing will change. Sometimes being negative is also needed, otherwise again nothing will change. Often it’s a necessity to be independent as the church will not or cannot follow. Let’s look at these traits a little closely.
Those who do the work of an evangelist tend to be pig headed or really just plain stubborn. It’s good to be this, just remember to be stubborn over the right things. This is very important. Don’t be stubborn for no good reason. Being upset about other things is not a good reason. You can actually be stubborn and still be nice!
Those who do the work of an evangelist tend to be critical, especially if they see others doing less than effective Plans, Vehicles and Tools. OK, that is a good trait too insofar as achieving Godly results. Don’t be critical to bring others down. Be critical to bring about change and build others up. This very much needs to be done with Prayer and Obedience. Look for ways to bring about positive transformations rather than just being critical in general. Look for people you know who are open. Ultimately though, you have to make a choice. Remember God hasn’t appointed you saviour of the church. You may have to forget it and simply walk away. Letting go is sometimes hard as well. I know this from personal experience. Don’t stay just being negative for its own sake. Move on, and through Prayer and Obedience find a new Church, find a new ministry within your old or current church, start a new ministry yourself whatever, but go and let go. Just make sure you have mentors and people to be accountable to, especially important if you’re starting a new ministry yourself.
Those who do the work of an evangelist also tend to be independent types. Once again a good and bad trait. Good in the sense that most of Those who do the work of an evangelist rarely need to be told where to start or what to do. Bad in the fact most of Those who do the work of an evangelist don’t need the Church to carry out the majority of their ministry on the front line. Sometimes a great disconnection occurs here to the detriment of Those who do the work of an evangelist and the people who come to Jesus through their ministry. Equipping Evangelists become non existant in those congregations back in the Church because Those who do the work of an evangelist become disconnected. Remember what I said earlier, the Church needs Evangelists, Those who do the work of an evangelist and both these people need the Church.
Connections with your Church need to be proactively pursued, not an easy task for some who do the work of an evangelist who feel they or those outside the Church are being let down. This is where it is so important to have a Godly and wise person to whom you can go. It probably needs to be somebody in your Church who has nothing to do with your ministry. They are patient people who will listen to you, gently admonish you, but more importantly people who simply care for you and lovingly will challenge you as the need arises. Pray that God will lead you to these people. They are gold. Make sure you honour and love them back!
These next few words are more aimed at those who Oversee. Remember the opening paragraph on ‘Flathead Fishing’? Senior staff who supervise have a tricky job dealing with all those traits (and more) in ways that will encourage the Evangelists, those who do the work of an evangelist and those in the Church whom they serve.
Supervisors have to manage the sheer pig headedness of their Evangelists. They must skilfully point out different options and even take on board what their Evangelists say and keep saying as appropriate or people in the congregation will not be equipped. Evangelists must be listened to when they criticize. What they say must be examined, especially in terms of the Bible and its application. Maybe the Evangelist is being too negative, not good. Despite this the Evangelist may be right. The trick here is to nudge the Evangelist into presenting things in a positive light enabling constructive change to occur. Evangelist’s independence often takes them far from the Church. They need to bring themselves back. This can only come about with great encouragement and patience on the part of our Senior Clergy and Pastors.
Senior Pastors, talk to your Evangelists, listen to your Evangelists, know who your Evangelists are and use them in your evangelistic activities. Manage and harness the power God has put into His Evangelists. When you do this the people in your Church will be truly equipped in this foundational area. Evangelists love your Pastors and equip with all your heart. Get an authority structure over you if you don’t have one already. Foster it and praise God for it.
E – Evaluate your ministry constantly. I’ve been asked many times “do you think this will work?”. My response is always the same. “I don’t know, but this is my best prayerfully thought out guess, but I will know in six months minimum.” Why? Because I’ll do my Evaluation, sooner if need be!
Good and regular evaluation is a must! Proper evaluation keeps our ministry edgy, on target and effective. Things change over time. Culture changes over time. Circumstances change over time. This means our methodologies (how we actually achieve our Destinations) must also change over time, but how do we know when and what to change? We do this through good and regular evaluation.
Good evaluation is a bit of an art form. What I mean by this is there is no set way. You need to have accurate information about your Vehicles and Tools. I personally start by asking questions, the answers to which guide changes I may need to make. The art form comes into play here as I need the right answers. The problem is I need to ask the right questions to get the right answers. Likewise, if I ask the wrong questions, I get the wrong answers. But what the heck are the right questions as opposed to the wrong ones?
I think some questions are universal. In fact some are so obvious they are often overlooked. Often when I ask several people about the specific destinations they want to achieve I get several different (often vague responses). Let me share with you some I think are universal.
Q1 Did all team members know the specific Destinations?
Q2 Did all team members know details of the bigger picture they needed to know?
Q3 Did all team members know their role in great detail?
Q4 Did all team members know others roles in detail as required by theirs?
Q5 Were accurate notes (if applicable) available for scrutiny?
Q6 Were the Destinations reached?
Q7 What SPECIFIC elements hindered in the reaching of Destinations? (Hint: The answer may be found in the earlier questions)
Q8 What SPECIFIC elements accelerated the reaching of Destinations? (Hint: The answer may still be found in the earlier questions)
Obviously these questions are only the start, but I believe an important one. Feel free to modify and add many more. That’s the whole point.
Several times I said the answers to some questions may be in other questions. That’s what good evaluation is all about. Keep asking questions from different aspects. Good questions coming from different angles produce the best common answers. As I keep saying you need to see the most accurate picture of what you are evaluating. Only then can you react and modify so future Destinations will be reached even more easily and quicker. Yes, evaluation still needs to happen in obviously successful situations. It may well save you from a pitfall (Remember “Hop over Pitfalls” I mentioned earlier in ‘Shape your Ministry’?) before it actually happens or give new insights and ideas for even further improvement. At the very least, good evaluation will show EXACTLY what you are doing right so lessons can be EFFECTIVLY applied elsewhere. Of course each situation is unique and different, that’s one of the main reasons for doing good and accurate evaluation. However, I still firmly believe more successful ministries come out of (or are inspired by) other successful ministries.
Brainstorm any and all questions that come up in your mind or as a group. Some seemingly silly or trivial questions may indeed hold that one piece of vital information that you need. I think it’s a good affirming thing to have as many people (preferably all those involved in the ministry) as possible in this ‘brainstorming of questions’ session. Everybody can be involved and feel a part. The actual Evaluation may well be done by a smaller group, but at least with this part everybody can be involved.
Let me give you an example. My example is an ‘attraction’ event. What I mean by this is people are ‘attracted’ to come. This is opposed to what I call a ‘connected or go to’ ministry. In Australia our Church is declining in numbers as compared to population growth. My personal feelings on this are because we run far too many ‘attractional’ activities and far too few ‘connected or go to’ ministries. Fewer people are connecting as they are not attracted to our ‘attracted’ activities. Also ‘attracted’ activities tend to be resource and people hungry! I much prefer ‘connected or go to’ ministries. We must do good Evaluation on ‘attracted’ events to make sure time and resources are not squandered on minimal achievements. OK, I’ve said my piece, on with the example.
At the Correctional Centre where I work a talented, dedicated and passionate team run a weekly meeting. It was a very good weekly meeting, but had lots of potential to be much better. Inmates of the Centre came and heard a good Bible Talk, ate good food and had a time of fellowship with each other as well as some from outside the Centre. All good stuff, however a few problems were happening. I asked the previous questions I mentioned with some interesting results. I asked Q1 of six people and got six different answers as to what we wanted to specifically achieve. I asked Q2 and got mixed results. No one really knew how this programme fitted into the overall ministry of Chaplaincy here in the Centre. I asked Q3 and thought (finally) most did know their role. I asked Q4 and got mixed results again. I asked about Q5 and got blank looks. I asked Q6 and got mixed answers to blank looks. I asked Q7 and Q8 and got a few good answers but mostly blank looks again.
OK, I’m not having a go at anyone here. As I said the Team are a talented, dedicated and passionate group of people. If anything the blame or responsibility rested with me as Senior Chaplain. So I set about positive change. The meeting transformed as months later I asked those same questions with different results. After going through the basic procedure outlined in these lessons (Plans, Vehicles, and Tools) all the Team could tell me what we SPECIFICALLY (i.e. our Destinations) wanted to achieve for the evening. Q1 answered in the positive. All told me the same Destinations we decided on. What a difference it made when everybody knew what they were working towards! I asked Q2 and again got a positive response. It’s amazing what can be achieved when people know exactly where they fit into the larger picture. They can actually support other Ministries and network in where appropriate. Now we were working together. Q3 I thought happened pretty well, we just needed to work out a few specifics. I asked Q4 and again got a positive response. More was accomplished when people know exactly what their doing in relation to those around them. They can strategically support each other. Before, in their enthusiasm, many thought their job the only priority. Now we were working together more! Q5 wasn’t happening at all, so somebody was always appointed as observer as their main role, unobtrusively writing notes thereby presenting a report about the evening for later perusal. More good information for our next Evaluation! Q6 could now be answered correctly at the next Evaluation as everybody knew what they were! Q7 was answered as we addressed issues in the early questions and talked about new potential problems. Q8 was answered similarly, but now we will have more information to go on next time.
We also had other questions specific to our situation. Hopefully I am giving a template here for your Ministry, not showcasing mine. Obviously modify those questions to suite and certainly add more. Make them specific. Do regular Evaluation as soon as possible. It may be after each activity if it’s a one off. For ongoing things I feel a minimum of twice yearly is needed, maybe more. All Evaluation must be done through Prayer and Obedience to God. Have I mentioned that before!
A – Another Church, a new Church or your Church
As Evangelists, are we about building our own Church? Well, I’ll have to say yes we are! I say this because we are about our Church. Another name for this Church is the Kingdom of God.
Do we build this Church personally? Again, I would have to say yes. If all we do is through Prayer and Obedience then yes. When God asks how my work is going, I say great because you’re in it. So, what’s the difference between my local group of believers and the Kingdom of God? Well, first up we are all part of the Kingdom of God. All whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27) regardless of our denomination or community are in it. What a diverse group of people we are. The world is full of different cultures, vastly different to each other. Just as an added bonus, most cultures differ widely within themselves. How wonderful God is to create so much uniqueness in our world. Just because we’re different doesn’t mean we can’t be united.
Different people express church in many different ways. Indeed different people need to express church in different ways. Some are obvious, some are not quite so. An obvious one is language. In the Jail where I work we have a Chinese Church Service conducted by a team from outside totally in Mandarin. That’s great for the Inmates who speak this but not so good for us (like me) that speaks not a word of it. As Chaplain I attend on an irregular basis, mostly out of politeness. I really don’t get much out of it, but obviously those who go (who speak Mandarin) get heaps. People from this group (whose English understanding is not good) have the same problem when they come to the services I run for the Jail as a whole.
Another thing I have to consider is cigarettes. Smokes are a big part of Jail life. When I run the Church I have to consider that. After a short time most of my blokes are thinking about their next cigarette rather than what is being said or going on at our meeting. So I simply step outside while we have the Bible reading or other appropriate activity. The guys light up and remain focused, at least not just thinking about their next smoke. All is good.
These are just a few examples of what you need to consider when you plan church. Evangelists need to sit down and take a long hard look at what Church would look like for their particular Target Group. It’s no use bringing people into something that not is a good fit. Either they will leave or get the least out of it. Your church may well not be the best place to integrate your Target Group into or maybe it is. You need to decide that. The best way is to start with a total blank piece of paper and write down all the elements you feel that need to be incorporated into a Community of Faith best for them. In the preceding examples I outline just a couple that were relevant for me. If your group has short attention spans, it’s no use having a 40 minute sermon. Break it up. If your group learns best by interaction and question asking, have lots of smaller meetings (like home groups) for them. This may be their Church instead of the main meeting. Don’t be frightened of this. The ‘Big Sunday Service’ is not always the answer to everything. The mid weekly Bible Study Group may well be the best Church instead. I don’t know all the activities that go on in your Church. Some or all maybe just what your group needs. Conversely, none of it may be appropriate or helpful. Evangelists have the key here.
That key is you start with a blank page and your Target Group. You DO NOT start with your Church and how it does Church. To ask this question (remember I mentioned it earlier) “How can we make others fit into our group more easily” can be fraught with all kinds of dangers. While this seems an admirable 'Desire' it is not where, I believe, we should start. After we have written down the elements needed THEN we can compare and find out any existing activities that are a good match. I believe the day of the large Sunday Service, one size fits all, is over at least in Australia. It may be for you too where you are. I don’t know. You will know after you have written all the elements down.
I’ve heard it said “But we go to Church to focus on God, not us”. That is true, but I want to be the most comfortable so I can focus on God in the best possible way. I don’t want to fight off cigarette cravings or have to wrestle with long sermons if I learn best through dialogue and asking questions. If I’m a shift worker and tired Sunday night or morning may not be the best time.
Place also needs to be considered. If you have a Pub ministry, that may be the best place to do ‘Church’. Likewise, Bushwalkers out in the Bush. Wherever.
Your Pastors, Bible Teachers and others in the Church need their Evangelists feedback to create the most meaningful Church possible for their congregations. Work with them and not against. As I said earlier, this may not be your Church. You may have to work with other Pastors if other Communities of Faith are more appropriate for your Target Group. Don’t be afraid of this either. Evangelist’s are building God’s Kingdom, not only their specific patch. Remember what I said before: The Church needs Evangelists and the Evangelists need the Church.
Yes we are all united in Christ. This doesn’t nullify our individuality at all. It just means we express Church differently. Praise be to God. So get that piece of paper out and write down all the elements of your Target Groups way of doing Church!
L – Learning Effectively. This is one of the central aspects of your Ministry. God has called all of us, irrespective of our gifting, to be ‘Disciples’.
Disciples are learners. No matter how much God has gifted you, generally He has more in store. More leaning for more service in the Kingdom of God. Evangelists need to find both Mentors and Coaches. You should meet with them regularly. Mentors support you (Person Centred) while Coaches get results (Task Orientated). Both have different roles and are vital to you. Get both. They should be people who can challenge you, praise you, push you and move you to the next level. They must obviously care deeply about you (especially Mentors) and your ministry, but their not there to always tell you what you want to hear, Coaches especially. Coaches should point out things your doing wrong just as much as giving praise. They may well not be as good as you at performing the ministry. What Coaches must be good at is bringing out the best results.
I love watching my Rugby League on Friday Nights. The best Coaches know how to bring the best out in their players. This involved a lot of yelling, both with lots of praise and also lots of what I would call…colourful language. I also recently watched the Olympic Games. Once again I saw coaches on the side bringing out the best in their athletes with similar encouragements. Don’t confuse these Coaches with the Mentors you gather around you for support and pastoral care. While a good Coach will always praise you for doing something right, that is not their primary role. They are not there to bring you down either. Bringing the best results out in your ministry is their primary role.
Books are also a great way to keep learning. Set yourself a realistic ‘Destination’ of reading two books in the next twelve months. Of course the number is for you to decide, it may only be one. I believe it’s a good idea to set yourself this.
Blogs are another way. Reading articles, both on the net and off, is another. There are infinite ways to learn. You know how much time to devote to it. There are pressures of family, work and relax time. All these are good things and you NEED to devote time to them. Don’t overload yourself.
What I am saying is you should purposely plan time to learn. Pick the best for you. One of the best ways to learn is to watch others. Learn from other successful Evangelists. Remember what God says in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (New International Version)
You might think this is a narcissistic statement on my part, but wait till the end. I think I’m involved in the most cutting edge evangelism possible. My ideas are among the best. Many have come to faith through ministries I have been involved in. I have some of the leading methodologies in Evangelism today. Now comes the kicker. It’s mostly, if not all, because of Proverbs 27:17.
I see others doing great, cutting edge, brilliant things and copy them. Sure I will probably have to modify, change, add and subtract things for my Target Group. What I am saying here is look for the principal of what someone is doing. You can get very worthwhile ideas from people who engage totally different Target Groups. In the First World War, when the aeroplane was a new invention, a German pilot called Max Immelmann developed a totally new manoeuvre called an ‘Immelmann Turn’. It’s still taught today and it’s still called an ‘Immelmann Turn’. He invented it and was the first to do it. I often ask God (tongue in cheek) if I can invent the ‘Andrew Evangelism Manoeuvre’ and be the first to do it and people remember me for it. It’s not looking good so far, LOL. It doesn’t matter. Iron sharpens iron. I need to keep learning from those around me.
Don’t be afraid to learn from non-Christians either, especially others who are ‘Evangelists’ for their own causes. Good businesses are a great example. Learn as they ‘spread the word’ about their products and services. Look at their methodologies and use them in your own. In one of my courses Jesus got a surprise mention. This was a secular course teaching us about crafting a good sales letter. A good sales letter possesses at least these three things; a clear Call to Action, identifying a specific Target Group and a stated Benefit. The example the lecturer gave blew me away. He quoted Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (New International Version). What he said in summary was Come to me (Call to Action), all you who are weary and burdened (specific Target Group), and I will give you rest (Benefit). How ironic. What he said next blew me away too. The lecturer said “I believe Jesus also said something like this, and I say the same with sales letters ‘Go and do likewise’”. His Bible knowledge was pretty poor and he said some funny things about Jesus, but it didn’t stop me getting important things from it. If the business world can learn from Jesus we can certainly learn from them.
Of course this is more than just reading Books, Blogs, and Articles, Watching other Christians and those outside the Kingdom with their causes. As I prayed and sought God’s will (Prayer and Obedience, have I mentioned that before?), these previous things took on new aspects of eternity. God was in this. My role of telling people about Him moved to the next level.
Start looking now for your Mentors and Coaches! Remember a Mentor is somebody who will care for you pastorally (Person Centred), a Coach (Task Centred) may or may not be somebody as good as you in your chosen ministry, but knows how to get results from you. They both will be the ones that can produce the best outcomes for you and the ministry God has called you to serve in. You need the two of them.
Your next step is to take action!
Chapter 4 Assignment
Here are the things you need to have accomplished to complete the Fourth and last Chapter’s action steps for setting up your own God given Evangelism Ministry.
- Choose one or more Ministries and identify the above REVEAL concepts (briefly) within them. Treat this as a learning experience even if you are an advanced user
- Evaluate one ministry by asking the top three key questions I mentioned in the section. Now, do your own. This may need planning as you think on questions and gather those around for a more formal one.
- Think of the people you wish to be accountable to and make plans to approach them. This may already be the case if you are in an organisation. If so, have you shared with them recently? Have you a Coach (Task Orientated) and a Mentor (Pastoral Care Orientated)? Why not! Gather them now.
- Advanced Users: As all of the above, with particular attention being paid to how each of these concepts is developing in your established ministry. How can these be further advanced to enhance established ministries?
Here I go again!
Don’t forget prayer and obedience to God as you complete these tasks. As I keep saying, Pray, Pray and Pray again, especially about what God has in store for your ministry now and in the future. Now (don't skip this step!) be still and actively look for answers from God.
I invite you also to my blog at https://askaboutevangelism.com/
IMPORTANT NOTE: Well, it’s the end. You now have some beautiful (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:14-15; Nahum 1:15) Chocolate. So Start, Shape, Surge and Show your 100% successful evangelism ministry through Prayer and Obedience to God. Remember, if you have any problems applying any of this to your ministry, I would love to help you. Go to http://chocolateevangelism.com/coach and together we'll start getting your specific Plans, Vehicles and Tools up and running.
You have homework. So get on with it now 🙂
God bless, Captain Andrew D. CARTER CEO, Chocolate Evangelism™
After you finish this, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear of your ministry too. This will also encourage others so much. I would also like to hear how helpful ‘Chocolate Evangelism’ has been for you. What are the areas I can improve on? How can I make it better for you? Please use the Quiz below for this and thank you so much for your time.
What would you like to know more about? What would you like covered in future Courses or Blogs? What needs further explanation or more information? It may be something entirely different you wish to know about Evangelism. Please tell me by the Quiz below. I really do want to help in your 100% successful ministry God has called you to do.