The Evangelism Group

Equipping The Future

Don’t Give Up!

basketballplayerRecently, I chatted with a local pastor about his evangelism efforts in a smaller, rural community. His church isn’t that large so finding volunteers for any kind of outreach initiative is challenging. The larger churches in town seem to have most of the popular holidays—like July 4th—wrapped up with all their resources. This pastor tried many things that just did not seem successful over the years, except for their live nativity scene at Christmas that usually garnered around seventy or more cars. He was at his wits end and more than happy to visit about possibilities.

In talking with this pastor I sensed his discouragement, frustration, and hopelessness all at the same time. It wasn’t like the church wasn’t interested in evangelism, or had not tried to reach their community. They had tried numerous things to seemingly no avail. So what is a church leader to do in that kind of situation? When it seems as though you have tried it all but the fruit is missing?

The first thing I encourage any pastor to do is “Don’t give up!” When so many things go wrong or seem unfruitful, it’s easy to get discouraged and quit doing even those things that have been fruitful for your ministry. Step back and prayerfully consider what has provided even a slight reward. Repetition is often a church’s best avenue of bringing awareness to a community and the live nativity was a prime example. Seventy cars is a great number for a smaller community!

The second thing I encouraged this pastor to pray about was their web site. Since over eighty percent of first time visitors explore a church’s website it should be easy to navigate and up to date. Too much flash (small videos) on church websites can actually be a turnoff to many people, so keep it simple. Although difficult to believe, not everyone has high-speed Internet.

Lastly, for now, see what’s important to your community and become involved. Most smaller communities—and even larger ones—value authentic relationships. That means visibly building relationships one at a time in that community and finding out where there are needs that your ministry could help with—from adopting school playgrounds to the volunteer fire department. So don’t give up! As St. Augustine once said: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

God’s Best!
Marshall

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July 4, 2016 - Posted by | Devotions, Outreach | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I have to say that having an open mind has been the key to allowing God to work in my life. It’s my belief that THIS is the main thing that is missing in most churches today.

    Here is the way I now see it. The leaders of all the churches today have acquired the knowledge to hold their positions in their churches. When they take these leadership positions they pick up where another has left off and/or establish their own churches. In doing so, unbeknownst to them, they then take the reins (over God) as they try to figure out God’s will with their minds and knowledge. There is great pressure on the people in these leadership positions to ‘grow’ their churches, and many other pressures as well. However, the most important part has been overlooked.

    Jesus showed us through his actions, and through his disciples actions after his resurrection, exactly what WE need to be doing so that HE could then build His church. We think that building the church is what He commanded us to do, but that’s not it at all. And, until we open our minds and go back to the book of Acts to re-establish what Jesus actually commanded us to do, we continue to fall short in carrying out Jesus’ commands.

    God is still waiting for us to put Him back in power in our churches.

    And so, I ask you to re-read the book of Acts, setting all that we have been taught about our churches aside, and to really HEAR the words with an open mind. God has shown me that there is still more truth to be realized there. And, I feel that he wanted me to say this today.

    God bless those who re-read the book of Acts so that they, too, may hear the truth, in the name of Jesus.

    Comment by Peaceful Solutions | July 9, 2016 | Reply

  2. Peaceful…a couple of thoughts come to mind. You paint with a broad brush when you say “leaders of all the churches.” I admit there are far too many church leaders focusing on growth or popularity instead of “making disciples” that the Lord exhorted us to do. But, I personally know so many pastors who are truly trying to hear God’s voice in these challenging, and changing, times – seeking Him with all their hearts and working hard to let him lead them in all they do.

    Even when we do all that, sometimes our best efforts seem fruit-less. But, as I hope I implied above (and if I didn’t I should have), we should not give up, but step back (into our prayer closet) and say “o.k. God what now?” Focusing on those things that God has blessed and looking for other avenues where the Holy Spirit just might nudge us to get involved within the community where God has called us to minister. I think God encourages biblical creativity!

    The books of Acts (strongly believed to have been written by Luke and earlier copies prior to the canonization of Scripture (our Bible) were often published as “Luke-Acts”)is one of the great books of the New Testament and reflects a lot of persecution – along with the powerful effectiveness that the leading of the Holy Spirit can give. I wholeheartedly agree that we should all read (and re-read when possible) the great book of Acts. Thanks for sharing! mw

    Comment by evangelismgroup | July 9, 2016 | Reply


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