Artwork Credit: chuckk.sacreddigital.com
When a church recently asked me to help them “mobilize their church toward a greater involvement in evangelism” I shared with them …
Six Keys to a Missional Heart
- Evangelism is about relationship 95% of the time. Therefore, we have to teach people to follow specific strategies (see “Cross-Cultural Ministry – Part 1 and 2” from last week):
1) Love them unconditionally
2) Pay for them passionately
3) Accept them totally
4) Treat them as the equals they are
5) Befriend them by inviting them into our world
6) Live in their world (culture)
7) Love their world (culture) – easy to do when you start eating with them!
8) Become a part of their lives – their daily / weekly routine
9) Become a part of their families – their lives, events and loves
- Evangelism is about the favor and power of God. Jesus was very clear in Luke 24.48-49; Acts 1:8 that without the power of God, there will be no effective evangelism. Therefore, we must teach people to follow the repeated model of Acts and gather the believers together for united prayer for power. When God provides that power, witnessing is natural to the Christ-follower. The Spirit enables us to witness effectively.
- Evangelism is about being equipped to “give an answer for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15) We need to understand the Gospel so that we can share it. One of the most powerful tools for witnessing is our own story. In 401 (Our Missional Heart Training), we teach people how to share their faith and how to prepare their testimony so they are “always prepared” to witness of their walk with Christ. To this end, I have written “Growing Missional Leaders: Biblical Strategies to Reach Your World For Christ.” This book is both a resource for understanding a missional heart and a small group leadership-training manual for leadership teams, small groups, Sunday School classes, discipleship groups, and anyone who wants to learn and train men, women and teens to reach their world for Christ. I am currently writing the companion to this resource. It is entitled “Gathering Missional Leaders: Creating a Biblical Environment for Exponential Leadership Development” due out in the fall of 2011. This book looks at the issues involved in building a great team of leaders dedicated to the mission of God and how to focus them for deployment in your community and around the world.
- Evangelism is about going where the fish are. (Matthew 4.19; Mark 1.17) “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” ” (Mark 1:17, ESV) Since I have been an avid stream fisher, I know that you can’t expect the fish to come to you. You have to go to them. The average fisher doesn’t go more than 50’ from a paved road, thus most seldom catch much. Therefore, we must train our people to do mission and ministry OUT THERE in the community. This means we have to cut back on the number of events we expect them to attend each week on campus. Coupling this principle with the previous one, we train our people to become “fishers of men.”
- Evangelism is about entering and assisting our community care delivery systems. One of the most over-looked areas of evangelism, and one of the most cost-effective, is to simply enter the many care delivery systems of our community that are ALWAYS looking for volunteers. Boys and girls clubs, athletic programs, health clinics and hospitals, local schools, foreclosure assistance programs, etc., all look for people to help them deliver care and assistance to the community we live in. Taking the compassion of Jesus into those places is a natural for those of us who truly care for their city. Small groups and Sunday School classes can adopt one of these organizations and, as a team, surround and support them with a different kind of volunteer – a Christ-centered, self-sacrificing servant.
- Evangelism is about restoring the adventure to witnessing. Most men and women today have lost the sacrificial adventure of the Gospel. They simply do not think about the Great Commission and the enormous significance of a life lived and sacrificed on purpose for the eternal cause of Christ. Therefore, we must restore the centrality of the Gospel (Luke 9.23-26; John 14.6; Romans 1:16-17, the counting of the cost (Luke 14.25-33) and the eternal gratitude and reward of the Master for such a commitment (Matthew 19.25-30; Luke 19.11-27).
These are 6 of the keys to possessing a missional heart. What have you found to help move people into the mission field all around them? Please post your thoughts.
Would you like more help with this? Dr. Smith has written an excellent book on this subject, “Growing Missional Leaders: Biblical Strategies to Reach Your World For Christ,” which you can learn more about here.