OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew

            Everyone wants to be part of a church that is “on fire.”  We want to be part of a group that is growing.  We want to be part of a congregation that is baptizing others.  For this to happen, all members must be active in evangelizism.  That statement just popped out excitement bubbles.  Evangelism is a “dirty” word.  It brings up thoughts of going door to door only to be rejected over and over again.

            Evangelism does not have to be an unpleasant task.  There are simple ways that all of us can become effective evangelists.  One thing that all of us can to is invite at least one person a day to attend our worship services.  The invitation could be extended to a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or just someone we see on the street or meet at the store.  Think about that!  Just invite one person a day to our worship services.  Simple.  If we did this, we would extend 365 invitations to others each year.  A congregation with 100 members would reach out to 36,500 people with invitations to the worship services.  In the Bible, we have an example of one man inviting another man to see Jesus.  “Now Philip was of the city of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?  Philip saith unto him, Come and see” (John 1:44-46).  The key word for this method of evangelism is “invite.”  Invite!  Invite!  Invite!

            A second method of evangelism is what this author refers to as “hospitality evangelism.”  All of us have friends who would come to our homes for a meal if we invited them.  What would happen if two or three Christian families got together each month for a meal and invited their non-Christian friends to be a part?  Those non-Christians would be introduced to several Christians.  In time, these might turn into wonderful friendships.  These relationships could involve many spiritual conversations that could lead some to Jesus Christ.  This type of evangelism was done by Matthew after he was called to follow Jesus.  “And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom:  and he said unto him, Follow me.  And he left all, rose up, and followed him.  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house:  and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them” (Luke 5:27-29).  This is a very simple method of evangelism.  One meal a month, or a meal each quarter, could bring someone to Christ because of new relationships that are developed between Christians and non-Christians.

            A third was to evangelize involves prompt visitation of all those who attend our worship services.  On any given Sunday, there will be those who visit with us.  Their attendance shows that they have an interest in spiritual things and that they are curious about our congregation.  To interest these individuals even more, there must be prompt visitation.  Early the next week, someone needs to go and visit these individuals.  They need to be thanked for their visit.  They need to have any questions they might have answered.  They need to be invited to return.  It would also be wise to bring them a small gift so we will be remembered.  One church would take homemade pies to their visitors.  Another would take them small loaves of bread.  I have encouraged several elderships to begin this work.  I refer to it as a “First Responders” group.  A group of 5 to 10 Christians could meet on Monday or Tuesday night and go see those who came to visit us the previous Sunday.  This type of action fulfills the words of Jesus, when He said:  “Go ye into all the world…” (Mark 16:15). 

            We have introduced three simple methods of evangelism in this article.  We can invite one person a day to our worship services.  We can invite individuals into our homes and introduce them to other Christians over a meal.  We can implement a visitation program that visits all those who come to our worship services.  There is nothing difficult about any of these methods.  Every member of the church can do these things.  All that is lacking is the doing of them.  The key to doing these things involves our personal will.  Do we “want” to do these things?  Remember, we all admit that we want to be part of a vibrant, growing congregation.  This will only happen when each of us truly commits to seeking and saving the lost.