“If only somebody in this church were a soul-winner.”
“If God would just send someone to haul kids to church we’d start a bus ministry.”
Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve said something similar. Actually the Lord has, he sent YOU to be a soul-winner, to get kids to church, to care for the lost and to focus on evangelism.
Evangelism Starts With the Pastor
A while back an older preacher was discussing the ministry with a young pastor. I was allowed the opportunity to listen in. The elder was blunt with the kid, “You have to personally be engaged in reaching lost people.” The elder was something of a veteran. His name was Paul and he was communicating with Timothy who pastored the Ephesus First Church. I doubt Paul would be impressed with a full pastoral counseling schedule. “The fire of revival is birthed in the activity of evangelism.”
Never too big to win Souls
At a training Seminar, veteran church planter Wayne Huntley talked of brothers he just taught a Home Bible Study. The man pastors a significant congregation . . . including numerous daughter churches, still Wayne Huntley does the work of an evangelist. One never grows a church so large that they are not to evangelize; no elected position replaces evangelism. A pastor who does the work of an evangelist develops people who reach the lost.
By nature I am introvert. I’ve come to accept this isn’t likely to change. For those similar to me, there are learned behaviors to develop.
Connecting with people is not dominating them. It was said of Winston Churchill that he interpreted the word “conversation” to mean – he was always up to bat, and it was everybody else’s job to field. That won’t work. You can become a brilliant conversationalist. Brilliant conversationalists aren’t brilliant, instead:
- They know how much people love to talk about themselves, so they let them talk
- They ask lots of questions.
With that as your guide you can connect with every person who walks through the door of the church. You can, “minister with your ears.”
As an introvert, an acrostic that helps me sustain a conversation is F.O.R.M. Each initial represents something people are likely to be willing to talk about:
F = Family
O = Occupation
R = Religious perspective (This can get interesting)
M = Moment (What’s happening in their life today)
Action Items to Be More Effective
- For some principles on connecting with people you may benefit from the secular book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, an updated version includes social media.
- Memorize the acrostic F.O.R.M. as a pattern to sustain a conversation.
- Get into the community . . . have people in your church introduce you to each member of their family, or visit a work-place.
- When someone visits church . . . particularly when you are the only fellow doing the work of an evangelist . . . immediately schedule a time to get better acquainted.
- Get off the platform during church.
- Be accountable for the evangelistic work you do. Till evangelism is a habit of life, why not be accountable to someone – perhaps mutually accountable – account for new personal contacts, Home Bible Studies, your weekly contacts to your prospect list.
When the opportunity comes hug the un-huggable . . . especially the one who smells really bad or is wearing mismatched clothes.
Speak to the ignored.
Value every person you come in contact with.
God has given you to that city . . . so do the work of an evangelist.
Since I’m an introvert I need all possible help to be more effective. If you have a similar temperament and have learned something that helps you connect to people – better than Churchill – please pass it on in the comments below.