In a small town Baptist church in Louisiana, two ladies, both of them struggling with the grief of losing a child, approached the pastor about a new ministry. They connected with other families in similar situations. Out of their own grief, God instilled a desire to comfort others.
The church got behind it, sent them to some training and a new ministry was born that restored believers who were despondent and disconnected from God and church. Over time they found reconnection and healing. In fact, some even felt called to minister as well!
That’s what ministry evangelism looks like. It’s reaching beyond the wounds and insufficiency of our own story to use the tools of listening, grace, support and comfort to slowly draw the hurting toward the cross. This can only be both through the power of the Holy Spirit and a pastor and church that is courageous enough to release the body to utilize their story and their gifts.
In the 21st century there is probably no greater tool for reaching the lost in your community than ministry evangelism.
Here are four essential truths about servant evangelism
- Ministry evangelism is more than simply ministering to the physical or emotional needs of people. It is intentionally evangelistic and its goal is to meet a person’s most important need, a relationship with the Lord. Some ministries stop short of offering the good news of Gods grace but that’s the whole point.
- Ministry evangelism is different from servant evangelism. Both are important and should be part of a church’s strategy. Servant evangelism is project oriented, one day to a few weeks. Ministry evangelism is long-term, hopefully years.
- Church size is NOT a factor! Some of our smaller membership churches believe it will work in a large church, but not a small one. But regardless how small the church, you can find a need in the community and begin somewhere.
- Ministry evangelism, like the early church, is organic. It’s not a program complete with DVD and learner guides. You begin with people! Find the needs in your area and look at the gifted in your church. Where they intersect is great possibility for ministry. You will find that ‘it starts in the heart’ of one individual willing to extend themselves in helping another individual in the name of Jesus.
A ministry-centered church reflects compassion, passion and intentional evangelism. As you and your church care for people’s needs and share Christ with them, God will use you.
Lagniappe: There is no better example than Dr. Charles Roesel, former pastor of FBC, Leesburg, Florida. Dr. Roesel did ministry evangelism at a small membership church in the Appalachians, in medium churches in Florida and ultimately at FBC of Leesburg, Florida. At the time, Dr. Roesel described the church as ‘frozen together by formality and rusted together by tradition.’ Soon the people bought into his vision and they began to average 300 baptisms a year.
Dr. Roesel will be leading ‘how-to” conferences all over the state September 21-24, 2015. You will learn how to establish ministry evangelism and be given Dr. Roesel’s latest book, “It’s A God Thing,” in which he shares 101 ideas on ministry evangelism.
Don’t miss this prime opportunity!