What do you do after Evangelism?
Dear BPCWAians, Last week, we looked at various opportunities that are available for us to reach out to others with the gospel. Now that we are aware of the opportunities available for us to do evangelism, what do we do after the initial contact?
The Purpose of Evangelism. Our mission must not merely be to deliver souls from hell. Our mission is to bring the souls to the saving knowledge of God. This saving knowledge is ultimately 1) believing in the true gospel and depending on Christ alone for salvation 2) being delivered from the power of sin through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit 3) living for God’s Glory alone thereafter. Often, when we go out tracting or through events, the first part is to deliver the gospel of salvation. We give them the knowledge of how to be saved, and warn them about their certain end if they do not trust in Christ Jesus as their Saviour. But if we forget the 2nd and 3rd aspect of salvation, then our mission will just be to save souls. This is incomplete. The Great Commission is not merely a “going”. Christ’s commission to His church is about discipleship. When He says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt 28:19), He intends for these new believers to be brought into good, sound churches, and taught about Him. It is for this reason that whether in missions or in evangelism outreaches, we must only work together with churches where God’s truth is taught and practiced – so that when souls are saved, they are led to green pastures and still waters and can grow spiritually there. This part is not just the work of one person, but we need the help of many in the church.
What can you do after Evangelism?
Tracting or Street Evangelism: Followup needed – Invite them to church.You’ve given out the tract, you’ve spoken to them about the gospel. What next? If they are interested and it is feasible, invite them to join our activities at church. This can be for our Worship Service, or for our fellowship meetings. Do they need transport? Then find out where they stay, and check with our Transport ministry if it is possible to arrange for transport for them to come to church. Send them a message, or give them a call a few days after you’ve met them, and see how they’re going. Encourage them to come to church and arrange to meet and accompany them if they come.
Church Activity or Events: Followup needed–Be a friend to them Here’s where everyone in BPCWA can be involved in, regardless of whether we were the ones who reached out to the person on the street or not. Look out for new visitors. It may be someone from City Evangelism. Or it may be someone from an outreach. Or it may be just a friend from school. Do you remember your first day at school? Or your first day on the job? When everyone seemed to know everyone… ie, everyone except you? That’s how they feel. Here are some suggestions of what you can do. It may not be just for those you have met through evangelism outreaches, or a friend that someone has invited to church. It could just be someone that is visiting BPCWA for the first time – Welcomers and Ushers can particularly help in these cases.
1. During the service: Try to ensure that someone sits with them during the Bible Study or Service. If you have invited someone, try to sit with them, or arrange for someone appropriate to sit with them during the service. If you just happen to be next to someone that you haven’t seen before and seems new, you can play that role of being their friend – just introduce yourself to them and be welcoming. Get them a Bible or a hymnbook if they don’t seem to have one. Help them to flip the Bible to the respective passages. Explain to them what to expect during the service.
2. After the service: If they don’t yet seem to be a believer, get a tract from the foyer and give it to them. Tell them about the gospel or introduce them to someone who may be able to do so. Get to know the person. Talk to them and introduce some other worshippers to them so that they get to know some people in church. Invite them to the fellowship hall for a drink. Be warm, and be sincere…. and don’t leave the visitor standing out alone in a corner and feeling awkward. If they weren’t invited by someone, get their contacts so that you know how to reach out to them again later. Invite them for our other activities, and get them to meet someone from that fellowship group if you won’t be there. But despite all this, let us remember that it is not merely about being helpful and friendly. It is about giving them the opportunity to hear the Word of God taught and preached. After all, evangelism begins with the desire to have them come to personal faith and trust in the saving merit of Jesus Christ. And “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17) That is the reason why we want them to come to church – because at church is where they will have the most opportunity to be exposed to the Word of God. And after they believe, a sound church is where they will be able to grow spiritually, as babes in Christ.
Have you invited many into church? Have you continued to encourage those that have come into church? Ultimately, let us all remember that we are but workers. We cannot “convince” someone about the gospel. We cannot “win a debate” with an unbeliever to cause them to believe in God. We could never have planned in advance the person that would cross our paths so that we could invite them to church. God has to work in all parts of the process. We are only but workers that are privileged to be part of His work. This is a great work, with far greater rewards than anything the world could offer. It must be a humbling and joyful work when we see a life changed through the gospel. Only the Word of God can change a life. Only the Word of God can quicken that which was once dead into life. Always give God all the glory.
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Planting and watering is the work of all Christians. Let us not plant but forget to water. As we plant and water, let us remember to pray. All Christians have a part to play in evangelism.
Yours in our Lord’s service