11 Ways Pastors Can Reignite Evangelism in Their Churches

July 8th, 2017

It’s not by hiring staff.

It’s not by starting building projects.

And it’s definitely not by doing direct mail and advertising.

I believe in advertising, but in the same way publishers know that great marketing will only make a bad book fail faster, evangelistically passionate senior pastors know marketing will only give a false sense of excitement and growth. Eventually, you’ll go right back to where you started when the effect of the advertising wears off.

Re-engaging your congregation in evangelism first starts by allowing God to change our hearts, and then by turning our attention to the congregations we serve and taking massive action.

Here, in no certain order, are some ways I’ve found that have helped the congregations I’ve served re-engage in evangelism once they’ve stopped:

1. Tell them you’ve lost your way.

But also say you have gone before Jesus and have asked him to change your heart. Literally tell them this from the stage, in an email, through a blog post and any other way that you can get the word out. Then don’t stop until every single person has heard about it.

2. Ask for your congregation’s forgiveness for taking your eye off the ball.

If you’ve fallen prey to false doctrine and have given up believing what the Bible says about hell, repent of that sin before them, as well.

3. Pick two to three specific ways you will personally engage lost people every single week, and commit to it.

Eating at the same restaurant, going to the gym at the same time, etc. Pick something that works and stick with it.

4. Schedule a lunch meeting with at least one non-Christian a week.

Go find lost people attending your services. Lead them to Christ. Disciple them. Repeat. I have a senior-pastor friend who has a goal to lead at least one person to Christ every week.

5. If you have staff, lead them to commit to the same things you’re doing.

This includes asking for forgiveness, scheduling two to threee ways to engage the lost each week, and scheduling at least one lunch or breakfast each week with a non-Christian.

6. Ask the people on your governing board to do the same things you’re asking of yourself and your staff.

Make sure you adjust for the more limited nature of their schedule.

7. Don’t be lured into thinking that changing your church’s programs will ignite evangelism.

This is the biggest thing I stress with senior pastors I coach. Focus on preaching and teaching to change your people’s lives outside the building. You want them to start living evangelistically brave lives.

What pastors often do is say, “We need to reach the lost. Let’s fix our children’s ministry.” Listen, you’re NOT failing to reach the lost because you have a lame children’s ministry. You have a lame children’s ministry because you’re not reaching the lost. Programs change when people change.

8. Start preaching like there are lots of non-Christians in the room.

Share stories of people coming to Christ and the changes he’s making in their lives.

9. Create a simple vision-casting phrase that rallies the church around evangelism.

Recently we’ve begun using the phrase #PrayForOne. I first heard it from Bo Chancey at Manchester Christian Church and really resonated with it. I keep casting vision about how if we wake up each day and pray, “God, let me cross paths today with someone that needs you,” he’ll answer that prayer. We’ve begun using the hashtag #PrayForOne on all our social media communications, and encourage our people to do the same. Try it.

10. Expect the “I’m not being fed” crowd to surface, criticize you and then leave in droves.

Let them leave. Senior pastors of outreach-focused churches know they truly aren’t being effective until the self-centered churched people that transferred from other churches (like they have multiple times before) start leaving. Nothing brings sinful, narcissistic behavior to the forefront like obedience to God in evangelism.

11. Assemble and stay engaged with a group of three or four evangelistically brave pastors.

Hold each other accountable. And together, keep praying, “God give me your heart for people going to hell in my area.”

You do these things and watch what happens.

Remember, it will take roughly two years for your church to do a 180-degree turn, but don’t get discouraged and quit. You can do this.

Brian Jones is a church planter, author and the founding and senior pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in Philadelphia. This article was originally published on SeniorPastorCentral.com.

El poder de las declaraciones personales basadas en la Biblia

April 6th, 2017

Este es un artículo del pastor Craig Groeschel. Es muy poderoso. 

The Power of Personal Declarations
When you wake up and begin a new day, where do your thoughts take you?
Are they positive? Or do they tend to be more negative?
If you find yourself with more negative thoughts, embrace this spiritual truth: our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts.
If we’re going to do everything God has called us to do in our families, churches, and communities, we must replace negative thoughts with God’s truth.

Ask yourself two questions:

1- What negative thoughts are influencing or hindering your life?

2- What spiritual truths can set you free from those strongholds?

Don’t rush past these questions. Spend some time here in honest reflection.
Next, let’s craft some statements that God can use to renew our minds as we meditate on who we are in Him. Our pastor, Craig Groeschel, has made this a daily discipline. Below are his daily declarations as well as a few others to inspire you as you craft your own.
Example Words to Live By
Below, you’ll find Pastor Craig’s personal declarations and many more ideas for Bible verses and truths you can use to renew your mind and fight back against negative thinking.

Pastor Craig’s Daily Declarations

  • Jesus is first in my life. I exist to serve and glorify Him.
  • I love my wife and will lay down my life to serve her.
  • My children will love God and serve Him with their whole hearts. I will nurture, equip, train, and empower them to do more for His kingdom than they can imagine.
  • I love people and believe the best about others.
  • I am disciplined. Christ in me is stronger than the wrong desires in me.
  • I am growing closer to Jesus every day. Because of Christ, my family is closer, my body is stronger, my faith is deeper, my leadership is sharper.
  • I am anointed, empowered, equipped and called to reach people far from God.
  • I am creative, innovative, driven, focused, and blessed beyond measure—because the Holy Spirit dwells within me.
  • I develop leaders. That’s not something I do. It’s who I am.
  • My words, thoughts, and imaginations are under the power of Christ. I take all thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.
  • I wake up with purpose, direction, and meaning every day of my life.
  • Pain is my friend. I rejoice in suffering because Christ suffered for me.
  • I bring my best and then some. It’s what I bring after I do my best that makes the difference.
  • The world will be different and better because I served Jesus today.

Because of Jesus …

  • I am a child of God. (Galatians 3:26)
  • I am a spiritual contributor, not a spiritual consumer.
  • I am alive. (Romans 6:11)
  • I am a faith-filled, life-speaking, fully devoted follower of Christ.
  • I am Christ’s ambassador. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  • I am a masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
  • I am content in Christ alone.
  • I am chosen. (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am determined to love God and people with everything I have.
  • I am a child of God. (John 1:12-13)
  • I am strengthened by God who upholds me, protects me, and defends me.
  • I am joyful. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I am gentle. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I am not easily offended and will not hold onto bitterness.
  • I am patient. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I am faithful. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I am self-controlled. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I am kind. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I am known—even before I was born. (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • I am steady. (Psalm 91:1)
  • I am not alone—God is with me.
  • I am loved. (John 3:16)
  • I am fierce in confidence and boldness because God is with me.
  • I am free. (John 8:32)
  • I am healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
  • I am unashamed. (Romans 8:1)
  • I am called and equipped to go after the righteous desires God puts in my heart.
  • I am strong. (1 John 2:14)
  • I am fearless. (Isaiah 43:5)
  • I am secure. (John 10:28-29)
  • I am not a people-pleaser because I answer to God first and seek to please Him.
  • I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • I am not shaken. (Psalm 62:6)
  • I am not stuck in worry because Jesus offers a peace this world cannot give.
  • I am born again. (1 Peter 1:23)
  • I am more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)
  • I am named by God, not labeled by man.
  • I am the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
  • I am mighty in His power. (Ephesians 6:10)
  • I am the Church and I exist for the world. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

For Women

  • I am the daughter of the King of all kings.
  • Because of Jesus, I lack nothing.
  • God has given me everything I need to do what He’s called me to do.
  • I speak encouraging, life-giving words and build others up.
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • I will not compare myself to other women. God made us all beautifully unique.
  • I will hold myself to God’s standards and measure myself with grace.
  • I will love and laugh rather than fight and complain.
  • I refuse to waste my life on meaningless things.
  • I will act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. (Micah 6:8)
  • Through Christ I am strong, gentle, fierce, and compassionate.
  • I will fight the good fight for what matters most. (2 Timothy 4:7)

For Men

  • I am the son of the King of all kings.
  • I lay down my pride and selfishness, giving all glory to the one true God.
  • I love my family like Christ loved the Church—giving Himself up for her.
  • I fight for purity, guarding my eyes and heart from tempting situations.
  • I seek friendships with other godly men to sharpen my perspective. (Proverbs 27:17)
  • I wait for God to open the right doors and take action when He does.
  • I’m not defined by my failures or successes.
  • I finish what I start.
  • I never give up!
  • I will act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. (Micah 6:8)
  • Through Christ I am strong, gentle, fierce, and compassionate.
  • I am a warrior! I stand firm, even when the pain is crippling because God is my strength.
  • I will fight the good fight for what matters most. (2 Timothy 4:7)

If you think this content would be helpful to your whole church, Craig’s sermon “Words to Live By” is available to download for free on the Life.Church Open Network.
Get “Words to Live By”

La importancia de los grupos de crecimiento.

March 27th, 2017

Los grupos de crecimiento nos alejan del aislamiento y de vivir auto-centrados. Es el aula para aprender cómo llevarse bien en la familia de Dios. Es un laboratorio para practicar la comprensión y el amor desinteresado . Aprendes a preocuparte por los demás y a compartir las experiencias de otros: 1 Corintios 12:26 (NTV) “26 Si una parte sufre, las demás partes sufren con ella y, si a una parte se le da honra, todas las partes se alegran”. Al estar en contacto regular con creyentes comunes e imperfectos podemos aprender la verdadera comunión y experimentar la conexión que Dios quiere que tengamos (Efesios 4:16, Romanos 12: 4-5, Colosenses 2:19, 1 Corintios 12:25). La verdadera comunión significa estar tan comprometidos el uno con el otro como lo estamos con Jesucristo: “Jesucristo dio su vida por nosotros. Y debemos dar nuestra vida por nuestros hermanos “(1 Juan 3: 16b NVI). Este es el tipo de amor sacrificial que Dios espera que demos a otros creyentes, amándolos de la misma manera que Jesús nos ama.

Los grupos de crecimiento nos ayudan a desarrollar el “músculo espiritual”. Nunca caminaras hacia la madurez sólo por asistir a los servicios de adoración y ser un espectador pasivo. Una de las principales herramientas de crecimiento espiritual es la participación en un pequeño grupo, donde tus músculos espirituales obtendrán un entrenamiento regular. “Efesios 4:16 (RVC,) 16 de quien todo el cuerpo, bien concertado y unido entre sí por todas las coyunturas que se ayudan mutuamente, según la actividad propia de cada miembro, recibe su crecimiento para ir edificándose en amor.” El aislamiento genera autoengaño. Es fácil engañarnos pensando que somos maduros si no hay nadie que nos desafíe. La madurez real aparece en las relaciones. Necesitamos más que la Biblia para crecer; Necesitamos a otros creyentes. ¡Cuando otros comparten lo que Dios les está enseñando, yo también aprendo y crezco!

Los grupos de crecimiento confirman nuestra identidad como genuinos creyentes. No puedo pretender seguir a Cristo si no estoy comprometido con ningún grupo especifico de discípulos. Jesús dijo: “Juan 13:35 (RVC,) 35 En esto conocerán todos que ustedes son mis discípulos, si se aman unos a otros.». Cuando nos reunimos en amor con un pequeño grupo de diferentes orígenes, etnias y estatus social, es un testimonio al mundo (Gálatas 3:28 y Juan 17:21). Tú no eres el Cuerpo de Cristo por tu cuenta. Necesitas que otros lo expresen. Juntos, no separados, somos su Cuerpo (1 Corintios 12:27).

Los grupos de crecimiento son la mejor manera de compartir nuestra misión dada por Dios hacia el mundo. Cuando Jesús caminó por la tierra, incluso tenía un pequeño grupo! Hoy la Iglesia es el Cuerpo de Cristo en la tierra. No sólo nos amamos unos a otros, sino que vamos a llevar ese amor al resto del mundo. Somos sus manos, sus pies, sus ojos y su corazón. El trabaja a través de nosotros en el mundo. “Efesios 2:10 (RVC,) 10 Nosotros somos hechura suya; hemos sido creados en Cristo Jesús para realizar buenas obras, las cuales Dios preparó de antemano para que vivamos de acuerdo con ellas.”

Los grupos de crecimiento nos ayudan a evitar que retrocedamos espiritualmente. Ninguno de nosotros es inmune a la tentación. Dada la situación “correcta”, tú y yo somos capaces de cualquier pecado. Dios lo sabe, así que nos ha asignado como individuos la responsabilidad de animarnos en el buen camino. La Biblia dice: “Anímense unos a otros todos los días … para que ninguno de ustedes se endurezca por el engaño del pecado” (Hebreos 3:13). Hay personas que dicen, “Esta es mi vida y no quiero que nadie se meta en ella”, esta no es una idea cristiana cuando se trata de ayudarse mutuamente! Se nos ordena que participemos en la vida del otro. Si conoces a alguien que está vacilando espiritualmente en este momento, es tu responsabilidad ir tras ellos y traerlos de vuelta a la comunión. “Si conoces a personas que se han alejado de la verdad de Dios, no las deseches. Ve tras ellos. Recupéralos “(Santiago 5:19). Relacionado a esto encontramos el gran beneficio de tener la protección espiritual de líderes piadosos. Dios da a los líderes o coordinadores de grupo la oportunidad de entrenarse en la responsabilidad de guardar, proteger, defender y cuidar el bienestar espiritual de su rebaño (Hechos 20: 28-29, 1 Pedro 5: 1-4, Hebreos 13: 7, 17.). “Su trabajo es velar por vuestras almas, y saben que son responsables ante Dios” (Hebreos 13: 17b NLT). Si estás separado del cuerpo de los creyentes, nadie podrá cuidarte. Si estás desconectado de la vida del Cuerpo de Cristo y aislado de la comunión de la familia de Dios, Satanás sabe que estarás indefenso e impotente ante sus tácticas.

¡El Cuerpo de Cristo te necesita! Tu tienes experiencias y un trasfondo único que permiten que otras personas puedan aprender de ti. Tienes un papel original para servir a tu familia espiritual. Esto se llama “ministerio”, y Dios te ha dotado para esta asignación. “Un don espiritual es dado a cada uno de nosotros como un medio de ayudar a toda la iglesia” (1 Corintios 12: 7 NLT). Tu pequeño y amoroso grupo es el lugar que Dios diseñó para que tu descubras, desarrolles y uses tus dones y talentos espirituales.