How I’m Encouraging My Church to Be More Evangelistic

I served as an interim pastor at Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina—a church Pam and I loved enough that we actually joined the church as members. The Lord was gracious to move us in the right direction as we prepared for our next pastor. In the process, though, I emphasized our need to be more evangelistic. Maybe one of these reasons will encourage you to do the same for your church:

1. If we really believe the gospel is good news, we’ll want to tell others. Evangelism will, in fact, be quite natural when we’re fascinated by Jesus (and, I so believe that truth that I wrote the book, Nobodies for Jesus, to make that point).

2. Our church, like most churches, does not have a strong record of reaching nonbelievers. I praise the Lord we’ve been blessed to lead our own children to the Lord—and in no way do I want to diminish that responsibility or that gift—but we’ve not reached many others. We must start somewhere if we want to do better.

3. All of us have friends and loved ones who need Jesus. In fact, yesterday our entire congregation wrote names on cards and placed them on the altar for prayer. I can’t tell you how grateful I was for the response, and I look forward to praying for the many people.

4. As God strengthens the church, I don’t want us to be inwardly focused. Churches naturally turn inward, and they must fight against that tendency to reach their community. Unless we keep lostness and the Great Commission in front of them, even the best churches can lose this focus.

5. I’m even more excited about this work since God saved my 79-year-old mom several weeks ago. I’ve written articles about this miracle (see here, here and here), and I’m daily awed by what God has done. I want my church members who’ve been praying for others for a long time to experience the same joy.

6. In the midst of today’s craziness, all of us need to see transformed lives. No matter what we face culturally, watching God transfer a nonbeliever from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of his Son (Col. 1:13) is amazing indeed!

7. I need the personal accountability. Even as a professor of evangelism at Southeastern Seminary, I still have to push my introverted self to speak to others about Jesus. Leading my church in this direction will only help me stay faithful in this task.

8. In the end, evangelism is not optional for believers. We’re the only plan God’s given us to get the good news to our neighbors and the nations. Not doing evangelism is nothing less than disobedience—and none of us wants our congregations to go there.

Would you say a prayer for our church? And for yours?

Read more from Chuck Lawless »

This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Chuck Lawless
Chuck Lawless

Chuck Lawless is dean and vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and global theological education consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.