The Overlooked Evangelists in Your Church

I’m a big believer that a church’s paid staff sets the tone for the church’s initiatives. So if you change the evangelism temperature of the staff, you can change the evangelism temperature of the church.

Why? We’ve done over 1,200 searches, and I don’t think we have ever been asked to do a search for an “evangelism pastor.” It’s just not a job type churches are using much anymore, which is part of a larger trend of churches hiring fewer and fewer specialized staff members.

I think the key to increasing evangelism at your church isn’t hiring someone to oversee evangelism. Instead, it is hiring people who have a natural ability to welcome newcomers. View evangelism through this lens, and you open up a much wider field of possibilities.

Consider the following outside-the-box people as staff members (or volunteers if you don’t have a staff) to help increase evangelism at your church.

1. Salespeople

Nobody wants to admit it, but let’s face it, evangelism is sales. The right type of salesperson can be perfect for increasing evangelism in your church. I’d stay away from people in transactional sales, which usually includes the pitch “But wait, there’s more!”

Instead, look for people in consultative sales. This type of sales requires a trusted advisor, usually for a larger purchase. Think of a good realtor—they listen to the client’s needs, ask great questions and lead the client to their own conclusion. That type of patient, thoughtful approach will transform your evangelism efforts.


2. Social Media Users

Social media has become the way people connect, and it’s changing rapidly. I have seven children, and I can see the landscape of technological change from our oldest (who still uses Facebook) to our younger kids (who are on Instagram and Snapchat). But no matter the platform, people who have a bent toward reaching out and socializing are much more likely to reach out to new people at your church.

3. College Recruiters

We have hired numerous college recruiters over the years, and they consistently prove to be some of the most winsome, outgoing and likeable people I’ve ever met. By nature, a good college recruiter genuinely enjoys welcoming new people into an existing family. They’re excited about the school they represent and want the world to hear about it. That’s the perfect setup for a person who would be great at leading evangelism efforts at your church.

There are countless other examples of people who spend their workday selling, networking and recruiting. By thinking about your hires and key volunteer appointments from this viewpoint, you can build a team that will naturally expand your staff’s evangelism efforts and eventually change the climate of the entire church.

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William Vanderbloemen is the president and CEO of The Vanderbloemen Search Group.

William Vanderbloemen
William Vanderbloemen

William Vanderbloemen (@WVanderbloemen) is the president and CEO of The Vanderbloemen Search Group and the co-author (with Warren Bird) of Next: Pastoral Succession That Works. He holds degrees from Wake Forest University and Princeton Theological Seminary.