A lot of churches struggle to maintain their enthusiasm for outreach and evangelism. If we don’t keep the church aligned with the Great Commission, attention and focus drifts. And before too long, a lot of the time, energy, and finances that could go to reaching others gets focused inward.
Here are some tips for keeping your church excited about outreach, or even rekindling passion that has dwindled.
1. Make outreach a regular focus
Casting vision isn’t a one-time affair. It requires regularly circling back and reminding people of their value and purpose. Decide on a cadence for teaching about outreach and equipping people with the necessary skills—and try to make it a little more often than might feel comfortable. The more people see this as an expectation and shared passion, the more invested they will be.
2. Instill a sense of personal responsibility
For some people, the idea of telling others about Jesus is daunting and uncomfortable. So it’s not too difficult to find justification for not doing it. Sometimes that means leaving this ministry to people who are “gifted” for it or to paid staff. It’s critical that people understand that the Great Commission is intended for all of us.
3. Avoid encouraging destination evangelism
Of course, we want to grow our churches and we want people unaffiliated with Jesus to feel comfortable attending and experiencing Christian community. But we want to be careful that we’re not communicating to others that their responsibility is to get people into the church building and then allow the pastor, community, programs, or even the building’s amenities to take it from there.
The goal is to get congregants excited about sharing with others how Jesus has changed their lives.
4. Find ministries to support together
Demonstrate the church’s commitment to the Great Commission by finding evangelism- and mission-oriented ministries to support like Jesus Film Project®. The goal isn’t just to give those ministries money, but to become invested in what they’re doing, praying for them, and getting involved together where you can.
One of the benefits is that you are exposed to inspiring stories that fuel more passion around outreach!
5. Equip people to build relationships
There was a time when people belonged to bowling leagues and clubs. They got together in each other’s houses to play bridge or for dinner parties. But over the years, our social circles have been shrinking and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the issue. Everyone is a lot more isolated, and communication is getting more and more detached and impersonal.
Before we can act on the imperative to share our faith, we need to be comfortable striking up conversations with strangers, making small talk, and intentionally creating a space for trust to grow. These are exceedingly helpful skills for people who want to share their faith—thankfully, they’re also skills that people can learn.
6. Offer them helpful resources
When it comes to sharing faith, some of us are completely comfortable winging it. Others feel a lot more relaxed with tools to help with the process. There are so many tools out there to make the process of evangelism easier. If you want people to be excited about outreach, the right resources can better equip and remove some of the anxieties around sharing with others. So make sure your church is stocked up with the best tools for engaging others.
Don’t forget about the Jesus Film Project® app
Next to the JESUS film itself, one of the most helpful evangelism tools we provide is the Jesus Film Project app. This app makes our library of films available for free. This comprises over 200 feature-length and short films, and all of them are available in multiple languages. With films like the JESUS film or Life of Jesus (Gospel of John), users have access to adaptations of the Gospels of Luke and John. But there are also tools for generating deep, meaningful conversations.
Download it today for Android and Apple devices.