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Ignite Your Church - Part 17: Keys to Successful Public Evangelism

Jim Howard

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 23, 2019
    2:45 PM
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Father heaven thank you so much for this beautiful day and the blessing of your presence as we've been meeting together we thank you for the encouragement that we received but also Lord for the conviction as the Word of God and the counsels of your spirit have been speaking to our hearts pray now that as we take time to talk about the work of public evangelism this afternoon that he would bless us with insight and wisdom and help us to know how to implement what we learned back home we thank you Jesus and. So we want to answer some questions and I'm just going to make sure before I dive into this that we refresh our memories really what we believe in is comprehensive evangelism Ok with that. There you hear it now might need to be there it is. We believe in comprehensive evangelism which means that public Emanuel ism is part of a whole and it does a lot of things but the primary thing that we speak of when we talk about programs was and is the hardest because a public man 6 series that has. Meetings in close proximity to one another so people are coming out night after night. Has the ability to gain decisions and bring conviction unlike just about anything else and so because of that. We refer to it as a harvest but it doesn't only harvest earth. Right. Absolutely and and yet it also doesn't planting because some people are coming for the 1st time doesn't cultivate it because it is covered the topics that you would in a series of Bible studies but its primary purpose is harvesting So just wanted to make sure we understand what we're talking about public meaning that this is not evangelism in its entirety but we're talking about an important element of the Comprehensive the manger was the process so that's what I want to do is look at some questions here and I'm going to share some things Mark will weigh in wherever he deems appropriate as well and then if you have questions after we cover these at any time you can raise your hand. You did not ask these questions or submit these questions but we have heard these questions lots and lots of times and so we are just bring you what are commonly asked issues that people have with public demand so the 1st one is up here isn't the church too focused on a mandolin and Mark made a point there in the beginning that what happens when something doesn't work is that the local church stops doing it and therefore it suffers I would venture to say that a church that stops doing public eventual ism is 9 times out of 10 a church that begins to die and I'm just. You know we can say oh we're going to do this instead and that instead but what generally happens is that church does not see the. Interest growth it doesn't see the activity it has very little going on and it soon dies public of Angeles I'm itself has more. Impact than just the invent it's Sell it has the impact of being a motivator for everything else that happens in the church because you build everything around this harvest event so it kind of drives other things to happen as well so when you're not doing it you find that other ministries actually also begin to suffer and people just kind of where we don't have that come in there's nothing pressing and so they don't really do much and before long and not doing anything at all and you didn't get a little less. Money. In. Our lives and even a little of. The our friends know her name. All been wonderful. Maybe those are. Younger. I had. When. I was. Really. Very true well let's not forget that it's also our. Reason for our organization actually Apostles page nonce of the Church of God The point agency for the salvation of men it was organized for service and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world so keeping that in front of us we need to remember. Evangelism is not just something that we do it is in essence our purpose for existence it's it's the reason that we're organized and a couple other quotes that I think are very. Valuable for somebody who is struggling with this this one I shared just from memory but I may not accord it exactly right the other day from Christian service page 79 we have no time to lose the end is near We must look our work fairly in the face and advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare that is an incredible statement to me we've got to advance how as fast as possible I mean there's just no. Way that that could be interpreted other then and Vangelis thickly we have to advance as fast as possible. And one more from Chris a service page $262.00 in proportion to the enthusiasm and perseverance with which the work is carried forward will be. As they say known as tomorrows in proportion to the enthusiasm and perseverance with which the work is carried forward will be the success given think about that in proportion to the enthusiasm that means staying was hopeful energetic positive excited even. Every portion the enthusiasm and the what perseverance what is perseverance diligence under what opposition difficulty no results right I mean you need a person you know you don't need a persevered. Right you. Know and it's not going to just automatically bring results so the idea is in order to have results we have to get through periods of no results and still press forward positively hopefully with enthusiasm that in proportion to those things will be the success given so we need to not ever give up I need to add in my 1st half a. Year and here. I have now. 7 years I have read out. There you have. To improve. Or working in a legal. Army. Or if you're. Older. Then wonder why don't. You. Ever. Work. But absolutely Ok let's ask another question isn't true evangelism a lifestyle Well you know I. Go into. The you know. Or. The why don't we book or murder me through. Our we get me through. What I wrote in the. Other. Doing all but in the room very. Hard. To. See the well knew the answers to your. Own or. The. Well we're going. To be. Landing there over you me her. Were are were to me. Let them do you remember that you know more. Well. Hollow of her early Virgona. Or Negro very loudly that they must carry her yet the Lord had made. Earlier. For. Now nevertheless I am of the ring that they. Do your duty. And that we think we're going to bother learning now. How we're going to big trouble back of it then. We're going to learn another. War the last year in the middle with we're. Right. You know who you were. Our parents we. Have to be done. Loving you are born again well. I was going to make sure. When the best for. Our boys. In the whole thing in the. Freezer that when you have ever really thought of it or you are going to burn the earth are you ruling the old rubber or what. I think one of the mistakes that people make is thinking that we've been focused too much on a man's wisdom when our actual problem is not enough pace in a band or. We do not come even close to the type of pace and activity that we should be having it should be coming and that we should have the churches should have active ongoing ministries that are humming and and you know when you're when you're looking at it as a. You know drudgery and it never works where have you you tend to just kind of not put your heart into it and then you feel like how do we need to do this again but. So so it's actually the opposite of what most of us think there needs to be greater pace and if you are really to look at where Ellen White saw places where they were really doing what God intended them there was a great pace a beehive of activity she called so we we obviously can't burn everybody out but if you work smart you can have active ongoing ministries in every phase of the evangelist across s. going at any given point. And now and talk about lifestyle you've heard it said that evangelism is not an event it's a lifestyle. The problem with making that a definitive statement is that. You need more to be evangelists take then watercooler evangelism. You have to have actual planning actual organization and that doesn't happen just naturally. Little white. Area. Yeah left. But let me tell you. And it could be that includes the city it can include more than kind and friendly It can include organic conversations about spiritual things then talking to people about God in the Bible and what have you but if that is the extent of your evangelist effort as a church you will not win souls you've got to have planned organized methods so what we've done is we have so said that we focus too much on events and methods and we don't let the Holy Spirit work that has become something so much of a mantra that some people have lost the value of organized events and being very having very clearly laid plans one of my statements here is from education to 62 well might says success and any line demands a definite aim. He would achieve her success in life must keep steadily imbued him worthy of his endeavor such an aim a set before the youth of today the heaven appointed purpose of giving the Gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being it opens a field of effort everyone whose heart Christ has touched so it's our evangelism can't be aim less it must have a definite aim we must have a definite purpose and goal one of my other favorite statements that she says is that every church member should devote time to winning souls for Christ Well how do you devote time to time talking to your coworker is not time that you devoted right what do you what does it mean when you say you devote time you set aside when ahead of time so in other words we are to plan ahead of time for evangelists take effort not just as it happens in our life so yes we should be doing Evangel living in you know our life should be an evangelist Dick endeavor but that is not all it means to be evangelist it public evangelism is one of those things that must be thought out ahead of time it must be coordinated it must be organized and that is in the plan of God that we plan ahead for evangelist effort so we need intentionality because and then listen doesn't just happen by the way organic doesn't mean just haphazard organic means organ ised organize and that is one of the things that we failed to do in our churches if you look at many of our Vangelis at meetings they are haphazard affair they're actually kind of bungled together and we hope everything works out. And we do not have a carefully laid out planet that the Middies themselves are a part of and that is one of the reasons that we suffer so much in our success or lack of success in the Middle East campaign so yes offensive and lifestyle but it's more than that how often should we do evangelism What do you think all the time Ok absolutely So the question almost implies that evangelism is only an event so on the one side you have the person who thinks that evangelism is just you know the organic things that come up in my day to day routine and on the other side you have people who think evangelism is only events and we have shown I think anough that there is a process and evangelism and you need events but you also need an ongoing process evangelism is something that is on going everything in fact I would even Sco so far as to say that you need to not just build your calendar in a way so that when you get to the end eventually sick meeting you baptize certain people and then you start all over again. You should always have people who are at every stage of development some of them you're just met some of them you've been studying with for some some of them are a to be baptized you've got a whole queue that is always being filled with different people that's the only way that you have continued sustainable growth otherwise you start all over in the beginning and it's slow moving so that's the point of having ongoing ministry. Or 3. Or I mean the ground. There is. You. You run to for my or renewal. For. My name are you. Now again you're not nice. That. You. Were so so that's just trying to make it clear that public evangelism in terms of the meetings themselves are not the definition of evangelism we need to be clear about that having said that public as a segment is I think we should do at least once a year. And when I would be in a district with 2 churches I would do spring and fall so I could try to be involved in coaching and what have you and both of them. But some churches like how many of you know Bill McLendon you know him because he was out West but Bill McLendon was down in south Tulsa the churches were growing or his church was growing very fast and then he went out for a while out west and then he came out and was pasturing in where near where I live in Maryland Ellicott City and everywhere he's gone his church is have grown significantly and let me give you a little insight into what I think is the primary reason he does some unique things but. But there's one thing he does that I think really it's very clearly a way to grow your church. He has at least 4 evangelistic meeting of the year so when he was in South Tulsa he would have 6 a year but he slowed down you know you get older and keep up and he only did one a quarter and he had the church members that they didn't always they were always working evangelists meetings but different ones would be plugged into different meetings but they every quarter had this going and. You know there were some aspects of what he did I wouldn't necessarily do the same and I think in terms of. Standards for baptism maybe they were exactly where I would put those standards or preparation was not quite as thorough as I might do but there was no question that this growth was meaningful growth and it was because he was very active. And deliberate So remember when I said pace we just you know we move at a pace and we get what we. Work or you know I mean exactly so it's it's very much the case that if you do wrap it up you will have more growth you know it comes at a cost but that is what will happen so that's a very real answer to how we often we do I think at least once a year churches they get worn out from doing it once a year I don't know what to say I mean I understand that it's. It's a busy time of the year but you know it's not you know torturous. It's just a focus that spoke. Everything for a. Car in your. Fire going to remember. There in the. And I think success helps so I understand that churches who feel like it hasn't been resulting in much become more discouraged but that's no reason to not do it when you know what we know for a fact that all over it is still successful and I don't know how you measure success but souls baptized into the church as a result of meetings regardless of the number is success and I believe that some years are good years some years not so good but your purpose should not be thinking of you know I'm just not doing it but thinking of how to do it better how can we make sure that this better how can we make sure we have regretted results and each year you're improving on which let's say someone goes through a series of Vangelis in eating and they're there every night for 3 week. 3 weeks if you go 5 nights a week it's 15 nights in order to learn everything you need to to make an intelligent decision about both doctrinal and practical commitments of what it means to be a 7th Avenue 15 nights is not enough so you would have to have maybe a 5 or 6 week meeting and even if you did that and you had decisions for baptism you would still need it with that individual and you would walk through the whole entire message and make sure they understood the commitment they were making and that would involve all the things that they didn't understand when they made that statement such as you know you're becoming a member of the 7th Avenues church after this process we're going to continue studying and we're going to have a discipleship process and we're going to get you integrated into the church because we believe that everyone who becomes a member is a soul enter and they're going to be actively engaged as well and they would be all part of the preparation process for baps and they would have no thought to say oh I'm just going to go back to my church because we would have already made very clear that this is a much bigger thing than that so that just tells me that somebody was. Moving too hastily in the baptism process. We're not really. Me. Well to me going to. Spell the. Word. The was. Better when I think. You. Didn't mean the. New year no. You're not a religion and you've never yet others might believe you about it now. By the group. By any means relying on. The pressure in the direction. Of the battle. Ok I'm going to give you another common one shouldn't we focus more on Jesus and less on doctrine or less on prophecy. You know it's interesting to me that as a church that we could possibly be confused about then and think that these 2 things are separate and in any way here I'm not saying that it is not possible for someone to give a a Christ less presentation elem I spoke very plainly during the late 18th hundreds about those with preached the law until they were as dry as the hills of Bilbo and what she said as a response was that we should preach what they may know Christ in the law. And what what many people today such as the one project. Within avatars and have done is focus as if what she said was we should preach Christ she said we should preach Christ in the law because Christ is The gives meaning to everything that we believe and there's a statement I want to share on this especially as it relates to doctrine because it really dispel the myth. This election mess does book to page 87 the truth for this time is broad and its outlines far reaching embracing many doctrines but these doctrines are not detached items which mean little they're united by golden thread forming a complete whole with Christ as the living center so the doctrines are not detached they're they're tied together and Christ is the Living Center what that means is that we don't have to make Christ the center of our doctrine he's already the center of our doctor we actually have to try in order to not have Christ bring meaning into the doctrine we actually have to make an effort because Christ is always part think of any doctrine that we have and tell me a doctor that we have that you think it's very easy for us to not present Christ as the Living Center let's think about evangelists experience for a minute what might you start with Daniel to what's the focal point of Daniel to. The coming of Jesus right I mean the stone comes at the very end we're looking forward to the coming of Christ and we're living in the very end of time just before Jesus will come these prophecies are all true and therefore we can trust the Bible and the promises that have been made there so you have right at the forefront of Daniel to the picture of the grand consummation of the coming of Christ then you might have something on the great controversy well what's the focus of the great controversy you know the issue of the love of God and Christ versus Satan and and the battle that wages between good and evil and then you come into probably something like salvation not too hard to find Christ in the center of that right Ok then you come into something like the law well what do we say about the law. We say that the laws are still the will of God for Christians but we also say that the law cannot save you the law points out our sin and leads us to cries for salvation and then we tell them about the Sabbath which is not the Sabbath of the Jews but it's the Sabbath of Jesus Christ because he's the creator he is the Savior and at the Sabbath is a monument of those things and he can't because Jesus kept the Sabbath we follow the example of Jesus and he says if you love me keep my commandments our entire means if you are really in this slice away all of what some people there you know complaints and you actually go to a series of meetings and listen and to what's being presented you're going to find that Christ is already at the center of what we believe in to. I'm not saying it's not possible to improve by always making sure to emphasize the relation of that doctrine to the plan of salvation but that being the case. It's kind of inherent in everything that we teach and believe in if you keep going you know the judgment the 2nd coming you know as we go through the whole process even the anti-Christ we end up talking about in essence the counterfeit to Christ and you know tradition versus being faithful to God and to the will of God The other thing and Cameron has pointed this out in a couple armies pretty faithfully we get weird about focusing on Jesus and not God. Like if you talk about God It's Ok but you really talk about Jesus that we need to be she's spoken as if that is going to represent something much better to the world than focusing on God We kind of almost create a division that we shouldn't be there so we need to recognize that we really have a beautiful message and it does not need you know us to be artificially manufacturing something in order to you know get people to to see Jesus in it because he's already there and one of the point on this and I'm sure Mark what's coming through but I believe that the biggest and most important thing you can do to keep Christ at the center of any message that we give in advance of any or otherwise is just your own conversion because when when I speak or when I went to somebody who's sharing the bar with somebody has an experience with Christ it's going to be the natural thing for them to appeal to people so that same experience it's a genuine outgrowth of being a Christian so this is not. As complicated or mechanical as we like to make it sometimes making sure we have the slides you know full of pictures of Jesus and we say Jesus 12 times whatever it is not how you do it it's just having a genuine experience with God and that will come out and it's built into every doctrine that we believe that you have in the United. Your. Wife. May have been. I'm her. Whatever you do know her the more you know but the. Moment Well you're right right now. So that you remember the video we wanted. But. You know you're not averse to leaving the group. But you're not really do you are you the you or you're going to be you writing in the world as well you. Are in. A mess Well I about prophecy like. I was the early morning in. Life and you're. Really working the. Proper. Aren't having when you were on the line when I worked. In. Somebody or recommending her writing you know I really like the. Why but I don't see. Her. But what about another author of the. More money more for Louis Ernie. So they. Were. All watching the. News. You know the news you. Know you were going to do so. Well moving not sure you were out of the. One of the I never knew. The one thing the Navy. Never asked. Me the. Biggest will never marry an. American but I'm free. And. That was really. Nothing well who are living. In the whole. Idea of the right angle. Land mine for the old man now are. You. Awake in that. When you come up the $500.00. You. Are leveling the her out of everything. For her. When the text says so the text says. That you may know that I am He that word he is added anything that you may know that I am talking about that you may know me not just as this carpenter Mazur that the you know that I am the Son of God but I know everything that I hold everything in my hand that's the power prophecy it brings us in to contact with divinity and that's what you need in order for conversion. So that's why it and the Bible need to be seen as a divine book in order for people to be converted that's why prophecy is so powerful and if you really look at it Jesus Ellen White says after quoting from Mark chapter one you know Jesus said The time is fulfilled the kingdom of God is at hand and that time is fulfilled is prophetic time and he says Thus when Jesus presented the gospels it was based on the prophecy or when he presented gospel it was based on the prophecy and then you look at the early church and on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached and he said this Jesus you know in the grave could not hold him why because in some 16 it said you will not allow your holy want to see corruption he preached what he was preaching about Christ based on the prophecy and then she talks about Paul who preach nothing but Christ and Him crucified and she says basically the way he did that was by tracing them through the prophecies if you read about that in actually apostle so throughout we see that God has always given the preaching of prophecy to bring out the divine conviction in the heart of of the fact that God knows something that you know is beyond mere human possibility Ok here's what I want to do we're going to have a pick your favorite question which one of these do you want. Ok Should we do Personal Evangelism instead No we should do both because l y it makes very clear that the Personal Evangelism if you can only choose one you should do personal but if both are combined she says a more perfect and thorough work may be wrong so we should devote public man to mean work anymore yes it does the seller hasn't cost too much no it doesn't what if my church Now this does all the event of cost too much. Yeah if you are blowing your money not doing a meeting right. If you're if you're not being careful and good stewards and making sure you do your meeting well so that you have as much success as possible then yeah anything is spending too much because you're wasting your money because you're not. You know caring for the profit or. The. Rug or were. Lower in the. Financial power going to morrow or like. In our flag or whatever of either you have taken. Your job or the. Uncle you must. Be using the new number. In the market. You know the I'm not. Going to. Raise. My rents money. Now. Well I am not alive though there was the if I were ready you. Are encouraged in the near to me the I didn't read any further then the economy was. Never just it was never our thing. Really why would you waste the money the underground work in the. Not more pressure each other and in. Many of them the middle of nowhere. But I am one of you. But what often happens is if they if they do the the fires and. Count that cost then the next time they say you know what this time we're going to just do we're going to be really aggressive and personal We're going to pass them out or you personally they pass out you know 500 or something and they get one person because whether you pass them out or email I'm still going to generally get one for thousands. So you might not get anybody. If you pass it out to people you know but the bottom line is even with people you know it's not a high percentage so why would you take out the part like I can if I go and do a meeting I can have 4050000 handbills delivered and I can know that I'm going to get 40 to 50 guests on opening night why would I not want that like the option is to not do it because we're just wanting to preserve that money and by preserving the money we ensure that we only have a couple people there they come for a couple nights the members are discouraged every Just as it doesn't work anymore I'm just saying that one person can still produce a pretty good crowd and there are sometimes if you have the right synergy where you can have more than. I know what I thought and you know that's what. The artwork. And. The mailing and we get much better well I. Love you back or about our or by other well I'm more of the. One for about that but I view it more I get more about the wearers of that people though I've. Got another by one of letting people out that will bring the war right so it's not a. More. Violent. That was a drug. That thing. Up there is really about that and we want to do it all out 1st of that we will let them all out their money in that in that. Way yes. But back to that and in addition when both are applying the word we're right. All the. Program. Are the main What is the word and the sort of. All mine to make. It Work Yeah well you're doing in the middle. Not out there or there but. I would also ask the lady who got the 9 by was there is another 4 and ask for any of those for one who you got. Were any of the 4 that came in from the mailing the same ones of the 9. Which means that there are people that you will never again unless you do that mailing right stuff so you've got to do both You've got to get you've got the volume mass type of stuff and you've got as much what I would tell churches is when I pastor we need to distribute personal limitations as if we are not sending out a single hand. And then we need to send out as many handles as we can afford so you got to do you have to do it both ways or else you know you've got to put your heart into meetings one thing that people do is do half hearted meetings and they end up seeing failure and all Ok I had hands up. Thinking. That. I was. Let's be real Yeah. So true. Name. That the right over here in the in the back. I know. Better. Every night you may. Have alerted. Me better than you need somewhere. Brother me. Right in the world. But never. Never. Never never never. And in the in the next session I'm going to get really practical about things you can do to get higher attendance and keep your attendance but Mark just. Mentioned something that made me think of when I went out to Alpena and I went there and as a pastor when you go into an area especially have as a pastor what you want with your 1st meeting if you want success. Because you know those members are all ready to tell you that we shouldn't do this this is a waste of money that this won't work I mean the majority of this think frank with you and so you want to do it well so I went up there I said hey we need to start talking about what are your goals what are your plans what are your plans for building on to this church wearing building on the church well I mean when we fill it up and down here can it not them really have you know x. number room and if we add this many per year then we're going to need you know and they're like What are you talking about you know and so then oh my Ok so what we're going to do these meetings this year and why don't we were already done before us I suggested we do in a neutral hall where we have Sabbath school classrooms here and I said well you're going to get higher attendance and so yes you have the crossover but anybody who may be wouldn't cross over probably wouldn't have gone to your church in the 1st place anyway so you're going to get higher attended to start with and you can build on that etc So I look at a faster and so we did something at the civic center in our Pina and I made sure we sent out a healthy number of hand-bills I'm not going to skip on the handbill I want to make sure the crowd and those people show up they knew how many we sent out but they still didn't leave anybody going to show up I had my help head elder in rolled in the chairs and said I'm all up and we had a little hall in the civic center and he did like a 3rd of the hall the chairs left their home and said we just need to leave it like that because you know you don't want to feel empty you know that's Ok if people start coming or going he goes and gets the thing starts will and then of setting up more chairs and people come apart he fills the hall and we fill the hall and we tell you something when you do that in a meeting the church members are like was no I've never seen you know and it was it was a blessing we had it baptisms that year and this is a little happiness and that meeting was a big part of the reason and there were just little things that we didn't like doing in a neutral hall setting out more handles and they had prevailed. That now having more pre-work and they had previously done little little things that they did because they didn't go halfway the I think when we did back when we had the satellite meeting some of the satellite media they 1st started that and we started doing it all the churches in our set all this is great this is so convenient because we got our classrooms here didn't cost us any more money etc and what it ended up happening was we put a little hindrance for many people to go to a meeting because it's not a neutral place and as a result you know I'm not against doing the church as I you know I support it but I would always do in a church I would rotate I can't but I want to keep them out now so you do not want to go into a meeting and and have a lackluster experience because it ruins what everybody feels about it for the future so why would you ever do anything but go all out and I think that was the point the marketing I'm just giving you by way of illustration Ok we are to the end of our session but we have one more did you have a hand up to. You can wait Ok All right well let's go ahead and cause for now and I'll have some more practical tips on how to have a successful meeting after the break this break Father in heaven thank you so much for just being here in our midst and stirring up our pure minds we know Lord that a lot of these questions are things that have rested in our hearts and in the hearts of our members but we need to be reminded of the real reason for the work that we do and of the fact that you have given us promises you've promised that in proportion to the enthusiasm and the perseverance with which we work will be the success given so please give us and do the end give us perseverance and pour out your spirit and bless our efforts which proves my labors brain just this media was brought to you by audio post a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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