If you feel your church needs a wake-up call and some practical help in reaching out to the community, this book is for you.
Short and punchy, Mission Minded contains a number of helpful tables to practically organise your church activities into:
Reaching out to non-Christians and telling them the gospel.
Building up the body of Christ (continuing to preach the gospel to Christians).
- Support to Ministry
This kind of follows on from edification - when maturing Christians participate in valuable behind-the-scenes support work to facilitate the spread of the gospel.
Then the Evangelism category can be further broken down into:
- Raising Awareness
Some people are totally unaware about Jesus, Christianity, or where the local churches are. An example of raising awareness could be promoting church events via mailbox drop, social media, newspaper ads etc.
- Initial Contact
The first contact a non-Christian may have with a Christian.
Inviting a non-Christian to an event run by the church, but it is more a social event, not one where the gospel is preached.
Telling someone the gospel, either in person via a 1-1 conversation, or at an event where it is preached.
The difficulty is that churches struggle with either two many activities, resulting in burn-out of its members and not much evangelism actually happening, or do nothing. You could argue that any event is worthwhile, but churches and people need to be strategic and wise with their limited time. It's not about what we enjoy, but about what will assist in spreading the gospel. Unfortunately many pre-evangelism activities are mistaken for evangelism i.e. having a ladies' morning tea to build relationships with community members is not evangelism unless the gospel is actually being preached there.
Churches really need to take a hard look at their activities to decide which category they fall into. For example, door knocking would come under Initial Contact. Carols by Candlelight would be Pre-Evangelism. Some activities overlap. Then they need to wisely prune some activities and seek to find a balance between evangelism, edification and support to ministry. This doesn't mean we aren't trusting God - He is the one who ultimately brings the fruit - but we need to be good users of our time.
There are blank tables in the book to help your own church start the process.
You can order this book from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.