The pastor on the phone sounded defeated. “I talked to the church board about Evangelism and they said they didn’t want any evangelism this year, and maybe not next year either.”
In situations like this it is possible to forget that evangelism is not based on the fleeting emotions of people but rather on the direct commands of Jesus! Jesus said “Go!” “Disciple!” “Baptize!” “Teach!” and if we are going to be faithful to the One who died for us we must evangelize!
But what should you do if church leaders show little or no enthusiasm, or even try to roadblock your efforts? Here are four things to do.
1. Listen and agree whenever possible. When there is resistance say “Tell me more” or “Help me understand your thinking” then listen well to what they say. You might hear responses like “Last time we did evangelism we spent a fortune and didn’t baptize anyone” or “There were ten people baptized last time we did evangelism and you can’t find any of them now” or “People are so busy that I don’t think anyone would come” or “We need to get our church stronger spiritually before we do evangelism.” Listen without being defensive. Agree as often as you can. You might respond with statements such as “It does sound like a lot of money was spent with few visible results” or “That’s really disappointing to see people baptized and then we lose them so quickly” or “People do seem to be very busy these days” or “We really do need to grow stronger spiritually as a church.”