A healthy church values church evangelism and has an evangelistic culture that creates an outreach focus. This leads to a mentality that seeks to present Jesus to those who don’t know Him.
This post is part of a series looking at the five essential components of spiritually healthy churches. The posts are:
What is Outreach Focus?
A corporate culture of church evangelism that creates a passion to reveal King Jesus to those who don’t know Him, through words, works and wonders. The word ‘evangelist’ means ‘herald’, which is someone who makes announcements or proclamations. Kings would have heralds who went out on the road ahead of them, declaring the king’s impending arrival and telling stories of the king’s power, wealth and might. This is the role of the evangelist, telling all who would listen about King Jesus.
Why is an Outreach Focus important?
Conversions happen as non-believers are engaged with outside the walls of the church in a myriad of ways, and see what the God who loves them is really like.
What does a healthy Outreach Focus bring to a church?
- An Outreach Focus anchors the apostolic on the purpose of bringing God’s Kingdom to people – seeing salvation and winning worshippers.
- It prevents the prophetic from embracing revelatory Gnosticism or mystical monasticism, ensuring the heart and mind of God is prophetically displayed.
- An Outreach Focus helps the pastoral remember there are more sheep to be found, preventing a perpetual ‘tending’ mindset.
- It keeps the teachers aware of real-life teaching needs that nonbelievers may have, and reminds them of the importance of teaching and applying the Gospel.
What happens if an Outreach Focus is lacking?
Without healthy church evangelism, a church can become seeker-sensitive. This is where it is driven to pursue the lost through programs and events rather than facilitating heartfelt encounters with the love, power or truth of God. Alternatively, the church will become inward-looking and self-serving, resulting in its ministries becoming aimed at serving those already saved. This will result in spiritual plateauing, stagnancy and decline.
What helps develop an Outreach Focus?
- The existence of an evangelistic council.
- Small groups that are interest-based and geared toward non-believers.
- Visitor-aware and hospitable Sunday teams, and a quick follow-up process.
- Regular evangelistic events, teams and programs away from the church building.
- Service evangelism – discovering the greatest practical or social need of the community and ministering to it.
- The influence of at least one fivefold evangelist
How healthy is the Outreach Focus of your church?
Is it geared towards outreach, as in, looking outside the immediate community of believers you have and deploying resources, time, people and energy to connect with people meaningfully?
Is it a focus, as in, part of the long-term thinking of the church as well as a priority in your current thinking and strategy?
- Discover how the health of your current evangelistic culture impacts other areas of your church in my FREE Fivefold Health Check.
- Learn how I help churches like yours define, grow and develop their church evangelism by going here.
- Download a FREE chapter of my book ‘Keys to Church Health’ by clicking here.
- Review the other Keys to Church Health by going here.