Creating a Culture of Evangelism

By Chris Stephens

By Chris Stephens 

Creating a culture of evangelism is one of the most difficult things a church can attempt.  Evangelism goes against almost everything in our self-centered culture! Too many church members have become absolute consumers. Americans are the world’s greatest consumers of goods. This attitude has invaded far too many churches, as well. Some church members give their money and expect a certain amount of “goods and services” in return. It’s all about me.

Too many people enter church asking: “What’s in it more me?” This requires the pastor, staff and key volunteers to be totally committed to fighting this mindset. Jesus was clear: “Leave the 99 and go after the one.” One problem churches can face is that the 99 only care about the one, themselves. How can we be “comfortable” allowing anyone to fall headlong into hell?

I fully believe the most selfless thing a church can do is grow and reach the lost. To grow, people have to release and give up their pews, positions and power to make room for the people who have not yet attended. If a traditional church, that is plateaued, begins to grow, there can be a pioneer versus settler range war. The pioneers that built the church see it as their church and naturally hold on to it. Answer them by being ready–armed with the heart of Jesus for the lost and hell-bound.

Just a few ideas:

  1. Preach on hell with a broken heart not smiles and jokes. 
  2. Tell every story of evangelism in the church. 
  3. Make the church and its services more welcoming to the lost or wayward. 
  4. Expect the lost to attend. Preach like they are there already. You get who you talk to! 
  5. Pray for a burden for the lost to fall on the church members. 
  6. Create a culture of inviting to special events designed for the lost or de-churched. 
  7. Boost your first-impressions ministry (greeters, parking lot volunteers, kid’s ministry greeters, ushers, etc.) They must be welcoming, smiling, warmhearted saints who are glad to see new faces. No grumpy, non-smiling people. It is okay to move volunteers to another ministry. 
  8. Make the worship services exciting and engaging. Nothing creates an inviting culture like exciting, Spirit-filled worship services. 

Remember, the crowds always followed Jesus. If He is in the house they will tear the roof off to get in. To create a culture of evangelism, the church will have to become more about the lost and less about the already found. Leaders, you cannot create a culture of evangelism if you only pander to the people already there. You must lead with the fire of evangelism burning in your bones. Paul told Timothy: “Do the work of an evangelist.” This means all of us.

Chris Stephens is the Senior Pastor at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tenn. 

Published May 30, 2018

Chris Stephens

Dr. Chris Stephens is the Senior Pastor of Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Evangelistic Church Growth from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has a fervent dedication to reaching the lost. Dr. Stephens has a genuine passion to encourage, inspire and equip others to discover and use their God-given gifts, finding and fulfilling their life purpose in the process. He is the author of two books: The Climb of Your Life-Reaching the Peak of Your Potential and The Plan of Your Life-Managing What Matters Most. Called into the ministry 34 years ago, Dr. Stephens’ journey has taken him from a life in the projects to leading one of the fastest growing and largest churches in America. Using his life experiences and unique, relevant communication style, he easily connects with others and has had the opportunity to speak all over the world impacting thousands of lives. Since joining Faith Promise Church as its first and only Senior Pastor in July 1996, Dr. Stephens has been instrumental in facilitating the church’s growth from 250 to over 7,000 in attendance and a staff that has grown from 5 to 120. During this time the church has expanded to include six campuses located across East Tennessee, an international campus in Costa Rica, plus a global Internet Campus. Dr. Stephens and Michele, his wife of thirty-one years, have three married children and two granddaughters. They reside in Knoxville.