There have been many church growth strategies created and shared with pastors over the years; many have worked and some have changed over time. Most pastors starting out begin to look at these examples and try to learn the best strategy to grow their church. I want to share about one proven strategy that will never change and will always work. It’s called personal evangelism.
At CityReach Church North Douglasville (CRCND), we are continuing to believe God to win as many souls for Jesus as we can. We have been in existence a little over nine months now in the urban downtown city limits of Douglasville, Georgia. We have developed a culture in which soul-winning is the number one priority. Every Sunday, we emphasize that every believer in the church needs to talk to the lost and hurting around them throughout the week wherever they go. If they are so blessed to win a soul that given week, we then have them send that information to us by text or email with a picture if possible, and we celebrate it every Sunday during our church announcements and post it on Facebook. We put it on PowerPoint slides and praise God together over any souls won that week. This has turned into a movement at our church!
In 2016, our church won 152 people to the Lord.
Our goal for 2017 is to win 200 people to the Lord. It is now July and we have won 110 people to the Lord! Sometimes when I share this with other pastors, I get the rebuttal, “But what about discipleship?” “Are you disciplining all these people?” This question normally comes from pastors that receive this celebration of souls being won from a competitive perspective. Let me share my heart with you, we are not competing against each other in winning souls. We are winning souls because Jesus told us to “Go”. Whether we lead a church or not, we should be personally evangelizing the lost. Absolutely, new souls won need to be disciple, but God told us we need to focus on catching the fish before we clean them.
Whether they come to our church or not, should we pass by without sharing the love of Jesus with them? Sadly, I think some believers have lost the excitement and desire to personally evangelize. For every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, our first call is a call to prayer and to spend time with the Father. Our second call is to “Go” and share the gift of the Gospel we have been privileged to receive. We shouldn’t just share from the pulpit on Sundays. It is easy to get into pride when the only time you share the Gospel is on Sunday morning after a good sermon. We should be sharing the gospel every day and everywhere we go to someone lost around us. You may say, “Well, I don’t have time to soul-win everywhere I go when I have all these responsibilities to manage at my church.”
If you are interested in grassroots church growth, let’s take our example from the book of Acts. Acts 2:47 tells us, “Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Now as a pastor, I totally believe in and work on all kinds of strategies for church growth, like marketing, community outreach, growth track classes, mentoring meetings, leadership training, small groups- just to name a few. However, I have learned that my motivation for talking to the lost cannot be based on trying to get them to attend my church. My heart would be in the wrong place if I worked like that.
I want to win souls everywhere I go because I love Jesus. That’s it. The Love of God should compel us to share the Gospel of Jesus.
Pastors, leaders, and people of God, make soul-winning your number one priority and God will add to your church daily as many that should be saved. If you ever need support in this area, feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.