10 Questions to Diagnose the Evangelistic Health of Your Church

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Thom Rainer offers a list of compelling questions to help you measure the outreach heartbeat in your church.

Any good physician will make certain your physical exam includes at least three components.

First, the doctor will want you to have thorough lab work. Second, all exams include a comprehensive look at your physical body. Third, the physician will ask you a series of questions that would lead him or her to know more about your overall physical and emotional health.

In my work with churches across America, I often ask a series of questions that help me assist the church to become more evangelistically focused. Recently, I took time to write down the questions I ask most often.

Look at these 10 questions to get at least some hints of the evangelistic health of your own church.

1. Are members more concerned about the lost than their own preferences and comfort?

Listen to how church members talk to understand what their true priorities are.

2. Is the church led to pray for lost persons?

Most churches are pretty good about praying for those who have physical needs. But do they pray for those who have the greatest spiritual need—a relationship with Jesus Christ?

3. Are the members of the church open to reaching people who don’t look or act like them?

The Gospel breaks all racial, ethnic and language barriers. Do the members seek to reach others? Do they rejoice when these people become a part of the church?

4. Do conflicts and critics zap the evangelistic energy of the church?

An evangelistic church is a united church. A divided church is rarely evangelistic.

5. Do small groups and Sunday school classes seek to reach lost persons within their groups?

Sunday school was once one of the most effective evangelistic tools in the church. Are the groups in your church evangelistic?

Thom Rainer Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.

More from Thom Rainer or visit Thom at http://www.thomrainer.com

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  • Ben

    Mr. thorn, i know you know there are 5 gifts in a body of believers not all are called to be an evangelist. MR. Thorn if the Holy Spirit of God isn’t involved there nothing. reminder the Book of acts, who brought 3000 people in to the kingdom of God was it Peter or was it The Holy Spirit of God that gave the words to Peter. wait for the Lord to show you or he will lead you to the person that He wants you to minister to. You quote Billy Gram If the The holy Spirit did not lead him, Gram wouldn’t have been Gram. Ben

    • Peyton Jones

      Ben, I don’t think Thom is overlooking that. I think he’s assessing the evangelistic health of a church. I train leaders up in the Ephesians 4 model, so I get your concern. Thom however is addressing the evangelistic tension that a church should have as it balances the other 4 roles.

  • GaryColville

    Hi People, as a Pastor of 34 yrs in New Zealand and having ministered in a number of countries I have some thoughts. Ben I’m simpathetic to your call to the Spiritual Gifts but I see two issues that emerge out of this discussion. The first is that many Evangelists are restricted by the Church and therefore get frustrated which then leads to their ‘gift of the gab’ creating problems & often splits in the Church. The second is that Jesus called us all to Evangelise but only some have the gift of Evangelism. The problem is that it has become, all too often, about scalps collected instead of the motivation to care where lost people are going in eternity. I have an idea of what would happen if we took note of 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Make love your aim & ernestly desire the Spiritual Gifts……” Both aspects are imperative to the Church as it is the way God designed us to be as the body. Interesting analogy ‘the body’ as the mouth (the Evangelist) cannot go somewhere without the rest of the body because the only way real discipleship happens is in ‘the body’ context Biblically.
    Bless you

    • Ben

      Good God morning Gary&Payton, thank you for your responds, this is my opinion do what you will with it. as a part of the body of Christ i have been on fire for the Lord since Oct. 1977and the fire hasn’t diminished not one iota. Because of my love for our lord i tried very hard to please Jesus in my own desire, I bang my head in to a brick wall split more milk than any one else. however because of my desire to server,

      I did things wrong but God being so patient with me took care of all my mistakes.

      after awhile, banging my head against the wall i stared to listen to The Holy Spirit and his leading it was so much easer to things His way, no more head ache. as a pasture i believe he should be gifted to see who has what kind of gifts that are being manifested in his church than train then to do the work of the lord,Payton you used the word tension i don’t understand if we are being lead there is no tension. in my small circle I find some pasture want to do all the gifts themselves, they are so protected of there sheep and i thought we are children of God, thank you for your blessing In Jesus name your Brother in Christ Ben.

  • moses ngulube-zambia

    am so blessed with this message, may the giver(GOD) of who called you, give you wisdom and understanding than never before.

  • W Gunapema

    Actually I believed creche all most godfather saying something it is for the peoples are spiritualist and the

  • Guest

    Great article “Don’t question the pastor, he’s famous” about those famous pastors who are narcissistic and use shady method’s to silence those who oppose them. At WND.
    A heathy church isn’t always pointing to a pastor’s works, but to the Lord. Giving him the glory, not always saying “we did this, or that” look how great our ministry is…

  • Chad Moore

    I would add one. Is your church accessible? This would apply to people with disabilities as well as all those listed in question 3 in your article. We often forget to look at our environment and see it from the eyes of those who are “not like us”. As well, people with disabilities represent 650 million people around the world and are sometimes missed in our evangelistic strategies.


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