5 Ways To Set Evangelism Goals

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The more involved in leading a church, the less we seem to be focused on evangelism.

I am the dean of a school that focuses on missions and evangelism, but evangelism does not always come easy to me. That is surprising to me now, as sharing my faith was quite easy when I was a young believer. In fact, evangelism was never difficult until I became a pastor – when the multiple tasks of ministry seemed to get in the way of evangelism. The more involved I was in leading my church, the less involved I seemed to become in evangelism.

I since have realized that I must intentionally plan evangelism into my life. I have also learned that I am not the only pastor who has to work to keep evangelism at the forefront of his ministry. For me, doing so includes setting personal goals about evangelism.

I am well aware that setting goals for evangelism makes some people nervous. Some will fear that I am suggesting manipulating others into a “decision” for Christ simply to increase numbers. Others may be concerned that I am reducing non-believers to a project to be completed. Some will think that my approach is too man-centered.

None of these concerns is legitimate, in my opinion. I know that God alone saves, and I agree that we must be careful not to manipulate others into a false sense of spiritual security. I also realize that setting goals can lead to impersonal evangelism and a man-centered focus, but I am not convinced that establishing goals automatically leads there.

What I am suggesting is that we must so love God, so believe the Gospel, and so grieve over a lost world that we do whatever it takes to be obedient to the Great Commission. Perhaps the goals I am recommending here will prove helpful to others, particularly as the North American Mission Board calls us to emphasize God’s Plan for Sharing (GPS).

First, set a goal for developing relationships with non-believers. In most cases, we get so isolated in our Christian bubble that we seldom have strong friendships with non-believers. Countering this tendency is not easy unless we intentionally strive to develop relationships with people outside of the church. Consider setting a goal to be in a growing relationship with at least three non-believers at any time – while always watching for opportunities to share the Gospel.

Second, set a goal for praying for non-believers. Pray for the three relationships mentioned above, and then pray for at least two more non-believers. Determine to pray at least weekly that God will open their blinded minds (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) and transfer them from the dominion of darkness to the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1:13). Pray as well that you will share the Gospel boldly and clearly when an open door is apparent (Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 2:3-4).

Third, set a goal for simply speaking about God’s goodness. Many of us are out of the habit of speaking about God to anyone unless the other person raises the subject. One way to move toward sharing the Gospel is to start by speaking of God’s goodness to someone each day. Speak about God to your spouse, a staff member, the convenience store clerk, or the bank teller. Tell somebody about God’s work in your life each day, and sharing the Gospel may well become easier.

Fourth, set a goal for sharing the Gospel. Develop relationships, pray for others, begin to speak about God – and then trust Him to empower you to speak the Gospel to someone. If you are not evangelizing now, consider a goal to share Christ at least twice a month. If you are already doing evangelism, ask God to move you toward sharing Christ at least weekly, if not daily.

Fifth, set a goal for mentoring new believers. The Great Commission is not complete when a non-believer has chosen to follow Christ. If you are not mentoring young believers, you are missing a critical component of the disciple-making process. Take the initiative – set a goal to mentor one or two believers, and then go enlist them!

My prayer is that all Southern Baptists will so walk with God that evangelism is a natural outflow of our lives. We are a long way from there, however. We are weak disciple-makers, and our statistics make us painfully aware that we are doing far too little evangelism. All of our evangelism programs will be ineffective unless individual Southern Baptists reaffirm our commitment to the Great Commission. I pray that we will set some personal goals to move in that direction. 

Established in Nashville, Tenn., in 1891, LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention is one of the world’s largest providers of Christian products and services, including Bibles, church literature, books, music, audio and video recordings, church supplies and Internet services through LifeWay.com. The company also owns and operates 156 LifeWay Christian Stores throughout the United States, as well as two of the largest Christian conference centers in the country. Through its publishing division, B&H Publishing Group, LifeWay has produced one of the most accurate and readable Bible translations ever - the Holman Christian Standard Bible. LifeWay is a religious nonprofit organization that receives no funding from the denomination, and reinvests income above operating expenses in mission work and other ministries around the world.

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  • Christlives07

    Beautiful and tasteful advice on Evangelism. It really helps to see how to spread the Gospel.

  • Whitetotheharvest

    God has a very far-reaching plan of evangelism encompassing many people working together in prayer, varying types of outreach and finally bringing in the harvest. 

    I have been able to do the harvesting of souls for which other people have planted and watered, some times for years.  In other words, evangelism is a huge team effort for which God gets the glory.  I have family members who need to be saved, but by whom I will not be heard.  I pray for them, knowing that others on the team will minister to them at the right moment. 

    At other times the Spirit directs me to hand out literature or a New Testament to someone busy at their work.  When my wife and I go out soul-winning on Saturday mornings, I have fasted and prayed beforehand; and we pray and ask the Lord to guide us to people who are ready to be saved.  He always does!