5 Must-Have Keys to Any Evangelism Strategy

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Will Mancini offers time-tested wisdom with these five essentials that any outreach strategy MUST have in order to work in your local culture.

Rather than adopting the latest program, churches that walk the  vision pathway with Auxano  find their own practices and nuanced approaches to engage people who are far from God.

Through the years of helping design missional initiatives and evangelism training, I have found  five essentials that any strategy MUST have in order to work in your local culture. 


Evangelism starts with proximity, and genuine interest expressed through conversation and organic relationship building. Oftentimes churches start evangelism training with how to articulate the gospel.

But when your church folks no longer have connection with people far from God, it doesn’t matter how eloquent your gospel presentation rolls.


When you develop your own strategy, you can’t help but develop unique language for the process of evangelism. This distinct terminology flows out of your church culture for your surrounding community culture.

In a sense, new language is a part of incarnating the the truth of the gospel in your time and place.

For example, one church in the bible belt, uses the language of “hope” as a door opener in conversation. Another, in the deeply unchurched Pacific Northwest uses the terminology of  ”self-reliance” to clarify the problem of a life disconnected from God.

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Will Mancini Will Mancini emerged from the trenches of local church leadership to found Auxano, a first-of-kind consulting ministry that focuses on vision clarity. As a “clarity evangelist,” Will has served as vision architect for hundreds of churches across the country, including such notable pastors as Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado. Will holds a Th.M. in Pastoral Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and has authored Church Unique: How Missional Leaders Cast Vision, Capture Culture and Create Movement; he also co-authored Building Leaders with Aubrey Malphurs.

More from Will Mancini or visit Will at http://www.willmancini.com/

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  • Whitetotheharvest

    I agree with many things that you say, however, the idea that you have to have a personal relationship with  a non-believer as a prerequisite to leading him to Christ is a misconception.  Of the more than 500 people in the last three years I have led to the Lord using the gospel, only one did I know personally.  It is the gospel that has the power to save not personal relationships.
    Knowing how to approach people and get them to listen to the gospel is actually the key thing.  It is not as difficult as you folks think.  That is where the training comes in.  Training works, but for eagles not chickens!

    • Dan_Cartwright

      I’ve found that it’s really rather easy to discuss ‘spiritual’ stuff with folks, take that to the subject of God and then to the Gospel. At times it might take several conversations over time, and at other times, God has so opened a heart to receive the truth that Christ died for our sin, that it doesn’t take a long time of relationship building to have the ‘gospel’ conversation. And yes, there is where good training comes in!

      • Whitetotheharvest


  • Dan_Cartwright

    How about as #1, a genuine God-given burden for lost souls? And then KNOWING the definition of the gospel as the Apostle Paul defined it in 1 Cor 15. Might even begin to pray for God to open hearts to receive the message, like Lydia in Acts. Then walk through open doors. Knowing the message and God opening hearts are the key things. Only God can get someone to listen to a message that is actually offensive to the non-believer.

    Personally, I am sooooooo tired of hearing from Peter Drucker!

    • Whitetotheharvest

      I agree with you on most points.  When the gospel is properly presented, it is not offensive to all non-believers.  You might want to reread Paul’s presentation of the gospel to the Jews in Pisidian Antioch making note of what he preached before getting to the gospel message.  I found it quite enlightening.

      • Dan_Cartwright

        Are the lost all around us those who are perishing outside of Christ?
        “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” -1 Cor 1:18-23
        Assuming that there are two sorts of minds, the carnal or fleshly, and spiritual (only possible in believers), what does the carnal mind think of God, according to these passages?
        “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”  – Romans 8:7
        “..no one understands; no one seeks for God.  – Romans 3:11
        I would submit to you that when the gospel is received with gladness of mind and heart it is because God has opened a mind that is by nature against him, and turned a heart full of wickedness (in God’s sight) toward Himself and therefore, that the gospel properly presented IS an offense to the unbeliever, but to those who are ‘being saved’ (have God opened minds and hearts) it is a sweet aroma.

        Is that a bit clearer?

        • Whitetotheharvest

          Yes.  Thank you for the clarification. 

  • http://twitter.com/ACGheen A C Gheen

    Excellent article!  I particularly applaud the first two points.  Too often, Believers shy away from developing close relationships with those who do not yet share our “point of view”.  Yet, it is through these very relationships that we earn the right to share the Truth of the Gospel with others!  Our “voice” is developed as we genuinely engage with those around us, putting our personal relationship with Christ into action.  Such an approach is far more effective than any list of prepared verses could ever be, since it demonstrates the reality of the words which we speak and the message that we preach!

  • Maria

    Right on whitetotheharvest. The trouble I am having is the resistent of church people. My sunday school teacher said that God puts you in situations… like standing in a Walmart line up for God’s purposes. So I asked him…what does that look like in practical terms. One person said well, maybe is smile is enough. My teacher said, maybe letting them ahead of you in line is another. I said, ATHEISTS can do that. Unless you have a way to start a conversation you aren’t doing anything anyone isn’t doing. I’ll trying to get them to understand something that I noticed when I was a non-believer. I heard alot of christians profess Christ but their lives didn’t reflect it. Now, if a christian did something nice for me, back then, but didn’t tell why he did it, how am I going to know that his inspiration was God and not himself? Maybe it may have changed my view of christians and christianity, if they just told me. IT’S NOT BOOSTING if your heart is right and you really do give God the glory and not yourself.

    • Whitetotheharvest

      I was just discussing your point with my wife.  If you do something nice for someone who is not a believer, they simply think you are a nice person.  You are right about the resistence of many church folk who so inured into their church culture that they can’t see the simplicity of the gospel message in the scriptures.  As Dan has pointed out, that message is clearly stated by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1-8.  Thanks for the shoutout.