As we emphasize the great need for personal evangelism in the Lord’s church today, there may be a tendency on the part of some to question their own abilities. “But what can I do?” they may be asking. The truth is, evangelism is a broad subject, and there is room for everyone. Even if each of us cannot conduct a Bible study, there is work that we all can do. Consider the following suggestions:
1. Someone needs to be arranging the Bible studies. There is a difference between arranging a study and conducting one. These skills work together. I have known people, particularly ladies in the local congregation, who were quite skilled at arranging studies – either in their home or in the homes of others. They had that special talent for putting people at ease, and convincing them to do the right thing. We need bringers as well as teachers! Do you have a home you can open? Can you prepare cookies or other desserts, and maybe some coffee? Are you able to make the arrangements and facilitate the study?
2. We need transportation. It’s amazing how many people are willing to attend the services, but are not comfortable driving – especially at night. As the winter months approach, we should be aware that many people sit in their homes watching television on Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings, some of whom would love to get out if they had the ability. Do you have a vehicle? Do you have a driver’s license? Are you able to kindly offer your services in picking up folks at their home and taking them to the building?
3. We need more members who can encourage an “evangelistic mindset” in the congregation. If you lead prayers, why not mention this in public prayer? If you arrange youth events, be sure they have an evangelistic emphasis. If you conduct ladies classes, or other Bible classes, can you see how these could be used to bring the gospel to nonmembers? If you teach a Bible class on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening, you have a ready-made Bible study opportunity. Did you know that the Bible school program of the local church is historically one of the most effective evangelism tools of all? Encourage your students to bring a friend. Reward them for bringing visitors, and teach each pupil to have Bible studies with their class guests. Watch your class grow as you do so! Each teacher should be trying to outgrow their classroom!
4. We need “door openers.” Handing good tracts to nonmembers, if accompanied by a kind word and invitation to services, can open doors for future Bible studies. Distributing meals and other support, if done with an evangelistic mindset, can yield Bible studies. Never forget why you are doing these things. It’s far more than satisfying physical hunger. Remember, it’s not a competition between these things – they all work together. There is a synergistic effect created by the various good works of the church when they are done with a view to reaching souls.
5. We need more greeters and facilitators in the church building. We are blessed with numerous visitors. Hardly a week goes by that we do not have someone visiting. Are we mindful of these special guests? Can you get out of your routine and make it a point to speak with them? Can you hand them a Bulletin? Can you invite them out for a meal? It’s amazing how a kind word and warm greeting will bear fruit. This is something all of us can do, but it requires planning and purpose. Consider changing your arrival time. Maybe you need to be arriving earlier, so that you can assist in this way. What do you do when you arrive at the building? Are you busy with your own affairs, your own conversations? Re-examine your priorities and think about evangelism. Think about reaching the lost! Consider speaking with a guest, and escorting them to Bible class, and actually sitting with them! Yes, we will have to get out of “our” pew, but we can do it if we try!
Successful personal evangelism is not done by two or three. It requires a mindset on the part of the entire congregation. You may not be personally conducting a Bible study at the moment. But you can help cultivate them and make them happen. Each of us can help evangelize and save the lost!
– by Robert C. Veil, Jr.