Category Archives: Missions & Outreach

Tell the Truth

We live in a generation where knowledge is power.  It seems that if you know the most, you have power over those who know less.  We esteem information over just about everything else.  This is why we are often consumed with learning how to do things better.  We spend hours and days in training and seminars learning how to do many things.  Now let me say here that I believe education is valuable to a point and training is important if it helps you become who it is God has made you to be.  But there is a point when the training must stop and we should put it all into practice.

I know I personally have sat for many hours learning “How to share my faith”.  When I think about that, it almost seems wrong.  I have listened to others pour into me about how to share something that, if I have it, should be easy to tell.  It is, after all, MY FAITH.  What is it I believe? Who is it I believe in? Where do I place my faith?  The story of Jesus is a simple and powerful story.  We don’t have to read into it or add anything to it.  We just have to tell it.  We shouldn’t be afraid of it, but embrace it.  Our faith will see us through.  If we do believe in Him, we should be excited to tell the truth any time we have opportunity.  We will have a desire to share it with anyone we come in contact with as God provides the opportunity.

We are to be witnesses.  Acts 1:8 tells us that we are to be witnesses to those around us.  A witness is someone who tells what they have seen, heard or experienced.  That’s it.  We are just supposed to tell the truth and let God work out the details.  We should tell about what we have seen Jesus do, what we have heard about Him and what we have experienced personally.  It’s not a memorized presentation, but telling about something we have personally experienced.  A presentation that comes from the heart is more powerful than one that comes from a script.  You can reference scriptures as God brings them to mind, but know that in telling the truth, it doesn’t have to be a perfect presentation.  It just has to come from a witness who is available to be used.  If that is the case, what is it that keeps us from telling the story of truth?

Our faith may be misplaced.  This is easy to do in our lives.  It is much easier to believe in things we can see than in things we cannot see.  We often become tripped up by our own good intentions.

  • Our faith may be in others.  We don’t want to offend someone.  We don’t want them to become uncomfortable.
  • Our faith may be in ourselves.  We are afraid of what they will think of us if we tell them the truth.
  • Our faith may be in this world.  We are afraid that we will lose status, possessions, power or comfort if we tell the truth.
When our faith is in God we see people as He sees them.  We see that they are lost and in need of a Savior.  We aren’t as concerned about ourselves, because we care too much about them not to tell them.  The things of this world become less important as we gain a perspective on things that are out of this world.  When our faith is in Christ, we are motivated to tell the truth whenever we can.  But how can we do this in a way that people will relate to?

His story becomes our story.  We shouldn’t just tell the story as a statement of history, but as a statement of how it has impacted our lives as well.  If the people we talk to hear us telling our personal experience, they will relate to it.  We can’t sugar coat it or make ourselves look better or worse than we were.  We must simply tell the story of what happened in our lives when we believed in Jesus.  What changed?  Describe the peace.  Describe the feeling of freedom.  Describe how it has changed every day since.  Tell about how Jesus is actively working in and through your life today.  Simply put, we should tell the truth.  Below are a few keys as you prepare to use your personal experience as a witnessing tool.

  • Think it through.  Remember the details of your salvation experience as clearly as you can.  When was it? Why did you want to be saved? What did you do?
  • Write it down.  We are more likely to remember things when we write them down.  Be sure to write out the details.  It will also help you make it clear in your mind.  The truth is, we will not tell the truth until we feel comfortable with talking about the details of what God has done in our lives. (What you have written down is just to solidify some thoughts in your mind so you will be ready.  It is not a script for you to memorize.)
  • Organize it well.  What was your life like before Christ? How did you receive Christ? Are there any verses that were used that you could share with your friends?  what is your life like now that Jesus is Lord of your life?
  • Practice it often.  Once you know your story.  Tell it.  You may start with just telling it to a friend who is already a believer.  Here is an important tip: Don’t ask, TELL.  We don’t ask people permission to tell them a story of our latest mountain climbing experience or the game we watched last week.  We just tell them because we’re excited about it.  The same should be true about the experience with Christ as well.  We need to have that same kind of excitement about telling the truth about our experience with Jesus.
  • Know how to invite them into a relationship.  Once you tell your story, you can ask if they have ever experienced a personal relationship with Christ.  If they have, ask to hear their story of faith. If they have not, ask them if they would like to today.  Here you can use a simple gospel presentation (Romans 6:23 is a great verse to use to describe what God has done for us) to confirm some thoughts with them and invite them to pray and ask Jesus to be their Savior.

Let’s not over complicate this.  Let’s be willing to be witnesses.  Let’s be willing to be bold.  Let’s just tell the truth!


Plan to Reach More People with the Gospel this year!

I’ve worked on developing missions strategy and structure within the church for the past couple of years.  I found there wasn’t a lot of basic structure  on how to develop and/or promote missions into the lifeblood of the church.  As a result, I developed the following approach to missions and evangelism through the church.  I am including this here as a reference for anyone who might be developing this within their church.  This structure may give you a good starting point for developing a structure for your ministry.  Feel free to copy, take and use any portion of this.

Missions & Evangelism Ministry Breakdown


The basis for our missions’ ministry is found in Matthew 28:18-20.  The passage tells us to “Go and make disciples of all nations …”.  It is our responsibility to “Go”.  Every child of God is commanded to “Go”.  This is not dependant on some calling to foreign, national, state or other missions.  God did not leave this as an optional area of service.  He has told each and every one of us to share the gospel throughout the world.   The structure for this ministry is found in Acts 1:8 – [Jerusalem (Local) / Judea& Samaria (Regional)/ Earth (National & International)].

Our purpose is to involve every member of our Church in missions as an effort to encourage personal fulfillment of the Great Commission, both locally and globally.  The foundation of this ministry will always have a goal of sharing the gospel and demonstrating the love of God in radical ways.  The vision and desire of the missions’ ministry is to increase the passion of our Church for personal evangelism, local, state & foreign missions, and missions efforts in general for the glory of Christ through training and involvement in missions opportunities.

This ministry will function under the direction of the Missions Pastor working with the Point Person of each area of missions to determine needs and plans for spreading the Gospel.  The foundation of this ministry should always have a goal of sharing the gospel and demonstrating the love of God in radical ways.

Trip Selection & Planning

Finalization of Trip Selection is to be determined by the Pastors and Point Person of each area.  These trips will be the church promoted/sanctioned trips for the year.  There may be some trips that are one year trips while others commit to a longer relationship with the field.  Those with longer relationships should be planned with the intentions of a multi-year commitment to the field.  These trips should be designed with the intention of developing relationships with the field.  Types of these trips could include: Evangelism, Construction, English teaching, Pastoral Training, Medical, Leadership Training, Life Skills, VBS, Children’s Ministry, Student Ministry, Orphanage, Church Planting, and more.  The goal of all missions’ trips should be to support and/or help establish local churches with indigenous leadership.  National and International trips should be prayerfully selected, approved and scheduled by July 15 of the previous year.

Trip Funding

Missions Ministry Leadership will annually prioritize ministry objectives to determine funding.  Portions of church sanctioned trips will be offset by the Missions Fund. (The Missions Fund is supported by the annual missions offering and special gifts given throughout the year to the Missions Fund.)  Each trip’s offset amount will be independently determined by the missions/stewardship team based upon the total cost of the trip, type of trip, availability of funds, and total mission efforts that need to be funded. Because of the missions ministry offset of the trip cost, each team is asked not to conduct a corporate fund-raiser aimed at the Church membership until after the annual offering is received.

Trip cost offset funds are only available to members of our Church.  And team members must contribute a minimum of 50% of the cost of the trip before offset funding will be considered.  Offset funds may cover anywhere from 0% to 50% of the trip depending on fund availability and trips to fund.  There is NO guaranteed percentage or amount for support.  Offset funds are guaranteed only for a set number of participants.

Deposits should be made by all participants on dates determined by team leaders.  Plane tickets may not be ordered until there are sufficient funds (including offset) to cover price of ticket.

NOTE:  Funding assistance for non-sanctioned missions’ trips by church members will be considered on an individual basis. Support will be determined by the missions’ team/pastoral staff with consideration given to other trips and funds available.

Trip Participation

  • The necessary qualifications including age, physical ability, mental & emotional stability, missions’ experience, and spiritual maturity of participants should be determined by the team leader in advance of advertising the trip.   This should be determined based on the requirements of the trip and type of trip.
  • Team participants should submit application including personal testimony to participate on trip.
  • Must be willing and able to share a gospel witness if needed (training will be provided)
  • Must attend mandatory pre-trip meetings
  • Must have or acquire a valid passport at their own cost prior to purchase of tickets. (If trip is International)
  • If the team capacity is not filled from the our membership, openings may be filled by individuals of similar faith. All other requirements remain other than church membership.

Trip Leaders / Trainers

Leaders and/or Trainers must be a faithful member of our Church who meets the qualifications for the First Lead level of ministry.  They must have participated in at least one other church sanctioned trip and/or been approved by the missions leadership and pastoral staff. They must also have served as a co-leader with an approved trainer before leading their own trip.  Additionally, they should have good organizational skills including the ability to contact local missionaries, make all travel arrangements, and manage the team while on the field.  They will be responsible for planning the trip itinerary, team size, project costs, and leading the necessary training sessions prior to the trip.  Team trainers are church pastoral staff members and other leaders who have the experience necessary to qualify as a trainer as approved by the missions leadership and pastoral staff.  Those going as co-leaders may receive additional financial assistance from missions’ funds because of an increased level of involvement as determined by missions’ leadership and pastoral staff.

Structure Developed

National & International

  • One to two main areas of focus will be developed for the church with the possibility of other relationships being developed on a lesser scale.


  • Church Plants will receive high consideration in this area as a way to multiply churches throughout the region.  We will discover ways to partner with and help various church plants.


  • As part of the full spectrum of our missions’ obligation we must participate in missions efforts on a more local level.
  • The Missions Ministry will promote and help coordinate local mission projects throughout the year to help involve more our members in missions.
    • Servant Evangelism (use groups as a vehicle) – these are acts of kindness with the purpose of showing God’s love.
    • Community Involvement (church wide events) – these are opportunities to team up with existing ministries (i.e. food pantries, foster care, homeless shelters, etc…) to assist them in their efforts.  We don’t need to recreate the wheel that someone else is already doing well.  Also, should look for opportunities to partner with other churches to increase our overall efforts and reach.  Our goal is Kingdom growth!
    • Quarterly Collection Projects – (coats & blankets, food for holidays, cereal for kids, etc…)
    • Work Days @ Park / City clean up / etc.
    • Big Days – 3 or 4 per year.  These are more attraction type events that allow our people to bring their friends and family into our environment for worship.
  • One Dayin the community (make use of Servant Evangelism ideas)
    • Prayer Walking and Neighborhood canvasing Teams (get Easter door hangers)
    • Kite Day @ Lake Willastein (children’s and Family outreach event)
    • Car Show (community event)
    • Evangelistic FREE Car Washes (find location)
    • Evangelism at car washes and Laundromats
    • Yard Work/ Minor Home Repairs – Various Locations
    • Bottled Water Team (parks, etc…)
    • Senior Adult Ministry – (Nursing Homes)
    • Block Party (children’s and Family outreach event)
    • Dental & Health Clinic
  • Evangelism Group or Team
    • The vision for the group is to reach outside our comfort zones to share the gospel and build our faith and trust in God at the same time.
    • The tools for the group will use an evangelistic survey, evangecard, tracks (from E3) and invite cards to the church.
    • Demonstrate the tools to the group and how to use them.
    • Have those who have gone out tell stories about what has surprised them the most about going out and what opportunities they have had.
    • Have the group break up and practice scenarios including: How to approach people, What to say and How to close the conversation
    • Challenge the group to learn the E-card before the next meeting because it will be time to go out and put it all into action.

Missions Rally

  • This is designed to cast vision, promote opportunities, celebrate what God has done and pray for the harvest.
  • Missions Rally Plan (once or twice a year … below is an example layout for the meeting)
    • 6:00 – Welcome (Excited about what God has done)
      • Upcoming Opportunities in Missions
      • Praying for fields we have ministered in
  • 6:15 – Pray
    • Testimonies from missionary teams

Evangelism Training

  • The MISSIONS MINISTRY should function as an evangelism arm of our Church.
  • The MISSIONS MINISTRY will lead / help promote at least one evangelism training study or event annually to encourage the church body to become more able at personal evangelism.
    • Evangelism Explosion / Share Jesus Without Fear / FAITH / Way of the Master
    • The MISSIONS MINISTRY will work with the Groups Pastor to ensure that Servant Evangelism is a part of groups every semester.

Prayer in Missions

Daily prayer is necessary if we want to see something happen that only God can do.  We must encourage our church to pray as they are involved in missions opportunities.

  • PRAY for God to give you patience and flexibility as you minister.  Prayer is an important part of any missions effort.  There won’t be any wasted time as we minister … just more time to pray!
  • PRAY for God to bring us people who need to hear about Him and His salvation.  Pray that God will use YOU to share your faith with another person.
  • PRAY that God will bring people in the ministry area to be saving faith in Him.
  • PRAY for the churches of your area.  Ask God to guide them as they ALL seek to reach the city for His glory.
  • PRAY for church as a whole and the leaders of the church.  Ask God for wisdom, guidance, opportunities and safety for those who serve.
  • It is also vital that each person participating in a missions project have a prayer team of at least 5 people who will commit to praying for them daily.


  • The MISSIONS MINISTRY will lead and help coordinate along with the pastoral staff an annual missions’ season to promote the missions efforts of the church.  (November through January)
  • The Missions Ministry should seek out new and better ways to promote missions among our church family.
    • Missions’ conference / Missions Rally / etc.


Church Missions

Team Participant Application

Name _________________________________________________________

Email __________________________________________________________

Best Phone ____________________________________________________

Are you a member at our Church? Yes      No

Will you commit to pray for this trip daily beginning today?         Yes      No

What do you hope to see God do in the mission field on this trip?


What do you hope to see God do in your life personally on this trip?


My personal Testimony: (Including Salvation Experience)




Planning a One Day Mission Event

One Day mission events are a great way to ‘prime the pump’ of outreach and evangelism in your church.  These events are opportunities to organize simple acts of service throughout your community that will engage your church body and impact the community.  A One Day event isn’t just one event, but multiple events that occur at the same time.  So you could have a group of people prayer walking, a group of people doing a block party geared towards kids at a local park, a group of people doing yard work and minor maintenance in the community and more.  This allows a variety of different people in the church to get involved and engages your community at multiple ‘entry points’.

There are a few things to keep in mind as you move towards creating a one day event at your church.

1.  Play to your churches strengths.  If you have a strong children’s ministry, gear a part of the event towards children.  If many in your church are good with home projects, create an opportunity for them to use their gifts.  Identify some of the areas where your church is strong and capitalize on those strengths.

2.  Look at community needs.  Talk to community leaders and find out their perspective on the biggest needs in the community.  This is time well spent.  You can make a huge difference in your communities if you start with the biggest needs around you.  Once you know the biggest needs, match the strengths of your church to the needs and begin to move forward.

3. Team up with community events.  You don’t have to create every opportunity.  One great way to make a difference without having to initiate a program is to team up with what is already taking place in the community.  What are some activities, events, community happenings that already draw people together?  Is there a way your church can be a sponsor of the event? Is there a way you can provide volunteers to help with whatever needs there may be?  Then if it’s possible, your church can wear shirts that shows they are serving from your church.  They may be working booths, setting up an event, cleaning up after an event and much more.  But the fact that your church is willing to serve will have an impact.

4.  Keep it simple.  Don’t over think this or over complicate it.  You may find that starting small is the best way to go.  For example, you could plan a Saturday event that lasts 4hours and has 3 or 4 different opportunities to serve.  This can be a good start to developing this kind of ministry and can have a huge impact not only in your community but in your church.  You may find that doing two or three small events like this, along with your other missions effort,s are what works best for your church.

For ideas on a variety of different activities, check out this Servant Evangelism site.  Let’s be intentional about reaching the world around us with the love of God.  Be intentional about not just having activities, but also sharing the gospel at every opportunity.  As we’re faithful to go, I believe God will be faithful to bring a harvest for His glory.

Putting our Prayers into Motion

An example of walking in sandals.

Image via Wikipedia

If we want to see God show up and show out we have to be willing to get out of the way.  We are a culture that ‘plans’ everything and then asks God for His approval.  But I believe that if we are going to see God move beyond our abilities or our plans, we must start with one very powerful thing.  This is called PRAYER!  Prayer is not ‘plan B’ or an afterthought.  Prayer should be our ‘plan A’.  It should be where we start with everything we do.

There has never been a mighty movement of God where He did not call His people to pray.  Prayer revives the hearts of God’s people as it prepares our communties for God’s word to be spread.  As we pray for our communities, we can begin to see a spiritual awakening around us that is prompted by God, not our gimics.  Prayer allows us to tap into God’s power.  Realizing all of this, we can know that concentrated prayer has the power to literally change the world around us.  A great way to put our prayers into motion is through prayer walking our communities and neighborhoods.

Prayer walking is putting legs to your prayers.  Instead of sitting in your house praying, it puts you into the community where the people are living.  This allows you to see the area that you’re praying for and be more intentional in your prayers.   You may see kids toys in a yard and know to pray for the kids at that house, you may see recreational items in a yard and pray specifically for safety and protection.  Every house you walk by you can pray that God will bring them closer to Him and into a relationship with Him.

Prayer walking makes us more aware of what is around us and helps us see prayer needs of the area on a more personal level.  As we walk through the neighborhoods we are trying to reach, we can begin to feel more connected to the area and learn to pray more specifically.

As you’re preparing to prayer walk, I would encourage you to be ready to share your faith at any point during your walk.  If you’re praying that people would come to know Jesus as their Savior, don’t be surprised if He gives you the opportunity to share your faith as you meet people in their yards, on the street or on sidewalks.

Also, prayer walking can be combined with neighborhood canvasing.  As you are canvasing neighborhoods with door hangers or flyers, include prayer walking as an essential part of this canvasing.  God may use the canvasing to bring people to Him, He may use the prayer walking or He may use a combination of both.

There are 3 areas to pay attention to as you prayer walk:

1.  Before you go:

  • Be sure you’re in good relationship with God. Prepare your heart by praying and studying His word.  Confess your sins to allow him to use you and work through you.
  • Ask God to give you His heart and His eyes for the area.  What is it He wants you to see?
  • Set a time when you will actually go prayer walking.  It is important to schedule it or you will never fit it in.  I’ve noticed there is strength in numbers as we go.  This strength comes from the encouragement and additional prayer support that comes from even having one more person with us as we prayer walk.

 2.  While you’re walking

  • Be sensitive to God’s Spirit.
  • Expect God to do something through His power as you walk and pray.
  • Pray for People, Marriages, Families, Businesses, Government, Leaders, Husbands & Wives, Children, Civic Leaders, Senior Adults, Churches, Revival and Spiritual Awakening, God’s word to spread, people to accept Jesus as Savior and whatever the Spirit prompts you to pray about
  • You can pray out loud as you walk.  This is helpful especially when you are with a group.  You can also pray silently at times.
  • If you encounter people as your walking and praying, you can say, “We’re out praying for people in our community, is there a special way we can pray for you?”

3.  When you finish your prayer walk

  • Celebrate what God is doing and going to do as a result of the prayers.

One last note to consider as you go, EXPECT GOD TO ACT.  Our prayers should be based on a faith in a living God who is active in the world around us.  When you finish your time in prayer.  Expect that things will be different in your perspective, in your desire to see people grow closer to Him, in your hunger to reach the lost and the least around you.  Let God use you to be His hands and feet.

Developing a Prayer Team – Part 2

Earlier this week  I posted about developing a prayer ministry at our church.  I want to continue to share some of the thought process for this ministry.  God has gifted the whole body of Christ to be able to minister to each other.  We as pastors can share the load of ministering to those around us by investing in a group of people who truly care about people.  We can help them know how best to minister to others and give them tools to accomplish this.  As we build this kind of ministry, we can allow God to work through the process in a way that only He can.  Below are the guidelines and principles of this prayer ministry that we have at our church:

Guidelines and Principles

1.   Realize the serious nature of what is happening when someone responds to an invitation.


2. Realize that the enemy and human flesh are interested in interfering with what the Holy Spirit is doing during an invitation


3.      Always be spiritually prepared to minister.

a.      You should be in unity with those in authority

b.      You should be living a life honoring to God.

c.      You should be meeting with God daily through personal devotions.

d.      You should be available to be led by the Holy Spirit.   


4.      Be physically ready.

a.    Breath mints may be a good idea. 

b. Speak pleasantly and remember to smile as someone comes to you. 

c.   Don’t act “spooky” or “super spiritual”.  People are looking for someone real to talk to. 

d.   Don’t be shocked by what you are told or what you see.


5.    Always wear your “identification lanyard”. This is what will allow people to know that you have been authorized by the Church to minister to people.


6.      Always treat each person with respect and love. Do not be overly “mushy”. 


7.    If at all possible, Men minister to men and Women minister to women. There may be exceptions as allowed by the Pastoral Staff.


8.   You must know how to guide someone to accept Christ as Savior and how to help them rededicate their lives. 


9.    Allow people the freedom to pray alone in the altar if they desire to do so. (Note: if someone is praying in the altar for an extended amount of time, go to them and ask if there is any way you can pray for them.  The Holy Spirit will prompt you and guide you through this.)


10.Always ask the person for permission to pray for them. (Is there a way I can pray with you today? Would it be ok if I prayed for you?)


11.You should never argue or debate with anyone in the altar area. In fact arguments and debates are seldom fruitful.  Present the truth of God and pray for the person.


12.Remove people to the prayer room who need salvation, extended prayer or who are becoming a disturbance to the public service.  (There will be times when you won’t be able to minister effectively due to the music at the altar and may need to go to the prayer room to minister.)


13.Give the person your undivided attention.  Realize this is not a time for a life history to be given to you.  Keep the conversational part only to the specifics of their need.


14.Without interrogating a person, ask questions to discover their need.


15.Don’t give advice or counsel outside spiritual areas. You are a prayer team member not a lawyer or professional counselor.


16.Don’t share your problems. This adds more weight to their burden and draws their attention to you instead of Jesus.


17.Don’t preach to them—pray with them!


18.You need to learn when “not” to pray for someone.  (We don’t pray selfish prayers for people.  We always pray God’s will to be done.)


19.You are to be the leader in the conversation. If a friend accompanies the person you are praying with, do not let them take over the situation. The person has come forward to be helped by the church—help them. 


20.Obtain information that will be needed for follow-up.


21.Always seek the direction of those leading you if a situation arises with which you are not prepared to handle.


22.You should demonstrate respect for those leading your team and ministry. If asked to do something, know that your pastors have asked you to do it and there is a good reason.


23.Always point them to Jesus. He is the Savior, Healer, and Deliverer.


24.Your goal is prayer and ministry that will honor Jesus.


25.Remember: You will be blessed for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you.

These guidelines are useful in establishing a clear understanding of how God can use team members as they are open to Him.  It also helps them know how to prepare to minister as well as worship God as they are His hands and feet.  This ministry is still new to our church, but I look forward to seeing what God is going to do as a result of many being prepared to be used by Him.

Sharing your faith can start Here.

I had the privilege to go to Ghana just over a year ago. There we saw God move in a mighty way in a very short time.  While I was there, I found it easier in that culture to approach people and talk with them about my faith.  I also found it easier to tell them about the fact that Jesus loves them and wants to have a personal relationship with them.  In just 8 days and a team of 9 people, we witnessed over 900 people accept Christ as their Savior.  This gave me a hunger to see more people where I live come to know Christ as well.  I knew the culture was different at home and I would need to be able to adapt my approach to minister to a more fast paced people.

As I thought about ways to approach people, I developed a survey that would help give me a reason to approach people and ask them 5 or 6 questions that would lead us along a path.  Once I developed the survey, I started using it immediately and it is very effective at starting a conversation with people.  (After I had used it for a while, I read the book “Share Jesus Without Fear” by William Fay and found his survey to be very similar.)  Each question is designed to help me gain an understanding of where a person is spiritually.  The survey is below (I have also included a link for a print version here: Spiritual Survey).

6 Easy Questions

Open up by asking, “Have you taken our survey yet?” or “Would you be willing to take a quick survey for my church?”  This questionnaire is designed to identify the level of SPIRITUAL INTEREST in people’s lives.

  1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how important is your spiritual life?  (1 – Not at all … 5 – Very Important)
  2. Do you attend church? (Y/N)  If yes, How often?
  3. Do you believe the Bible is relevant to your life? (Y/N)
  4.  Who do you think Jesus is?
  5.  Do you believe in life after death? (Y/N) If Yes, Where will you spend eternity? If Heaven, What makes you think that?
  6.  Could I share with you how you can know you have eternal life?

In addition to the survey, I always carry with me invite cards to my church, a small notebook with the survey inside and a pen, and gospel tracts.  I have found that public places such as parks and walking trails are great places to do this survey.  Not only do I get to present the gospel to people, I also get to encourage Christians that I meet in their walk with God and have the opportunity to invite many to our church.

If you have a heart to share the gospel, but not sure where to start or how to approach people, my prayer is that this tool is helpful.  Let’s be bold enough to care for those around us and tell them about who He is and what He can do to change our lives.

Developing a Prayer Team – Part 1

It’s a privilege to be able to come and worship God through singing and it’s amazing to hear the word of God presented in a relevant way each week.  But the most important part of a worship service, as we give ourselves to God, is when we respond to the worship and do something with what we have heard.  That’s why I believe the invitation is the most important part of the church service because it is our chance to respond to what God has revealed to us.  

Many are moving away from having this as a part of their service for a variety of reasons from not capitalizing on emotional responses to the message, to not wanting ‘seekers’ to feel uncomfortable or pressured.  But if we close the door to the freedom of the Spirit we actually hinder the growth of our people and the movement of God.  Because I do value the ‘invitation’ or ‘altar call’ portion of the service, I recently was able to develop a Prayer Team that is available to help minister during this time and continue throughout the week.  Some of this ministry is described below:

Overview of Ministry

The purpose of this team is to pray with, direct, and love people.  It is to show comfort and consideration to others.  Having a burden to help people is one thing. Actually acting on that burden is something else. John 12:8 says there will always be people who are hurting and who need help and encouragement. That’s why this ministry is being formed.  We will be available for people to seek us out during the invitation.  But we won’t just wait for others to seek us out; but rather seek them out. Pray for, look for, and act on opportunities to comfort others. If we don’t, who will?

What will you do on this team? You will…

  • Lead people into a personal relationship with Christ.
    • With new salvations we make sure they understand what they prayed and believe, reinforce and encourage them, invite them to meet the pastor and sign up for the next baptism. Move them towards the next session to introduce our church. (We will follow the New Believer Process to accomplish this.)
    • Give guidance to those who receive Christ at the altar
  • Support those who want to rededicate or strengthen their walk with the Lord
    • When someone comes forward to rededicate their life, always explore whether they have had an initial dedication. (Is there a time in your life when you made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life?)
  • Pray for the prayer needs of those who come forward for prayer
    • With prayer needs, we let people talk for a few minutes but then ask them to be specific as to how we can pray for them. We ask our prayer team not to give counsel but to offer prayer. Many times people will ask important questions like “Should I quit my job?” Our role is not to make decisions for people but to pray with them as they make the decision. Afterwards, they’re invited to a small group if they’re not in one.
    • If someone comes forward asking for the elders/pastors to pray over them for healing (according to James 5:13-16), direct them to one of the pastors.
  • Equip others by presenting opportunities for them to grow in their faith (directing to small groups, quiet times, missions, etc)
  • Help those in the prayer ministry understand what they believe, and how they can most effectively help others
  • Encourage those who have matured in the prayer ministry to step out as soul winners
  • Work with People interested in membership
    • If someone comes forward and wants to become a member of the church, start here:
      • Has there been a time when you accepted Jesus as your Savior? … If yes, explore that with them
      • If no, present the gospel … If yes, explore and then sign them up for the next session to ‘Introduce our church‘.
  • Direct people to resources or counseling (we have a handout available in the prayer room to help with this: You can use this as a guide for creating your own: Prayer Team Reference Guide)
  • Pray throughout the services

Follow Up after Sunday

It’s important to fill out a Decision Card on each person you speak with so that you can continue to pray for those requests through the week.  Additionally, the team that serves on Sunday will need to do a follow up phone call at the first part of the week to anyone they counseled.  Also, there will be a letter or email sent out from Pastor/Staff on Tuesday to these people letting them know we’re praying for them and reinforcing the decision that was made.

Requirements to serve on this ministry team:

  1. Must have a personal relationship with God that is being maintained through daily times with Him.
  2. Must be an active member of our Church who has been baptized by immersion and completed the Membership group.
  3. Must be trustworthy, knowledgeable and personal.
  4. Must have a Pastor’s heart. (caring, loving, concerned, bold)

Committing to Serve in this Ministry

Taking the first step to join this ministry might be the hardest part. It’s easy to allow your flesh to refuse to be used by God because of fear: fear that you don’t think you’re ready, fear that you’re not good enough, or fear that you don’t know enough.  I want you to remember that the disciples were ordinary men, but they were available.  If you are available and you want to grow, God will use you. When we face a situation that creates fear in our hearts, we need to remind ourselves of how great our God is and pray that He will grant us courage to overcome our fear.

Every day God gives us opportunities to create meaningful moments where we can reach out and comfort others–close friends, relatives, or complete strangers.  We often miss those opportunities because we fail to open ourselves to those “God moments” each day.  By serving in this ministry, you will not only be able to minister during the invitation, but you will become more aware of other opportunities (“God moments”) daily.

It’s my prayer that this has been helpful to you.

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