Is evangelism a part of the DNA of your church? Is it assumed that every member is consistently starting and continuing gospel conversations with their unbelieving neighbors, friends, coworkers, family, and classmates? Is equipping for this practice woven into everything that comes from the pulpit? Are there testimonies about witnessing opportunities regularly featured during Sunday morning worship?
All these things are necessary aspects of a church with a culture of evangelism. Frankly, if these and other habits are not present in your church I can almost guarantee that evangelism is not part of the culture. And yet it absolutely is what was intended when the Great Commission was given.
A very good article appeared this week on the 9Marks website: “Building a Culture of Evangelism Takes Time, So Be Patient and Get Busy.” Here is an excerpt:
In most churches, the role of the church in evangelism is largely reduced to programs. Local churches create programs or events in order to share the gospel with the surrounding community. Unfortunately, such programs tend to displace the more important work of cultivating a culture of evangelism. They tend to divert members’ attention away from cultivating friendships with unbelievers and toward propping up a program—particularly, event-driven programs. (Watch The Gospel Blimp film for an older, slightly cheeky illustration of this tendency.) The result is as surprising as it is unintended: a church full of busy Christians who simply have no time for non-Christians.
This is an excellent read and well worth the time of any pastor or evangelistically minded member. I might also add my own short guide to cultivating a culture of evangelism and apologetics in the church.