Without inviting people, Sunday School will seldom grow. Without sharing Jesus, seldom will people get saved. Without evangelism training, seldom will Christians take steps to invite and share. My friend, Bob Wood of Baptist State Convention of Michigan, has written a great post on the Sunday School Leader blog. I share it in full:
I believe in evangelism training. It’s personal for me. For years I struggled to share my faith and was frustrated with the lack of results. Then a pastor trained me in personal evangelism (using Evangelism Explosion) and it made all the difference how often I shared my faith and how effective I was.
As I served churches, I found the same to be true. When we mobilized persons to share their faith through personal evangelism training, we saw many people come to faith in Jesus. I found that evangelism training leads to a growing church with a growing Sunday School. Let me mention some resources I’ve found useful to disciple persons in personal evangelism.
FAITH Evangelism Strategy (LifeWay Christian Resources, www.lifeway.com/faith)
FAITH uses a memorized gospel presentation and on-the-job training with an experienced team leader and two learners. It requires commitment, but produces persons who are serious about sharing their faith. Someone has said that evangelism is more caught than taught. I’ve found that to be true; evangelism training that includes on-the-job training makes the difference. FAITH not only strengthens evangelism, it builds Sunday School. It is designed to tie evangelism training closely to Sunday School outreach and ministry. We used FAITH in a church of 500 with good results; one semester we saw at least one profession of faith among our teams each week.
The NET (North American Mission Board, www.namb.net/thenet)
The NET is built around using one’s personal testimony with selected Scriptures. It is simpler than FAITH, but still provides on-the-job training with a trained mentor and two apprentices. We used the NET in a smaller church (about 50) and saw a greater percentage of conversions (converts per member) than in the larger church mentioned above.
Becoming a Contagious Christian (Willow Creek, www.contagiouschristian.com)
This is basic evangelism training for every member. It doesn’t require going out and sharing one’s faith. It doesn’t require memorization. There are a number of basic evangelism training resources, but this is my favorite. I’ve found you can use this to equip all your members with tools for personal evangelism and identify those who are ready to take the next step through on-the-job evangelism training.
Growth that makes a difference for eternity is conversion growth. Do you want to grow your church and class by conversion? Use evangelism training.
Bob Wood serves the Baptist State Convention of Michigan assisting churches to fulfill their potential in making disciples.