EDITOR’S NOTE: “Love Your Neighbor/Share Christ” evangelism strategy is written and designed to assist you as a church leader in developing a contextualized strategy to carry out significant parts of the Great Commission, with a focus toward the evangelism part of it. The strategy employs six different expressions, which are detailed in separate posts.
By Will McRaney, BCM/D Executive Missional Strategist
The Great Commission does not end when a person gives their life to Christ. The Great Commission calls for the church to also baptize and to teach the new believer to obey.
The new believer will also become involved in the Great Commission fairly soon by themselves doing the early part of the Great Commission, telling others about the Christ they have just experienced.
There is rejoicing in heaven over the salvation of every single person who surrenders his or her life to Christ. Churches should make very big deals of baptism services. This should be a time for celebration for the new convert, their family and friends, and the entire church family. Baptism services also provide wonderful opportunities to highlight those Christians who were instrumental in leading them to saving faith in Christ. Finally, the baptism celebrations are great opportunities to invite lost people who know the person being baptized and for them to both see and hear the essentials of the Gospel message. By all appropriate means, make baptism services fruitful, not simply efficient.
It is essential to connect new believers to both small groups of Christians and to the corporate body of the church. Walking the Christian life is not an individual sport. If we are to teach them to obey, they will not only need the Word, but they will need to watch other followers of Christ obey the Word and live out their faith in daily actions. Other believers can serve as sources of encouragement and spiritual protection as they pray for them.
It could be that the efforts of Satan aimed at the new child of God are very intense after the eternal battle has been lost. The church has a responsibility and a privilege and will be accountable to how they nurture this new spiritual babe. The new follower of Christ might be an adult in physical age, but they are spiritual babies. And certainly the church does not want to create spiritual orphans by their lack of follow through with this new Christian who God has entrusted to the body.
One of the ways a new Christian can get started in their new faith is to tell others around them about Christ. Missionaries around the world understand the importance of redeploying new believers into the efforts to expand God’s Kingdom by sharing what happened to them with people they already know and love. They have just experienced the greatest news and the church should stand ready to assist them in telling of their new faith with others. Other Christians can help them put together their testimony and also pray for their lost friends and for boldness, and also go with them to share. This may just well thwart the efforts of Satan to neutralize them by sharing their faith with 4-6 others in the first month of their faith.
boxify cols_use =”2″ cols =”4″ position =”right” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#EBF0F5″ border_width =”3″ border_color =”#336699″ border_style =”solid” ]GOALS/TARGETS:
1 Make baptism a significant celebration for the new follower of Christ and people they know and love who are without Christ.
2 Connect the new convert to not only the larger church body, but a small group.
3 Help the new Christian to be able to communicate their salvation testimony and assist them in sharing it with 4-6 family members or friends without Christ within the first six weeks of trusting Christ.
(Baptism) Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8:36-39; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 1 Corinthians 1:14-17
(Connecting and Redeploying) Acts 2:41-47; Acts 6:1-7; Acts 9:31; 2 Timothy 2:1-10; John 4:39-42
• Hold baptism services outside of the building (lake, community pool, or beach).
• Help one being baptized to invite family, friends, co-workers, classmates and others they know to come to the service.
• Have a small reception/celebration afterwards for the guests (ex. cake and punch).
• Assign a Christian to help new believers in early growth and to write their testimony.[/boxify]
You will find additional information on our website, www.bcmd.org/loveyourneighbor. Tools will be there for your use in each area of the Expressions in various forms such as print, web, and video. You will find sermon starters, Sunday School lessons, and much more.