Pastors Misunderstand Nature of Evangelism

Pastors Misunderstand Nature of Evangelism Says House Church Leader
Jon Hirst

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., Dec. 15 /Christian Newswire/ — Lifeway Research recently conducted an online survey of Southern Baptist preachers and while 96% strongly agreed that every Christian has the responsibility to share the Gospel with non-believers, almost half agreed that evangelism gets overshadowed by other priorities. House church leader, Ken Eastburn, commented saying the discrepancy is the result of a misunderstanding of evangelism, “Evangelism is not a program that can get ‘overshadowed’ or pushed to the side. It is always happening, for better or worse.”

The survey, which was released in October of 2009, observed a difference between outreach events (i.e. vacation Bible school, servant-evangelism projects, etc.) and ongoing evangelistic activities (weekly follow-up with church visitors, offering food to those in need, etc.). Results also revealed that while many pastors find it difficult to share the Gospel one-on-one, most had done so in the previous six months.

“We have evangelism all wrong! If evangelism is the sharing of a message, then we are always doing it whether we are talking explicitly about Jesus or not,” says Eastburn, “The question is not whether we are spreading a message, but which message we are spreading.”

Eastburn is a leader with The Well, a network of home-based churches in California and Colorado. After selling their building in 2005, members began meeting in each other’s homes and are challenged to think about and practice evangelism differently.

He continues, “The way we live our lives, both when we use words and when we don’t, sends a message to others. Either that message will be distinctly Christian or it will not be. But one thing is clear: evangelism is not primarily about our concentrated efforts to reach out. It is about who we are and how we live even when there are no events or activities. Nothing communicates the truth of the Gospel more than a life that has been changed. That is evangelism.”

The Well hosts 10-15 members at each of its five locations on a weekly basis. Eastburn and other members post their experiences on a blog maintained by the church,, with the purpose of interacting with individuals from traditional and house church backgrounds.

This article “Pastors Misunderstand Nature of Evangelism Says House Church Leader” was excerpted from: Jon Hirst, The Well: website. January 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”