“And daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). If the lost won’t come to us, we must go to them. Home Bible Study, without a doubt, has been the most effective outreach method developed in the last twenty years. If we will sow the seed, we will reap the harvest. Home Bible Studies are by far the finest way of doing this.
By Tim Massengale
It has been said that you can cut down a tree with a chain saw or a pocket knife. Both do the job, one just does it faster than the other. Which would you rather use? A pocket knife? Not hardly. If the chain saw is available for use, why not use it?
It is for this reason that our methods of evangelism must be continually evaluated to see if they are effective. If a certain outreach program or ministry is not helping you reach your city, if it is only tying up people, time, and money and not bringing results, than it should either be revamped to make it productive or abandoned all together. As one wise pastor once told me, “Marry the message, my friend, but never go steady with a method!”
There are many methods we could employ to reach people. From door knocking to mass city-wide crusades, Pentecost has tried them all. The real question is “What methods are the most effective?” It is imperative that we are good stewards of our time and talents. These gifts must be used wisely and in the most effective manor.
All will agree that people win people, not programs. The concept that the more programs you have or the more outreach methods you use, the more people will be reached, is a myth. The truth is, the more thinly we are spread and the more divided our focus, the more ineffective we become. A church does not need fifty outreach ministries to reach their city. It is not important that a church does “everything,” but that it does what is most productive and effective. It is better to focus on a few areas and do them well than to attempt to do everything and do it poorly.
In Apostolic Pentecost there are four methods of reaching people with the Gospel that have been more effective than any other. Research has proven this. All work from the concept that is commonly called “Oikos Evangelism.” Oikos Evangelism refers to the two Greek works oikia and oikos, which are interpreted as “house, household, or home.” In the greater sense, oikos means an individuals family, friends, and associates. Recent studies show that the majority of people in church today were brought to the Lord by the testimony or invitation of family, friend, or associate. After interviewing 8,000 people throughout America who were faithful church members and asking them the question, “How did you come into the church?”, The following results were obtained:
6-8% – said the minister was the reason. His personality or reputation brought them to that church.
4-6% – were walk-ins. One day they decided they needed to go to church, so they did.
2-4% – said they were attracted by the church’s outstanding program and facilities.
1-2% – said it was because someone visited them or knocked on their door.
.1% – said that it was through a radio or T.V. program that they had been reached.
However, 70-90% replied that their conversion was the result of the witness from a family member, friend, or work associate.