Evangelistic events done right are highly effective. They plant seeds for the gospel, cultivate seeds already planted, and reap fruit when unbelievers cross the line into faith. One caution though, make sure those events are not crowded out by other events on the church calendar.
The reason is fourfold:
Church members only have so much time and energy to give. If they are asked to do too much, the evangelistic event is typically the first to get dropped. I sincerely do not know how many church leaders I’ve had say to me over the past 45 years, “One of the things that hurt this outreach is we had too much on the church calendar and our people are tired.”
To make something the priority it must be the main focus. Your event should be the main thing your church focuses on for weeks and sometimes even months beforehand. Make it a topic of conversation and prayer throughout the whole process.
Follow-up requires a time commitment. The best kind of follow-up happens when somebody meets one-on-one with those who indicated they trusted Christ. Try to do this once a week for eight weeks. This is particularly critical in our day when people are coming from such difficult backgrounds. Discipleship helps ground them in their faith, encourages them as they begin to live the Christian life, and advises them how to handle obstacles in Christian living. Weekly meetings require time, though, and if there is too many other things on the church calendar, the follow-up will suffer.
- Evangelistic events take church members out of their comfort zone. Outreach events require intentionality in order to reach non-Christians. That takes people out of their comfort zone in a way perhaps greater than anything else. If there are other things on the church calendar though, particularly activities for Christians, believers will always gravitate toward where they feel most comfortable.
The bottom line: when it comes to a proposed outreach event, look carefully at the surrounding activities on your church calendar. To be successful it must be the current event on the church calendar, not one of many events.