The Power of a Simple Invite
A study produced by LifeWay Research last year found that 80% of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a “personal responsibility to share their faith.” On the surface it seems that our churches are doing a good job of communicating the need for evangelism. If you continue looking at the research however, it goes on to show that while people agree there is a need to share the Gospel, rarely do they actually do it! (Churchgoers Believe in Sharing Faith, Most Never Do by John D. Wilke)
In this study of more than 2,900 Protestant churchgoers, 61 percent have not shared how to become a Christian with anyone in the past six months, and 20 percent confessed that they rarely/never pray for people who are not professing Christians.
Using a REACH Card to Share One’s Faith
As a church, we decided to combat what this research suggested by developing a simple way for our people to be held accountable for sharing their faith. We call this our “REACH card.”
We believe that evangelism is a process (Matthew 13, the Parable of the Soils). Some people we share with are eager to hear the Gospel and ready to receive Christ. Others may have never heard the name of Jesus, or have preconceived ideas that we inevitably have to work through with them.
The REACH card helps people in our church begin to strategically think about who needs to hear the Gospel that they can be praying for and it engages them in the evangelism process.
It’s a simple, practical way to keep the need to reach others for Christ at the forefront of the minds and hearts of people in our church. Below is the process:
- The first step in the REACH process is for them to MEET a person who needs Christ. Sadly, some Christians have no relationship or friendship with someone who doesn’t already know Christ. Certainly Jesus taught us the value of “spending time with sinners”?
- The second step is to begin to SERVE that person. Often it is tangible acts of service that enable a friendship to develop and flourish. We often encourage our people to serve others in such a way that it makes them ask, “Why?”
- The third step is to INVEST in that person. Perhaps it is having that person over for a meal, going to an event together or simply sitting down for some in-depth conversation. This step takes the most time, but will also prove to be the most fruitful.
- At this stage in the REACH process, people are ready for the fourth step, which is to INVITE the person with them to church to hear the Gospel, and they may even be ready for the fifth step.
- The fifth step is to SHARE the Gospel personally with the one whom they have been praying for, serving and investing in.
If we want people in our church to share their faith and reverse the trend we see in this LifeWay study, then we, as leaders, must model this and share stories of how reaching others really does work!
Hollie Taylor’s life has forever been changed because of a few Christians meeting her … serving her … investing in her … and sharing the Gospel with her. Watch her story.