Most of the heroes of the New Testament church were evangelists. The personal ministry of Jesus in saving the lost (the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, etc.) continues to be the primary model; but Peter, Paul, Barnabas, Philip, Steven, Timothy, and John Mark all figure prominently in early church history because they worked tirelessly and effectively to win new converts to Jesus Christ and to make the first century church grow. That pattern has continued through the centuries to our day.
You are called to that noble heritage as you become involved in coordinating the outreach of your local church. You have two thousand years of success on which to build. You have the model of thousands of successful men and women in history. Welcome to the most important task God ever assigned to church leaders -- to find God's lost children and bring them home to the church and to eternal life.
Duties of the Outreach Coordinator
Your job title may be evangelism committee chairperson, personal ministries or lay activities leaders, or something else. No matter what the title is your ministry includes:
Working with Volunteers. The personnel for outreach in the local church are volunteers, and musch of your work is the recruiting, training, and overseeing of this volunteer workforce. Supervising volunteers is not the same as working with employees. Volunteers will do what they enjoy or are convicted to do, not necessarily what needs to be done. Pleading with them from the pulpit or trying to make them feel guilty will not succeed. Personal contacts are more effective than public appeals. Building a support team is essential for long-term success. You will be working with a minority of the congregation. Church growth specialists say that 10% of the church should be involved in direct evangelism. That is a worthy objective, but it will take great persuasiveness to achieve even that percentage.
Planning. You are the key person in helping the leaders of your congregation develop a plan for outreach and soul-winning. It is your responsibility to get the key leaders together early to set goals. Get ownership for the goals from the church leadership, and they will help meet them. Some wise person said, "Good goals are my goals; bad goals are your goals." Remember that too many goals are confusing to the congregation and more difficult to reach. Experience demonstrates that most congregations can only handle one, two or three goals at a time, and this "time" usually spans two or three years.
- Education and Communication. Your first goal is to help every church member become aware that he or she is witnessing in his or her own way. Every believer is a missionary to the family members, work associates, neighbors and others that he touches every day, whether he likes it or not, whether he intends it or not. It is a surprising thought to many of our members who "hate witnessing" that they cannot "not witness." Your task is to help the church members use the unique opportunities and spiritual gifts that God has given to each to accomplish His will. The teaching tools in The Sabbath School leader magazine, the materials on spiritual gifts and Friendship Evangelism are key tools in doing this.