I count it a great privilege to be coaching pioneer cell church planters. I’m referring to those pastors who are trying to start something out of nothing. Some church planters have the distinct privilege of starting with a large number from the mother church (and I think this is the best way to start). Others start from scratch, much like we’ve done here at Wellspring. Wednesday is normally my coaching day, and I was talking to a church planter who just amazed me by his relational skills with non-Christians. Jeff, a church planter in Georgia, has built a solid relationship with his unchurched next door neighbor by helping him build his deck, going to see movies, and sharing meals together. Jeff is also a volunteer high school volleyball coach and has built scores of relationship that way. He also regularly goes to the local bar and plays jepordy type games with the local non-Christian population (I didn’t even know bars did such things!). People ask Jeff why he’s moved into the community, and I like the way that he matter of factly let’s them know that he’s there to plant a church. Yet because Jeff so consistently hangs out with non-Christians, they’ve come to see him as a normal guy. The bottom line is that when Jeff starts his first pilot group, he’s going to have a large pool of people.
I went away from my calls on Wednesday with renewed passion to develop relationships with non-Christains and to reach the lost. I was convicted to renew my efforts to spend time with my neighbors, strategize on how to reach new neighbors, etc. In comparison with Jeff, I had a lot of work to do. As I met with my own pastoral team later that evening, all I wanted to talk about was evangelism. How were we doing? How could we be more effective? We all agreed that we needed to develop a culture of evangelism.
During our prayer meeting that evening, we spent the entire time praying for lost souls and asking God to renew our evangelism zeal.
How are your cells doing at reaching out? Is there a culture of relational evangelism? Are you focusing on the fourth W (witness) during the cell meeting? Do you ask the cell members to develop relationships with non-Christians? How about in the celebration service. If you’re the pastor, do you mention evangelism in your sermons?
Heaven will be a wonderful place! The worship and fellowship will be incredible. But the reason why we’re here and not there is because Jesus is wanting more to be saved from eternal hell (2 Peter 3:9-12).
“Jesus, stir us up to be your witnesses!”
My book Share: Make Christ Real to Others would be an effective tool to give cell members or leaders to stir their evangelistic passion.