Culture of evangelism: connection matters

Lee Stephenson

Lead pastor, Harvest Community Church, Orlando, Florida

  • Evangelism

Converge executive director of Church Planting Lee Stephenson shares eight components needed to create a culture of evangelism in your church in the May 2018 issue of Point magazine.

In this  eight-part blog series, Stephenson expounds on each of the things he says church leaders must do to create an evangelistic environment.

Part 7

It is easy to think that when visitors put up their hand to accept Christ or stop by and pick up a church coffee mug that it guarantees their return to church the following Sunday.

However, we know it doesn’t always happen that easily. Most people connect with a church and get involved in church life after they have had a sincere connection with someone already plugged in at the church.

One of the most effective ways to help people stay connected and plug into church life is to have a thorough process that helps connect people with other people.

Here are some ideas that might help:

  • Create an inviting culture with the intention of helping people connect. You can do this in multiple ways. Have people welcoming at the doors, walk visitors to key destinations instead of pointing or have a separate place guests can visit to have questions answered or to help them find their way. Look intentionally for every opportunity to connect relationally with visitors.
  • Be careful who you allow on your connections team. Who are you going to let be the face of the church? Know that anyone who is making or taking calls is an “ambassador” of the church. They need to be well trained and naturally have a great, warm personality.
  • Determine the purpose of the connection. Whether the follow-up is by phone or in person, it is essential to have specific questions and the desired outcome in mind. This helps keep the conversation moving forward and removes the pressure of it going too long if things aren’t going in the desired direction.

There are many other aspects to engaging newcomers that I could write about. To sum everything up, we have to remember that we are in the business of making disciples. Announcements, websites, social media and social events all have their place, but nothing can take the place of a relationship.

If people know the church is a place where they can belong and be loved, they will come and will invite others to join them. People don’t invite others to experience average. Do everything you can to be above average in helping people feel connected and loved, and you will see evangelism opportunities grow in your church.

Lee Stephenson, Lead pastor, Harvest Community Church, Orlando, Florida

Lee Stephenson served as Converge's vice president of Church Planting from 2015-2022. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harvest Community Church, a Central Florida multisite church. Before coming to Florida, he and his wife, Melissa, planted a church in Mesa, Arizona. Stephenson has worked to establish new church plants around the country and is a go-to coach and trainer for church leadership and planting.

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