Culture of evangelism: discipleship

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 2: model in their midst

For an evangelistic culture to take hold in your church, the church has to move beyond event-driven evangelism. Event-driven connection points worked great in the past and occasionally can gain outside interest, but when it comes to creating movement, the approach has to be bigger.

What do I mean by bigger? It is essential to connect the process of discipleship and evangelism. Is someone a true disciple if they aren’t sharing their faith with those who don’t know Jesus?

What could the church do when it comes to evangelism if every Christian in the church shared their faith at least five times a year? The overall and ongoing impact would be much more significant than any event could ever do.

Furthermore, we are teaching people to think and act missionally versus placing the responsibility on professional Christians, those employed by the church.

Leaders are the keys to unlocking and changing a culture. If the church is to take seriously the commission to reach and disciple the lost, then the leaders of the church have to lead the way. Culture always gets its start there.

Leaders have to be intentional in getting to know, love and share the gospel with people who are far from Christ. If the leaders aren’t taking evangelism seriously in their own lives, then it will never become important in the lives of the church. The church will always mirror the life of the leaders.

With this in mind, leaders need to share who they are praying for, who they are talking with and challenge people to do the same. Help them realize it is hard work and doesn’t always lead to immediate life change.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t keep following the mandate that Jesus laid before us.

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.

Additional articles by Lee Stephenson