Evangelism in the Local Church

MT504 Evangelism and the Local Church

Evangelism in the local church, Internet Bible CollegeEvangelism is the announcement, proclamation, and/or preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), the good news of and about Jesus Christ. Therefore, the gospel is a communicated message—communicated in verbal (Luke 7:22; Romans 10:14-17) and/or written (Luke 1:1-4) form.

The English word “evangelism” comes from the Greek word euaggelion. Most literally translated in the noun form, euaggelion means: “gospel” or “good news.” In the verb form (euaggelizesthai), the meaning of the word changes slightly to “announce” or “bring good news.” The Greek word in its various forms appears fifty-five times in the New Testament. In addition to the before-mentioned translations, the Greek word is also translated as “preach.”

Evangelism, the communication of the gospel message, includes a warning, an explanation, and a call. Evangelism includes warning people about sin and the consequences of sin (John 16:8; Acts 24:25; Revelation 20:11-15). It includes an explanation of God’s remedy for sin—the gospel (Acts 8:29-35; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And it includes the clear call to repent (to turn from sin and to turn toward God) and believe the gospel, by faith (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 17:29-31; Romans 1:17; Romans 10:9-13).

While we each have a responsibility to evangelise there is no body on earth more suited to or  called to the work evangelism than the church, it is part of the purpose for our existance, the evangelism of men and woman around the world, it is a task that will never be finished before Jesus returns.

I. Course Description

This course is a study of evangelism ministry with special attention paid to the context of a local church setting. Students will be encouraged to make specific applications of the lectures and assignments to the particular setting of their present or intended ministry (e.g., urban core, commuting suburban, rural, single professionals, ethnically diverse, and so forth). The course begins with a study of the biblical and theological foundations for evangelism. On this basis we will study methods of personal and group evangelism, how to equip laity to witness (and why most Christians don't respond to training seminars on evangelism), the use and development of church and para-church structures in evangelism (both on-going and special), the care of new converts and discipleship, and selected current issues in evangelism. Assignments focus on practical application of workable solutions for evangelism in the local church. Those in para-church ministries will find much to relate to their particular and often unique needs.

II. Course Overview

Christ's final charge was the Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations. We fulfill that charge when we take the Gospel to the nations and to our own nation through our own local church. In this course, Dr. Green instructs us on how to do evangelism within a local church setting. Building on the biblical mandate for evangelism, he discusses personal and group methods for evangelism in a variety of settings, how to equip laity to witness, the use of apologetics, follow-up methods, and current issues in evangelism. Throughout the course, Dr. Green focuses on practical application and workable solutions for evangelism in local church and parachurch ministries.

III. Course Objectives

Given active participation, upon completion of this course the student should be able to:

Cognitive Objectives:

1. Understand the crucial need for evangelism as well as the Biblical moral mandate to "go and make disciples," and begin to function out of conviction and passion as they share their faith and lead others to do the same.

2. Know the essential content of the Gospel message, at least one method for communicating this message, and criteria for evaluating presentations of the Gospel with respect to accuracy and effectiveness.

3. Explain the function of apologetics in evangelistic work.

4. List important issues that contemporary apologetics can address, and know resources that can be used for this.

5. Describe at least one way that an effective evangelistic program could be integrated into the total program of a local church structurally and systemically.

6. Analyze a sermon or message to determine how to conclude it with an evangelistic appeal.

7. List the essential content of a follow-up program and be familiar with at least two methods for communicating it.

8. Define discipleship and describe resources and approaches available to the local church for discipling.

9. Identify and discuss some of the current issues and heresies in evangelism such as eternal damnation (hell), lordship salvation, friendship or initiative methods, the use of figurative language in Gospel presentations, liberation theology, ministries to special groups, the role of social involvement and urban ministry in evangelism and witness ministry, and so forth.

Performance Objectives:

1. Practice in their personal life, the principles and best practices of effective evangelism.

2. Formulate and employ a functioning apologetic for evangelism in their local context.

3. Demonstrate an ability to share the Gospel in a number of different settings.

4. Assess and compare the most appropriate forms of evangelism for a particular context.

5. Design an evangelism program for the local congregation, develop a step-by-step plan for such a program to be implemented, and assemble the needed people and resources to successfully operate such program.

6. Evaluate the effectiveness of a particular evangelism program, and make necessary adjustments to improve its effectiveness.

7. Demonstrate how to synthesize relevant Biblical and secular source material into an effective evangelistic sermon or message.

IV. Course Requirements

All major papers (those worth more than ten points) must include a separate bibliography prepared in standard form. The bibliography should include all sources read or consulted in the preparation of the paper such as books, commentaries, periodical articles, and oral interviews. The following chart summarizes the assignments. Please note that there are several options for the Follow-Up and Witness assignments. The particular option that you will do is determined by criteria listed in the assignment. You are not free to choose any one of the options for these two assignments. The options are given so that all students will have an assignment aimed at their level of background and previous experience. Read the introduction to each option for these two assignments to determine if you should do it or move to the next option.

ASSIGNMENT OPTION(S)

A. POST-CONVERSION FOLLOW-UP

1. Conversion follow-up materials 2. Current issue paper 3. Social ministry paper - 25 Points

B. WITNESS

1. Witness with words 2. Witness with walk 3. Witness to special religious groups 4. Evangelistic speaking - 25 Points

C. EXAM - 10 Points

D. EVANGELISTIC STRATEGY - 25 Points

E. HANDOUTS - 10 Points

F. INTERACTIVITY - 5 Points

Click here to download the course outline (PDF)

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