Evangelism Training for Churches

We learned this training at Longview Point Baptist Church. The original version was developed in South Asia by long-term missionaries. They planted and grew many churches that learned to do the same. Their strategy was focusing on fundamentals, developing simple ways of teaching them, and giving those tools to churches they supported. IMB missionaries that served there brought the tools back to churches over here. Many used and improved on all of it.

The version that Longview Point teaches is simplified even further to just the essentials. It's called 411. People from our church attended one of their training sessions. We watched people go from no experience to door to door in hours. The results at the end of the article speak for themselves. Then, our church started a door-to-door program within a few weeks. It's still growing.

This training clearly works. It's also 100% free and open-source (no legal restrictions) so you can use and adapt it in your church however you need. And please do pass it onto others.

Learning the 411

Tell audience start by turn a sheet of paper sideways and folding it in half. It will look more like a little booklet with four pages. From front to back, write these titles for each page:

1. Why?

2. Who?

3. What?

4. When?

Note: Rest of this is written as you'd say it to audience. Actions are in parentheses.

Why?

"Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen." (Matt. 28:18-20)

(Presenter breaks it down.)

All authority

Do you believe that? Does Jesus have all authority in and over your life?

Make disciples

This doesn't say, "Are you confident?" It says, "Are you willing?"

(Brief Q&A on "What is a disciple?")

People would also choose a teacher back then to follow and imitate. You are a disciple of a teacher to be more like that teacher.

I knew one guy who tried to disciple people in the church. He complained that they wouldn't let him. I told him to instead go outside the church, find people who don't know Jesus, share the Gospel with them, and disciple those who come to believe.

Anybody anywhere

That includes people that don't look, talk, eat, or smell like us. It's not just people overseas. In America, the nations are coming to us. Going door-to-door, we've met people from many countries, cultures, and so on.

Are you willing to talk to everybody or are there people you won't talk to? And, if God calls you somewhere, are you willing to go?

Baptism

I believe everyone who believes in Jesus and is baptized is also called to share the Gospel with non-believers and baptize those who believe. That we can all do that. Some churches disagree with that position.

What you need to know is what baptism is and be willing to do it.

Teach to obey

We teach them to go into the Word, believe it, and do it. We teach obedience to Christ. Not to your preacher or church but to Jesus Christ.

With you always

Do you believe He is with you? First time we knocked on the door we were scared, nobody answered, and we breathed a sign of relief. That's a normal reaction to trying to share for the first time. But Jesus is with us in these moments. We're not alone. We have nothing to be afraid of.

Editor's note: Optionally do a similar breakdown of 2 Cor. 5:18-20 (or v17-21) to emphasize that we're ambassadors for Christ.

Who?

What kinds of people are we going to share with? People we know and people we don't know.

(Explain a relationship map. Here's a video teaching that. Get them to make theirs starting with close friends and family.)

Don't beat them over the head with the Bible. That doesn't work.

Offer prayer. Many people appreciate being prayed for.

Get on the phone with someone, say you're out sharing the Gospel, and ask to practice with them.

(If you can, illustrate the multiplication process using real people in the audience. In our session, the presenter called two people to the front who he shared with and kept pray ing for. God brought them to Christ. They led more to Christ. Eventually, a whole crowd of them stood in front of the audience. The main trainer said that guy is at around 100 people now. "He'll drag them into heaven by the neck through his prayers if necessary.")

(Explain how we're part of a bigger process: It wasn't just that guy. There were other people who impacted those people's lives. Jesus works through all of that.)

We just keep asking, "Whose next? Who do I need to talk to?"

What about those I don't know?

(Everyone read Luke 10.)

(Explain that they went out two by two sharing the Gospel with strangers. Explain a person of peace.)

On person of peace, you're looking for receptive people. A person of peace is open to hearing what you have to say. They might connect you to others.

We don't know who is what ahead of time. We just keep trying two by two at houses since we otherwise can't know. We do this every Wednesday to be disciplined and intentional about it. The Lord is using that time.

We used to just try to take the Gospel to them where they are. If they believed, we'd invite them to church. Then, we started giving out church invite cards. Some showed up at the church. Then, they could hear and be touched by the Gospel more often.

What?

What do you share? There's a lot you could say. But maybe you're in line and don't have enough time. You need something quick you can use anywhere.

You have two, main tools: your story; God's story.

Your Story

Develop a 20 second testimony. It's two words that describe your lift before Christ, how you came to Christ, and then two words that describe your life after Christ.

(Have a veteran demonstrate theirs.)

For the middle part, some people use variations of putting faith in Christ, finding out He died for their sins, and so on. One risk is that we might talk like we're in church to the point the non-believer doesn't understand what we mean. We need to speak their language, not ours. Here's a sentence you can use that's solid: "I abandoned my ways for God's ways and I put all my confidence in Jesus."

(Have the audience pick their before and after words. Make their testimony. Then, share them in a Q&A so everyone can hear them and get ideas.)

"Before" words people contributed: prideful (or arrogant), empty, bondage, insecure, anger, searching, hopeless, perverted, broken, religious, trying to be good.

"After" words people contributed: hopeful, filled and alive; rejoicing; peaceful; love; purpose (or living with purpose); restored; assured; blessed.

One person during a previous session didn't have an After. They talked outside and she found Christ. These trainings can also be a time to find Christ.

(Tell audience members to partner up with other people to practice what they just wrote. Each take turns. Preferably someone that's not right next to you. Walk around and meet people!)

God's story.

What is the Gospel?

You don't need something complicated. You want something simple that's easy to share.

(On a whiteboard, explain a simple tool for sharing the Gospel. They used the Bridge. Other methods include Three Circles (video), Four Laws, and this one. Have a veteran of the technique speak and draw the simple version with Bible verses. Have them explain each part in more detail as they draw out the simple version.)

(Have the audience practice the tool in pairs. New partners. On this one, have multiple partners. A pair of people each take a turn. Then, split to pair up with other people. Gives them experience approaching strangers in a friendly environment.)

(Give out cards with your Gospel tool on one side and how to do a personal testimony on the other side. Pics of those Longview Point uses: front and back.)

Keep it simple during training. Read it off the card we gave you if you have to. When your sharing it, you can explain it in detail as much as you need. While learning it, learn it in the simplest form first.

Quick reminder. We are not responsible for whether or not they believe the message. God just requires us to share it. The Holy Spirit does the work from there. What they decide is on them, not us. Also, God is always working if you're obeying and sharing. If they say no, treating them with love and respect can have a big impact. Even people who say no might come to Christ later as a part of what you did.

When?

Any time, anywhere. Today, we're going out and sharing door to door.

This is not a one day thing. This is just being obedient. We're lining ourselves up opportunities for God to work.

Simple, Door-to-Door Training

Knock on the door. If they open it, here's what you say:

"Hey, I'm (name) and this is (name). We go to (church name). We're just out here trying to care for the community through prayer. Do you have anything going on in your life we can pray for?"

If they say no, tell them to "have a blessed day" and go to the next house. You should still pray for them on your own that God brings them to Christ.

If they say yes, go ahead and pray out loud for them. Then, say:

"You know God really changed my life through a prayer. If you have a minute, I'll tell you how." Or "If you have a minute, I can tell you why I pray."

If they say no, thank them for their time and move on to the next house.

If they say yes, use your 20 second testimony.

Then, offer them an opportunity to hear the Gospel.

If they say no, "thank you for your time and have a blessed day" and go to the next house. If they say yes, assess their response.

Tactic for common issue: Some people think they're good enough that they don't need Jesus. Ray Comfort shows that you can use the Ten Commandments. Ask them if they have ever lied, cheated, or stolen? Did they look on people with lust or anger? Follow with what Jesus said about that. Other easy ones are taking God's name in vain. Compare it to using your mother's or father's name as a curse word. Finally, no other gods (or idols) before me. We might worship things God made, make up our own gods that give us what we want, or make ourselves out to be god. These should convict people plenty. True repentance requires godly sorrow (conviction).

Some people will try to say all religions are the same or go the same place. David Platt replied to that this way:

"It sounds as though you both picture God (or whatever you call god) at the top of a mountain. It seems that you believe we are all on the bottom of the mountain, and I may take one route up the mountain, and you take another, and in the end, we will all end up in the same place." (They agreed excitedly.) "Now, let me ask you a question. What would you think if I told you that the God at the top of the mountain came down to where we are? What would you think if I told you that God doesn't wait for people to find their way to him, but he comes to us?" (If they think that's great...) "Let me introduce you to Jesus."

(Explain red/yellow/green lights. These model a person's spiritual state that we know of. Red doesn't want to hear anything you say. Yellow is open to talking to you. Green is someone who professed Christ.)

If red light, they're saying no. Tell them have a blessed day, mention they can visit you at (church name), and move onto the next house while praying for them.

If green light, they accepted Jesus or already are a Christian. Walk them through the Great Commission Landing. Ask them if they want to join you. Sometimes they will.

If a yellow light, they're listening but undecided. Get their name and number to follow up with them. Leave them a church invite, too.

Other situations:

What about a question you can't answer? Say I don't know. Shows authenticity. Get their number and say I'll get back to you.

If men knocking on ladies door, don't stand right up against the door, do keep non-threatening body language, and don't go in. Even if invited in, don't go because the husband might show up later wondering what you're doing here. It could become a bad situation.

What if a family invited you in? Esp if immigrants, they might do that. Go for it if you feel comfortable. Look at their cues to follow their example.

Now We Deploy!

(For your training day, send about four teams of ten people to specific neighborhoods. They carpool. Each team is assigned a single neighborhood they drive to. Once at the neighborhood, split up into pairs that go door to door.)

(Everyone goes door-to-door for about an hour.)

(Do a debriefing. Ask everyone what they encountered. Cover red/yellow/green lights, prayers, shares, salvations, and lessons learned.)

Example debriefing:

26 red lights, 46 prayed for, 9 gospel shares, and 0 salvations.

(Extra: Here's door-to-door training from Communidad en Cristo Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. Use or add stuff from it to your session if you want.)


(Legal: Like all of our on-site content, this training is public domain so that you can use, modify, share, or even sell it. Do whatever brings more people to Jesus Christ.)

(GiveThemLife.com links: how to share, conversational openers, or back to main page.)