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When to Stop Teaching Evangelism Classes

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I received this disheartening message on Facebook from a couple of discouraged evangelists. My answer follows after the video.

We’ve been teaching Way of the Master classes for almost 5 years at our church and sometimes in our home, too. The last class we taught at church only had 4 people. The church leaders think we’ve reached “saturation” and want us to wait until fall to offer another class which is what we plan to do. My question is, have you encountered dwindling numbers of participants with the evangelism classes you lead? How often do you offer classes and do you get much of a response?

Here’s my answer: I, too, have been teaching the class for 5 years. Over a thousand people have attended at least one session. (There is usually a large drop out rate; find out why here.) In my Spring class, no one signed up for the first three weeks. I, too, was told that we’d reached the saturation point—and this was from one of my leaders!

I refused to believe it. So, this is what I did….

I prayed and enlisted others to pray. I “pestered” the congregation with fliers advertising my class. I personally took people aside and half-jokingly said, “I have a challenge for you.” I then folded up the flier and handed it to them. “Take this and pray, ‘Lord, would you have me take a class that teaches me to share my faith more effectively?'” They’d laugh. Then I would wink and say, “If He tells you no, tell me.”

I enlisted former students to pass out fliers.

I asked our Senior Pastor to announce it regularly to the congregation.

I sent an all church email every week for three weeks. I posted it on Facebook. I posted it on this blog. I asked students from other churches to tell their congregations.

I suppose this is one of the reasons why my nickname is “The Pusher.”

In the past we’ve created our own video ads!

The result? At the start of the spring class we had 33 signed up. 27 graduated. We just started our summer class: 31 showed up.

Lesson: Gospel instruction has reached the saturation point only when everyone in your church is sharing their faith regularly. Take a break from teaching your classes then and only then.

In other words, “No, Virginia, there is no saturation point when it comes to teaching evangelism classes.”

If you’d like to be put on my waiting list to receive my 10 week class notes, email me at PastorSteveAtHope@yahoo.com and give me your mailing address. (I thought I would have these ready by now. Delay after delay….)

8 Comments

  1. You might be surprised that I’m going to say this, but:

    Thumbs up, Steve. Well done.

  2. Yes, well done! I especially like the ‘Virginia’ reference.

  3. You’ve been such an inspiration for my brothers and I, Steve. At our last “Harvest Crusaders” meeting, 8 members of the church stepped up. It’s a joy to simply round table with them and talk about, plan, and execute our outreach efforts here in South Orange County. Maybe one day, you can come visit to encourage us!

  4. sounds more like they are stuck in rut.

  5. Blessings to you for leading the charge. Thanks to you and your efforts or evaglism team has just completed filming our evangelism show, preaching back hone I’n wakikiki, Oahu, Hawaii. Continue to go to battle my brethren, The Lord will strengthen you.

  6. be faithful to Christ whether there is one person or 40

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