One of the greatest obstacles to effective evangelism is negative thinking.
An attitude of negativism that gives excuses as to why a person or church cannot fulfill the Great Commission of sharing the gospel of Jesus with all creation. Negativism destroys your peace, clouds your perception, robs your joy, and consumes your thinking. When leaders allow themselves to think negatively, they will focus on what they perceive they don’t have or can’t do. Statements that are often heard among the negative thinkers are things like: We don’t have enough volunteers, we are in a small town, I don’t know what to say to a lost person, our budget is low, etc.
Leaders must define reality and then inspire hope by offering a well thought out strategy.
Below are some suggestions to help create a culture of evangelism in your church by leading your people away from negative thinking.
- Model can-do thinking. I have a friend who is extremely evangelistic. I once asked him how he had been used to turn around three different churches. He replied that he had intentionally preached many messages that included applications that stated, “because God has said ____________ we can do _____________.” Jesus commanded his disciples to engage in evangelism and because He said we could, I believe we can.
- Become an on-fire church. Many church services are dead, dull, despondent, and depressing. And we wonder why we don’t grow! Ask God to fill you with His fire and enthusiasm and He can use you like a spiritual thermostat to ignite the fire in others.
- Build expectation in your fellowship. Start with your stage, your staff, and your structure. Every Sunday you are on center stage with a tremendous opportunity to preach. Preach with expectation. Remember you are proclaiming the word of God and a person would be foolish to not respond. Invest in your staff and/or key lay leaders. When you hear negative thinking coming from them, gently encourage them to remember the awesome promises of God. Your structure is your small groups, music ministry, next gen ministries, and all the various ministries that propels your church to win the lost and make disciples. Instill in them a big vision that allows for no small and negative thinking.
- Focus on spiritual awakening. God is the only one who can bring authentic spiritual awakening, but we can be intentional about praying for awakening, seeking God’s face, and turning from our sins and apathy. The early church was born in a revival that saw God moving in a mighty way. Authentic spiritual awakening can change the geography of the soul.
Negative thinking creates an atmosphere that opposes evangelism.
Focus on the awesome promises of God and rely on His supernatural presence to lead your church to believe that God can use them to reach lost people.