Maintaining an Evangelistic Focus (with Mike Hewett)

Mike Hewett planted and leads the Church for the City, reaching into multi-cultural communities of East London. In this hangout he talks about how we can keep evangelism as our focus as we plant churches.


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Agree Together That It Is a Priority

  • ‚ÄčThere are three questions that we need to ask ourselves
  • Question 1 - Is evangelism on people's hearts?
  • Everybody needs to share this priority. Naturally people will all have their own agendas, so it is important to come together on this.
  • Question 2 - Are we motivating people by grace and faith or by law and shame?
  • It is important that we motivate people by grace.
  • We shouldn't try to make people do it the same way that we do it.
  • Question 3 - What is the balance between individual evangelism and evangelism that we do as a community?
  • If we do too much as a community (events etc.), it can lead to people not having confidence to lead others to Jesus themselves but instead relying on leaders or evangelists to do it. 
  • There is a balance to strike between the two.

How Do We Keep Personal Evangelism Alive?

  • Give people a lot of encouragement.
  • Tell stories of it in you church meetings, and encourage others to tell stories too (especially people who are not leaders).
  • Allow time in the schedule for this. Don't block out every evening with church meetings.
  • Give training. Paul's way of doing this was telling his story. In the book of Acts he shared his story over and over again.
  • Give lots of opportunities in your Sunday meetings for people to share the story of how they became a Christian.
  • Prompt people to look for opportunities to share their story with their friends.
  • Encourage people to pray for people that they come into contact with. When Mike Hewett isn't sure what to say to somebody, he often asks if he can pray for them.
  • Equip people to share the gospel with people. Mike Hewett uses the ABCD approach. Accept that you're a sinner. Believe in Jesus. Consider what he has done for you. Do something about it.
  • Also use other people's stories, or things that you are reading in the Bible.
  • There are 4 steps to consider for your evangelism.
  • 1. Contacts - You need to get connections with as many people as possible. We tend to think about getting people in and putting events on, but it is better to train people to get out there and do it.
  • 2. Sharing - We must move beyond vague talk about 'God' to tell people about Jesus. Ask your people if they have had the chance to share their stories recently and pray for opportunities to do so.
  • 3. Training - Making disciples. We tend to invite people to something like Alpha, but why not ask them what setting they want to learn about Jesus in and whether they have any friends that want to join them. Don't force people to come to you. Go to them.
  • 4. Community - Build people into community. We often try to drag people out of existing communities into the church, but it can often be better to help them form churches within their existing communities.
  • We tend to boast about the number of cultures in our church, but we should boast about the number of people in a culture that get saved. We shouldn't yank converts out of their culture but raise them up to reach their culture.

Q&A

1. How do you motivate shy people for evangelism?
  • Help them to be comfortable with who they are. It's not wrong to be shy.
  • But we are disciples of Jesus, and we must do what he says. For different people this is challenging in different ways, and for shy people this is one of the challenges. 
  • Bill Hybels talks about different styles of evangelism that different people may have.
  • Be constantly encouraging people. 
  • Shy people are actually very well positioned to reach others who are like themselves.
2. If we are expecting Muslims that we invite to come to church, should we be willing to go to a mosque with them if we are invited?
  • Culture is not the same thing as religion.
  • Do what your conscience (and Jesus) tell you to do.
  • Mike Hewett has a friend who will go into a mosque, be honest that he is a follower of Jesus and pray to Jesus for people.
  • It is important not to tell people they should do this, as it could be a stumbling block for weaker believers.
3. Should the vision be written down or is it adaptable? 
  • It's not so much about a vision statement as a shared understanding of what your top priority is.
4. Is there value in people encountering the Christian community earlier in the process?
  • Yes, it can work both ways - but if we are only looking to bring people into community it can be limiting. 
  • The question is whether we are just trying to build one community, or whether we are multiplying through many communities.
  • Sometimes you may encounter disconnected people who do not have a community, and in this case you need to bring them into your church community, but be careful about ripping people out of already established communities.
  • The church in the UK tends to be a community of intellectual, middle-class people - but we will never reach the country with a mono-cultural church. 
5. What is Mike Hewett's approach if he has a brief opportunity to share with someone about Jesus?
  • He usually offers to pray for them or shares his story.
  • Don't try to work a particular system, just be yourself.

Recommended Resources

In this hangout, Mike recommended the following book: 

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