This is a series of insights gleaned from surveys and interviews with the most effective churches of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board in reaching and keeping people through Sunday School and Small Groups.
10 Things That Surprised Me About These Churches (part #19)
#8 – Question #40: What percentage of all baptisms come as a direct or indirect result of the outreach efforts of Sunday School classes and/or Small Groups? The greatest workforce we have to reach the lost are those who are saved! The churches in the New Testament had success in reaching the masses because the people shared their faith and lived the Christian faith in their everyday activities. The great revivals occurred when people prayed, repented and shared their faith. In the more recent history, it was reported that in the early 1900s that ninety-five percent of all new believers came as a direct result of the evangelistic efforts of Sunday School classes and leaders.
Something has happened and it has to change. The majority of the fastest growing churches reported that less than half of their baptisms could be connected to the efforts of their classes/groups. These churches are the “cream of the crop”, the “best of the best” and they are only having half of the classes/groups to be effective in evangelism; I can’t even imagine of how weak the evangelistic emphasis and efforts are from the dying and declining churches. We pray for revival but we are ashamed to share Jesus with our neighbors, friends, co-workers, family and those we come in contact with everyday. Maybe the reason we don’t experience revival is that we are ashamed of Jesus. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10:32, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven”. As leaders we must be about the work of sharing our faith and training our members to do the same.
If you are looking for a way to emphasis evangelism in your Sunday School or Small Groups I would like to recommend the Connect 1 Evangelism Campaign. My good friends with the Oklahoma Baptist Convention developed this campaign to work along side of the evangelism emphasis coming from LifeWay this fall in the BSFL series. For more information please visit their website at http://connect1.reconnectss.com or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would to help you and classes/groups be more effective at reaching out to the lost.