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Increasing Evangelism in Church Planting

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Can our people articulate a simple gospel message and call men and women to faith in Jesus Christ?

There’s no question that church planting has become the hot new thing. And I’m glad.

When I started my first church in 1988, it was an oddity. Now, it is mainstream.

This morning, I am in a hotel in Boston, about to talk to evangelism leaders, and two young men came up and said, “Are you Ed Stetzer?” Turns out I am, and they are church planters / pastors meeting in a high rise hotel in Back Bay Boston, at Reunion Christian Church.

Today, it’s normal that church planters are everywhere—even in Boston when I’m here talking about evangelism to evangelism leaders.

Books, conferences, and initiatives that champion church planting are manifold. This is a good thing. But it seems to me we’ve got better conferences and bigger excitement and, according to the research, only incremental progress when it comes to the evangelistic fruits of actual church planting.

Statistically, we have more church planting, but slightly less evangelistic impact. And, most importantly, too many church plants don’t have the needed evangelistic focus that should undergird what they do.

Evangelistic Church Planting

It is not just in church planting, but in general, that evangelism has fallen on hard times. And two things I am passionate about have, at times, become replacements for church planting in the mind of many: missional ministry and church planting.

People love to be missional. People love to plant churches. But when we actually talk about sharing the good news of the gospel—calling men and women to trust and follow Jesus—the passion can falter. It appears that, in many cases, the value we place on being verbal witnesses of the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us is declining, while ...

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