One of the things that I like about being a pastor is that my vocation gives me an immediate and automatic opportunity to do evangelism. It doesn’t take long for conversation to drift to the question, “What do you do for a living?” I then answer, “I’m a minister,” and that question and answer has typically opened doors for me to talk about the gospel with unbelievers. Sometimes such conversations have occurred at inopportune times, like when I was getting a hair-cut. Sure, I was willing to talk about Christ, but the conversation unfolded like this: “My boyfriend’s mother is a Christian and she says we’re living in sin because we’re living together and we’re not married. Is that true?” Never mind the fact that she had scissors and my hair in her fingertips and the quality of my haircut likely depended upon the answer I gave as I started to sweat profusely from beneath the rubberized apron I was wearing. I held my breath and let loose with my answer and told her about the gospel and why her chosen lifestyle was sinful. In the end, she was receptive and my hair didn’t suffer!
But how can other members of the church easily engage in evangelism? How can you turn a short conversation into an opportunity to discuss the gospel? One of simplest ways that has proven helpful is asking a simple question: “Where do you go to church?” If the person answers that they don’t attend, then you have an open window to invite them to yours. You can easily say, “Oh, if you don’t go to church I’d be happy to host you for a visit at my church anytime you’d like.” At this point the conversation need not get too deep—you’ve simply extended a invitation. Often the conversation will not progress beyond the invitation, but if it does, terrific!
Another practical and useful tool is to equip your congregation with business cards. As pastor, you might have a personal business card, but I believe that every household should have business cards for their church. They can be very simple—on one side you can put the church’s name, address, service times, and website. On the backside of the card you can have a map that gives directions to your location. It’s very helpful to be able to invite someone to church and then hand them a business card with the relevant information.
That’s it! It’s that easy. Just ask a person where they go to church and then hand them a business card. You can make this kind of invitation in a matter of a few seconds. As a pastor, you can promote this kind of community-friendly approach so that your congregation actively seeks to invite people to church.