As pastors, we can best shepherd our flock to follow Jesus when we equip them to faithfully fish for lost men. As born-again believers, if we are not fishing, we cannot effectively be following.
In Matt. 4:19-20 Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed him. As a result of such a great calling from the Creator of the Universe, the disciples chose to give up everything to do the work of an evangelist.
When pastors are effectively equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry, the flock will no longer be tossed back and forth by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunningness or by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Eph. 4:14).
As a high school basketball coach, I knew that I had to recruit, develop and release players to be useful on the basketball court. There were five things I kept in mind when I was developing my individual players:
- I tested them
- I taught them
- I trained them
- I took them
- I turned them out
One common model that demonstrates how people tend to learn most effectively is this:
- 90 percent learn best by teaching what they know
- 75 percent learn best by doing
- 50 percent learn best from discussion and coaching
- 30 percent learn best from demonstration
- 20 percent learn best with audio/visual aides
- 10 percent learn best by reading
- 5 percent learn best by listening to a lecture
Pastors sometimes inadvertently equip their flock in less effective ways, such as by exclusively lecturing or through sermons.
Jesus equipped his disciples by using a hands-on approach. He gave His disciples opportunities to teach, practice, discuss and demonstrate which equipped them to effectively carry out the Great Commission. One of the ways you can develop your flock in evangelism is have a scheduled time to do so.
TEST your flock by asking them the hard questions about evangelism. For example, “When was the last time you shared the Gospel with a lost person?”
TEACH your flock. Be intentional by having a method that is easily trainable to help equip them in understanding the Gospel message clearly. If they don’t understand the Gospel clearly, they will not be able to explain it simply.
TRAIN your flock is the next phase of development. If you want your flock to be proficiently equipped in personal evangelism, then you will need to set aside a time that they can practice what you have TRAINED them to do.
TAKE your flock. Have a consistent rotation of evangelistic events throughout the year where you take your flock out on evangelistic outreach outings. Go to fall festivals, prayer walks, block parties, etc. This will give them an opportunity to practice their training in a controlled environment. Coaching and follow-up discussions can be done after the outing to help them deepen their understanding of personal evangelism.
Finally, TURN your flock out to family, neighbors and closely affiliated people in their lives to do the work of an evangelist!
For more information regarding evangelism and apologetics training, contact Tarvoris “Coach Tee” Uzoigwe at email@example.com.