We know that Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). But sometimes we forget that He actively sought those who were lost.
For Jesus, gospel outreach was no passing interest or occasional hobby. He looked for lost people and personally brought them the message of salvation through Himself.
And He calls us to do the same: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).
We know that everywhere around us there are people in need of the gospel. But where specifically—or how specifically—can you find people with whom you can share the message of salvation?
1. Door-to-Door Witness
Earlier this month, our church family worked to knock on the door of each of the 80,000 homes in our community with a gospel invitation. We did it in preparation for Open House Sunday (see #3 below), but even after Open House Sunday, we started over again. Our goal is to saturate our valley with the gospel by strategically, systematically, and persistently reaching out to our community one home at a time. Many of the people in our church today were reached through door-to-door soulwinning.
2. Community Service
Look for ways to engage your community through service. Whether it be hosting a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” or a community-wide Love Works campaign, let people in your area know you care. This is important not only on a large, church-wide scale, but also on a next-door neighbor scale. (You don’t need a church-wide event to keep your grass mowed or bring your neighbors a plate of brownies.)
3. Special Days
Days such as Christmas, Easter, and even events you create (such as “Open House Sunday”) can be tremendous opportunities to invite people to come hear the gospel in an evangelically-themed service at church. Because there is a particular date on these events, it helps encourage the people who ordinarily say “someday” to actually come.
4. Friends and Neighbors
Gospel-conscious Christians should cultivate relationships with lost people. Neighbors, coworkers, classmates, baristas—you should know the names of and develop an interest in the people who you see on a regular basis. And you should look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
5. Guest Follow Up
Every Monday morning, our outreach pastor collects the guest cards from Sunday services and assigns these as visits to adult Bible class leaders and faithful soulwinners. These are people whose hearts God is already working in, and they are contacts to be stewarded faithfully and followed up on tenaciously.
Aside from depending on the filling of the Holy Spirit, the most fruitful habit a soulwinner can develop is a consciousness that every person to whom they speak has an eternal soul. Learn to see people as Jesus did—not just through the lens of the immediate interaction you have with them (or the irritation they may bring), but as a person with a soul that will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. A soul-conscious Christian will not only set time aside specifically for gospel outreach, but will find opportunities all week long to witness to the barber, mechanic, grocery clerk, seatmate on the commute, and others.
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few…—Matthew 9:36–37