February 4, 2011
How does a church grow? By evangelism.
Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
The Lord makes it quite clear that He wants us to win souls. If we sit quietly in our own homes or in our own church how will we win souls? We cannot. Typically, the lost man will not wander into the church of his own accord. We must go to the lost and compel them to come in under sound preaching.

So, when you are looking for a church, you must look for an evangelistic church. What kind of outreach program does the church have? Does the church have a church-wide outreach program? A program where the entire membership of the church is encouraged to go door-to-door, and evangelize the lost. Some churches have no soul winning program. How will this church ever grow?

Moreover, this can be an indicator of the spiritual condition of the church. If there is no outreach, it is very likely that there is no burden for souls in the church. If there is no burden for souls in the church, it is likely there is no burden for souls in the pulpit.

2 Tim 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Paul charged Timothy to make full proof of thy ministry. Part of making "full proof" of his ministry was doing the work of an evangelist. This does not mean the Pastor should neglect his church and travel as our contemporary evangelist does. One of the great men of my life, Dr. Bob Kelley, once said, "I have no use for a pastor who leaves his church two or three times a month." The pastor should be the lead evangelist in the church, but he should be in the church. He should lead the church by example, showing them how to be an evangelist in the community.
What should visitation look like?
First, the participants must be saved. This should be simple enough. How can you share a testimony of salvation if you have never been saved? How can you withstand the attacks of the devil if you do not have the help of the Holy Spirit of God in your life? Second, the evangelists of the church must be separated. There are many aspects to separation. However, it is simply a matter of being different from the world. When a lost person is looking for something different, we need to be different. We need to be able to show the lost the difference between living for Christ and living for the world. Along with the idea of separation, the people who are visiting need to be properly dressed. They are representing the testimony of the church. More importantly, they are representing Christ. You can read more about modesty in this article. Third, the people who are visiting must have the proper attitude. It is very possible that someone could have a bad day which carries over into a bad visitation experience. Finally, two-by-two is the rule. One should strive to never visit alone, if possible. Also, less experienced people should paired with more experienced people.
A visitation program should always be paired with some kind of discipleship program. Our church primarily uses the First Steps series. Any new convert needs to be quickly and soundly taught the basic principles of the Word of God.