One way successful industries and organizations, in every field and discipline, regularly improve their performance is to identify best practices that help them establish benchmarks and guidelines. Best practices are methods, techniques and activities that, through experience and research, are believed to be the most effective at delivering a particular outcome.
The Columbia Union has begun a new initiative to discover the ‘Best Practices in Evangelism’ among our churches. We are searching for those methods, techniques and activities among Columbia Union churches that repeatedly prove to be effective at connecting people with Christ and the church. This is not the place for the theoretical, rather we will highlight on these pages those practices with a proven track record in attracting, and baptizing interests and developing them into fully devoted disciples.
Our initial research was conducted by a special committee commissioned by the Columbia Union President’s Council whose work was published in the Columbia Union Visitor, April, 2010. This committee consisted of frontline ministry practitioners who were united by a passion for reaching lost people for Christ and a drive to discover the best methods to achieve that end. Through a process of surveys, personal interviews and group discussions, the committee accumulated a database of the collective experiences and observations of diverse soul winners from across the union. This research was not intended to be scientific or technical, but rather anecdotal and intuitive and is intentionally written for local church leaders. The work of the special committee is now complete however this research will be ongoing and these pages will be updated periodically.
In using this data keep in mind that this material is not intended to be used as a punch list or a formula for growth but rather to serve as a stimulus and reference point for churches that want to be intentional and strategic in their evangelism. Churches and communities are living organisms, each with their own distinct DNA. Effective evangelism involves the hard work of understanding your community’s DNA and shifting your congregation’s DNA and resources from an inward focus to an external focus. The good news is that your church doesn’t have to start from scratch. There are other churches which have traveled this road already and have left models that you can imitate and apply to your own context. We will highlight in this blog those local Columbia Union church models which have proven to be successful and which have transferable models which can be contextualized and proven effective most anywhere.
In each of the following ministry links we have listed core beliefs, and best practices associated with each. We have also highlighted local Columbia Union churches which emulate these beliefs and practices. In the last link you will find helpful resources for each of these areas of ministry.
Additional links on this topic: