October 1, 2017

8 Reasons the pastor is important to church evangelism

Dr. Francis Akin-John

In my decades of studying churches, I’ve never seen an evangelistic church not led by an evangelistic pastor.

Here’s why the pastor is so critical in this Great Commission task:

  1. The pastor who preaches every Sunday sets the agenda for the church. That’s true for both the positive and the negative; the church will do what the pastor does, and not do what the pastor doesn’t do. If the pastor is not doing evangelism, the church won’t, either.
  2. The pastor has the best opportunity to keep the challenge of evangelism in front of the people. New believers and young churches start with an outward evangelistic focus, but that passion dissipates without intentional efforts to keep it high. The pastor can take that lead.
  3. The pastor can be an evangelistic role model, even from the pulpit. Most church members have never had a role model for evangelism. They don’t know what a heart on fire for Jesus looks like – but they can see that heart in a red-hot pastor.
  4. The pastor can set the example of getting connected with non-believers. If anyone faces the danger of getting cocooned among believers, it’s the pastor. The one who intentionally gets out of the office to get to know lost people, though, shows the way for other leaders.
  5. The pastor has opportunity to tell stories of evangelism. I can still remember evangelistic stories my pastor told us decades ago as he continually reached out to others. Few people have as many listeners with ears ready to hear as a pastor does.
  6. The pastor can often enlist enthusiastic disciples to train. The leader must make the choice to mentor others, but evangelism ought to be one of the first lessons. As others have said, “Evangelism is more caught than taught.”
  7. The pastor can hold other pastors and staff members accountable for evangelism. Evangelism at its best is the natural response of believers who love Jesus, but it’s also a requirement of Christian obedience. Accountability among church leaders for this task is appropriate.
  8. The pastor can teach and emphasize the ordinance of baptism. God gave us that picture as a witness of the gospel, and believers who see it regularly are more likely to tell that story.

In most cases, churches with strongly evangelistic pastors celebrate baptism more often.


Leadership is not easy, and most of us get frustrated at some point. Leadership is almost always a thankless job. Some leaders, though, give up too easily. In the church world, some leaders spend their entire ministry giving up in one place and moving to the next. Here are some characteristics of those who give up too easily:

  1. They expect believers to be perfect. They may not say that, but they get exasperated every time a believer doesn’t live up to their expectations. Even Jesus didn’t have a perfect team, however.
  2. They see circumstances more than the God who is bigger than the circumstances. Their first response is to see the mountain rather than the God who rules over the mountain.
  3. They blame others before looking at themselves. Everybody else is the problem, so it’s simplest just to walk away from them. And, those problems are seemingly in every church they lead . . . .
  4. They don’t pray much. This one may, in fact, be the biggest issue. It’s easy to give up when you don’t even talk to God about your struggles.
  5. They are pessimists. No matter what good God might be doing, they never see it first. There’s always a cloud on the horizon.
  6. They are sometimes in the wrong seat. When you’re in the wrong seat on the bus, you’ll never find rest in what you do – and you then keep looking in the next i
  7. They are impatient. That’s the nature of giving up easily. If you want answers yesterday, you don’t wait very long today before moving on.
  8. They’ve been hurt in the past. Those who’ve been wounded already are often hypersensitive to warning signs of trouble. Rather than get wounded again, they give up.
  9. They don’t recognize the reality of spiritual warfare. The battle we face is intense. Those who don’t understand its reality often surrender quickly.
  10. They have few friends or mentors. That is, they’re doing ministry alone. It’s always easier to give up when you feel like you’re the only one in the battle.

If you easily give up, you won’t be able to fulfill divine destiny. Because quitters never win and winners never quit.

*International Church Growth Ministry holds two major conferences a year, one in second week of every February and the other in every first week in September.”

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