Rev. Mark Bolhofner
“Let your light shine before others.” Matthew 5:16
Evangelism and the church. A lot of what we do could be labeled the “Come and See”
approach – publicizing what we offer hoping something will attract someone.
But research shows that isn’t effective with Gen-Xers (born ’61-’81) and Millennials
(born ’82-’04). Ed Stetzer writes in Comeback Churches, “Developing an effective
evangelistic strategy requires stages, helping people move from the ranks of the
inactive and unreached to being active followers of Jesus Christ.”
“‘Come and See’ has not produced good results,” he adds, “The bottom line is,
churches also need to train people to ‘Go and Tell.’ With few exceptions, people come
to Christ in steps, and those steps usually involve conversation and community with
So create opportunities for church members to invite and interact with unbelievers (a
cycling group, tutoring, a NASCAR fantasy league, a cooking class). The thought is to
create an environment where friendships can be made.
Then extend an invitation to attend to an “open” small group. “Relationships are the key
to assimilation,” writes Harry Reeder in Embers to a Flame, “and I know of no better
way to do that than through small group ministry.”
And the next step? Invite your friend to a study or to worship.
“Let your light shine before others,” Jesus told His disciples. And since they won’t
“Come and See” we’ve got to “Go and Tell.”