Evangelism in the Catalytic Context

I happened to be San Francisco this weekend to be a part of a training with the Catalytic, interns and some volunteers. It was a great time for me to be there and to learn about what is working and learn about their scope. One of the sessions was led by Keoke King, San Francisco Metro Director. I asked if I could share his thoughts with you on evangelism. These are my edits of his notes.

Evangelism in the Catalytic Context

I. Catalytic Staff Evangelism Environment

  • Success through others
    • We succeed when the influence we hold helps others to succeed. Lead leaders.
    • The personal celebration moment after someone decides to follow Christ is often missed and it often comes sideways because we weren’t directly involved.
    • Is what God is doing here through me or through them?
  • Everything we do MUST be simple and straightforward
    • Straightforward because it communicates what we’re about
    • Students learn who we really are from our evangelism.
      • These are the values we imprint.
    • Failing here means future non-aligned leaders
    • Simple so there’s low prep and low pressure for us
    • Simple so it is reproducible – you do it, they keep doing it.
    • Model Apply Watch Leave – training acronym
  • Must happen fast
    • Get there immediately,
    • Don’t wait to integrate evangelism into the movement.
    • They’ll never be ‘ready’
      • Evangelism is in same bucket with leadership
    • “It’s a huge huge thing I need to prepare for.”
      • No, just take a baby step.
    • So, have really simple basic steps that they can take immediately
      • Gospel of John – give to a friend
  • Don’t over teach, over direct, or over control
    • Cast vision, empower creativity and tell students,
      • “Take a step of faith. God can use YOU!”
    • We staff must be catalylists.
      • Catalyst is a chemical term.
        • A substance that is present but is not used up in the reaction.

II. The Old School Basics Are Back

  • 90s Postmodernism, contextualization, decoding etc can leave us in a heady paralysis.
    • Bottom Line – we need to be adaptive learners
      • If we know anything about the future it’s that it’s changing very very fast
  • “Go Sharing” Times
    • prepare students to share with friends
    • go every week early in the semester for only 6 weeks
    • a critical developmental step
  • Give Away Bibles – from Gideon Greenies to The Message
  • Training
    • Testimony Training, Listening Skills, Key Conversation Starter Questions, 4SL.
    • Our team counts students ‘Trained in Evangelism’.
    • Remember what it was like to receive that training?
      • Builds confidence.

  • Top 5 List – people to pray for
  • Surveys – questionnaires – or really report the responses online
  • Bill Bright “Successful Evangelism is taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”
  • One We’re Careful With
    • “Invite To” Events – be careful. this is NOT usually simple.
    • Or, just have – first meeting/month bring a friend it’s the community
    • the Gospel lived out as much as it is the message and the apologetics

III. Outreaches

  • Our Top 10 Outreaches http://www.metamore.org/ubasicpage.jsp?siteid=7184&pageid=57954 
  • This is when it’s REALLY important to understand culture
    • Can easily be a big waste of time – “the thing we did that semester”
  • Be involved in the design:
  • relational, well promoted, good avenues for follow-up, clear gospel, student experience stories

IV. Beyond The Basics – Real Useable Tools and Concepts

  • Developing Leaders in Evangelism
    • key passages, prayer, baby steps, take em sharing, stay with them, resources, have fun with it, tell stories of students leading their friends to faith
  • Think about behaviors that lead to new believers.
    • What are they? How can you encourage them?
    • (spiritual conversations, giving out gifts, praying for friends)
    • involvement in non-Christian groups.
  • Apologetics
    • everystudent.com etc.
    • use the online world
  • Evangelism Model – draw it out from start to finish, then give them the paper.
    • Master, Message, Masses
    • Modes: Natural, Body, Ministry
      • it’s not all one way or the other.
      • GREAT value in including non-believers in our student communities
      • they belong and then believe process.
        • 62% of the decisions for Christ come from ongoing conversations
        • much more for those who become ‘multipliers’. 
  • Videos and Statistics we’ve found on our campuses
    • compelling to our students
    • 6 or 10 would like to talk – if they’re not late to class.
  • Address being in the world but not of it
    • Finding Common Ground comments on misunderstanding of holiness as being bubblized.
    • What % of involved kids who grew up in church.
    • We MUST urge them to go deeper with their non-Christian friends.
    • We are here for the 96% – not the 4%. 

Bibliography:

  • The Starfish and The Spider
  • Finding Common Ground
  • SF Metro Top 10 Outreaches

Just a couple of random thoughts here after listening to Keoke and mulling this over. I wish I could reproduce the vision and hope generated in that session. Just can’t do it with a talk outline and delivered to you by email. But Keoke and his team work have critically thought about those things that have worked for years and combined them with innovation to minister effectively in a challenging environment like San Francisco.

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