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Paul Chappell - 5 Ways To Engage Your Community With The Gospel

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When I came to Lancaster, California, I had one goal in mind—reach this community with the gospel of Jesus Christ! Every pastor or leader in ministry that I know has the same goal. You want to reach your community with the gospel.

So how should you do it? It’s a big task for sure, but the short answer is “in as many ways as you can!”

In other words, you want to saturate and engage your community with the gospel. The Apostle Paul did that “publickly, and from house to house” (Acts 20:20), and I believe a strategy that involves both is important.

Here are five ways we have found effective to engage our community with the gospel:

1. Door-to-Door Soulwinning

For twenty-eight years, door-to-door soulwinning has been our primary way of strategically getting the gospel to every home in our community. We’ve mapped out our community down to every individual street, and we’ve assigned areas to adult Sunday school classes in our church. Each year, soulwinners knock on every door a minimum of three times.

Through door-to-door soulwinning, we see many salvations every year. And we work tenaciously to follow up on each one of these for baptism and spiritual growth.

(In the book Out of Commission I give a detailed explanation of how we organize our door-to-door soulwinning and follow up.)

2. Acts of Service

The old adage is true, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” People in your community need to know that your church cares.

We began to implement gospel-orientated acts of service in a big way about a year ago with our Love Works initiative. Additionally, we’ve done things from free single mom oil changes to Christmas concerts on our town boulevard. In these acts of service, we present the gospel and/or an invitation to church. In each church-wide effort, we have seen people saved.

3. Evangelistic Events

Several times a year, we host special events at our church with a focused emphasis on presenting the gospel to unsaved guests. This would include Easter and Christmas musicals, Friend Day, First Responders Appreciation Day, and—coming up this week for us—Open House Sunday.

These events actually combine the efforts of door-to-door soulwinning with a special event because many of the people who come do so as a response to an invitation at their doorstep. (Through the emphasized doorknocking prior to a special event, soulwinners present the gospel whenever they can—as normal—and lead people to the Lord.) But it also allows for a great opportunity for church members to invite a neighbor, family member, or coworker to a specific Sunday at church.

4. Media

People today take in much information through media—online and print. I want the gospel and our gospel-preaching church to be included in what they take in. Practically speaking, what does this mean?

At the most basic level, it means that you write your church website content with the unsaved person from your community in mind. Think of your website as the sign in front of your church because many people will check out your website before they’ll ever set foot in your doors. Make your website welcoming and informative.

Additionally, use other forms of media to get the word out about your church—billboards and community newsletters are both excellent ways to let your community know that you are there for them.

5. Longevity

Frankly, there are some people in a community that you will only reach through developing a personal relationship with them. Relationships take time to build.

The average pastoral tenure is less than four years. If every four years you’re moving to a new community, you are losing opportunities to engage the previous community with the gospel.

If you are presently in a difficult situation where you are questioning resigning and moving to a new church, I’d encourage you to remember that there are benefits to longevity in a church and a community that you will only understand by staying.

Maximize the Impact

By using every available means to engage your community with the gospel, you maximize the impact of every effort.

For instance, next Sunday our church is hosting an Open House Sunday (evangelistic event). In preparation, our church family is making extra effort in doorknocking and planning to cover every one of the 75,000 homes in our community over the next seven days (door-to-door soulwinning). Last week, our church touched over 10,000 lives with Love Works projects (acts of service). Over recent weeks, we’ve advertised locally and updated our website for the Open House (media). Finally, this is our twenty-ninth Open House in Lancaster, so people who have lived in our community for years actually expect to be invited (longevity).

The message of the gospel which has been committed to our trust (1 Timothy 1:11) is too important to only share haphazardly or as it is convenient. Seek every biblically sound means you can to engage your community with the message they need to hear and receive.



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There is just so much unbiblical teaching and error in this article there is just no where to start in refuting or correcting it.

 

While I commend them on their wanting to reach out to their community to do so with so many unbiblical practices in reaching out it is more like secular outreach to get people to join any other group.

 

This I will say, Jesus, and the 11 with their gospel of the Kingdom, nor Paul with the Gospel of the grace of God, never did any secular act to reach the people with the Gospel of their day.

 

So why do men try and do it today?

Edited by AVBibleBeliever

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There is just so much unbiblical teaching and error in this article there is just no where to start in refuting or correcting it.

 

While I commend them on their wanting to reach out to their community to do so with so many unbiblical practices in reaching out it is more like secular outreach to get people to join any other group.

 

This I will say, Jesus, and the 11 with their gospel of the Kingdom, nor Paul with the Gospel of the grace of God, never did any secular act to reach the people with the Gospel of their day.

 

So why do men try and do it today?

 

I have heard a little of Paul Chappel's preaching and have found it to be pretty good, but really don't know too much about him and have not really felt the need to investigate to date. I do, however, have difficulty in understanding what you (AVBB) find OBjectional in his approach to getting the Gospel out.

 

Are you against going door-to-door? If going door-to-door, doesn't it make sense to have a method to assure you reach every house?

 

Are you against doing acts of service that intruduce your church to the community and show that you care for their needs, not only physical, but spiritual as well.

 

Are you against the evangelistic events held on days where people will most likely be most receptive to the Gospel?

 

Is it wrong to have a church website aimed at bringing the lost to Christ. Should billboards only be used to promote things of the world and not promote Christ or Christian opportunities?

 

Is it wrong for a pastor to stay at a church longer than  four years? Is there no need for a consistent personal relationship with not only the local church, but the pastor as well?

 

Now I didn't read the links provided, but from the five bullets of the main post I don't see anything that would be a detriment to getting the true Gospel of Christ out effectively and efficiently. What am I missing?

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a little leaven goes a long way.

 

only a pinch of poison given over a long period of time will still kill.

 

It may sound good but it does not make it biblical.  We have replaced God's clear teaching in his word for what men teach as God's word.

 

The more familiar you are with Gods word the easier it is to spot the unbiblical opinions, assumptions and pretextual comments of men.

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a little leaven goes a long way.

 

only a pinch of poison given over a long period of time will still kill.

 

It may sound good but it does not make it biblical.  We have replaced God's clear teaching in his word for what men teach as God's word.

 

The more familiar you are with Gods word the easier it is to spot the unbiblical opinions, assumptions and pretextual comments of men.

Instead of speaking in generalities that speak to no specific offence, could you please cite specifics as to where Paul Chappell's approach is wrong and/or leavening even part of the lump with false doctrine?

 

Pastor Chappell cited Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

 

He then stated how he (Paul Chappell) believed his strategy properly gets the word out "publickly, and from house to house".

 

Each reference he gave is certainly "publickly" and you can't get more "house to house" than door-to-door- soulwinning.

 

You stated: "We have replaced God's clear teaching in his word for what men teach as God's word". Which of the five bullets cited go against the Bible?

 

Where does the Bible specifically cite specific methods to be used to get the gospel out. The cited verse says "publickly" which is a pretty broad term. Matthew 28:19 says Go ye therefore, and teach all nations. Once again, pretty broad. Likewise, Mark 16:15 is similarly vague: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. I don't see where Paul Chappell goes against any of these.

 

Would it be better if he went out like Isaiah?

 

Isaiah 20:3 ... Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

 

Or perhaps Pastor Chappell should have recommended laying on your side for 390 days and eating bread baked over dung (Ezekial 4)?

 

Quite frankly, I don't think either of those two Biblical methods would go over too well today...at least not in "most" of the world.

Edited by 282Mikado

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The more familiar you are with Gods word the easier it is to spot the unbiblical opinions, assumptions and pretextual comments of men.

 

I was hoping to gain insight on this topic from AVBB's exceptional familiarity of God's word, but alas, it seems he has left us. Sad, as those of us that OBviously (to AVBB anyway) have such a meager familiarity of the Bible need all the help we can get.

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