Monday, June 11, 2007

Small Group Evangelism

I am getting excited about an upcoming D.Min. class that I have at Fuller Theological Seminary, beginning next Monday. It is a class on evangelism with Dr. Richard Peace.

Peace has written several books on evangelism. I wanted to highlight one of his books, Small Group Evangelism. Here is the link.

Too often we rely upon mere personal witness and conversation in sharing our faith. People are drawn to community, and the most effective evangelism happens in a community or small group setting. As people witness the love in the group, this testifies to the truth of the gospel and is appealing to non-Christians.

Peace gives several practical steps on how to set up an evangelistic small group. A few good pointers:
1. Be up front in this invitation. Tell people that it is a group that will have some Christians and non-Christians, designed for those who are interested in exploring faith and spiritual issues. Ask someone if they are interested in being a part of this type of group.

2. Choose a topic that fits a felt need or seeks to provide an answer to something non-Christians are asking about.

3. Give specifics on how long the meeting will last. Tell people it will be 4 or 8 weeks, so that they can see that it has an ending. People find it difficult to commit to something without a potential stop date.

4. Hold the meeting in a location that is comfortable with the target group.

5. Have a target group, and make this group fairly homogenous. People with similar backgrounds and experiences find it easier to share and form bonds of friendship, which will keep them going to the group.

Do you like the idea of small group evangelism?


Anonymous said...

I am so excited to hear you mention this. Awhile back David and I attended a marriage seminar and while we were there they had a session that talked about starting something similiar to what you talked about here. They called the group "Home Builders" and their suggestion was to hold it in someones home. They had published prepared material on various topics. David and I were very interested in being a part of something like this. We saved the material that was given out if you would be interested in taking a look at it.

James said...


You and David would make ideal hosts for this type of outreach group. Sure, I would be glad to look at this material.

You so much get what we are about and what God calls us to do. I thank my God for you! And isn't what is happening with our Starbucks group exciting? It was great to have so many beyond our church group come, including your friend at work. God is at work!


John Telgren said...

Excellent James. We have small groups that meet weekly, but the purpose has been relational. We are ready to rachet it up and become more ministry oriented in our groups. These simple suggestions are great, a couple of our groups have already moved in this direction on their own.

James said...


It is a challenge moving relational groups to mission. Many people are resistant to this.

However, unless the groups focus on mission, it never happens. The purpose of the group must be mission, and this must be made clear. And guess what happens along the way? Fellowship. Community. All the things that people are looking for.

If you are LOTR fan, you know that the Fellowship of the Ring did not become a fellowship by sitting around. It became a fellowship as it went out on the road and had to depend upon one another. The mission and the profound shared experience drew them close together.

I'm glad to hear that you are seeking to move your groups towards mission. Thanks for dropping by.