Many church planters come into a community and they have a “thing” that they want to be known for and that is going to be their way of reaching people. Unfortunately, many planters think that they can just tell people that there is a new church in town and the building will automatically fill up. Some put all of their eggs in the preaching basket and believe that a large throng will flow into the building each week to hear their stunning exposition. Others place similar hopes in their worship music or children’s ministry. It is inevitable that the guys with all of their eggs in one basket are going to be disappointed and begin to look for different baskets soon.
Guerrilla Evangelism by Phil Spry is a compendium of twenty-three evangelism ideas for church planters. The bonus is that they are all ideas that can be pulled off for either little or no money. Spry is an experienced church planter and has written from his own personal practice over the last several decades. There are twenty-three relatively short chapters that each have an idea for evangelism.
Most of the ideas in this book seem like no-brainers, but many guys don’t think about things as simple as what Spry suggests. The first chapter is on the importance of having a business card that you give out liberally, which is an idea that he will repeat throughout. On the surface, this seems overly simple, but many planters fail to think about things like this. The rest of the book contains ideas for connecting with people for the sake of the Gospel and getting the word out about your church.
As I recommend this book, I want to say up front that I do not know what Spry’s theological commitments are or his convictions in the area of church polity. He explains his desire that everything the church does should communicate the message of the Gospel. Nothing that he says in this book is questionable theologically, so I think that many church planters would benefit from it.
This brings me to something that I would like to say to my Gospel-centered brethren. We are right to want everything in the church and the world to center on the Gospel, but everything that we read cannot have Gospel in the title. There are times that we need to read things that are not written from our theological perspective that will contain good, practical wisdom. In that case, we take what we have read and filter it through our theological grid. We receive that which is good, reject that which is wrong, and redeem the things that are in between.
If you are a church planter or a pastor whose evangelism is stagnated, there are some good suggestions here. Take his advice and make the habit of always having a business card or invite card with you. Then try some of his ideas and begin to incorporate them into your and your church’s rhythms.
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