At Compass Point it’s always about the numbers. The number of people far from God that hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The number of people that gave up on a church years ago and need to rediscover God’s love. The number of people that go from casual Christian to committed follower. The number of people that develop from being baptized into maturity in their walk with Christ. The number of people that go from occasional attender to ministry leader. The number of people that our congregation is inviting to church because of the leading of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately is was our desire for evangelism that lead us to rethink how we did discipleship and small groups.
Evangelism moves in circular motion. The best way to illustrate this is to compare it to the time my Dad sold insurance. When he first signed on with the insurance company he had many friends, relatives and loved ones that were potential customers. Over the course of a year he met with each of those and was quite successful in selling insurance. However, the day came when my Dad ran out of folks that he knew…so he went to training sessions where veteran insurance agents taught him how to look for…and identify new potential customers. Many of these new contacts we just people that he met randomly while going about daily life.
Compass Point’s evangelism strategy is relation-based. We don’t do much servant evangelism, very few outreach events and almost no marketing…yet we were in the top 3% in baptisms for the past two years in the Southern Baptist Convention. This was all because of the relationships our folks had with other people.
However, we began to notice a disturbing trend. Someone far from God would get invited to Compass Point…come to know Jesus…get baptized and plugged in…invite the few people in their inner circle to church…and then would run out of people to reach out to. In essence, the evangelistic potential for each new person that came into Compass Point was limited…therefore the evangelism strategy for Compass Point was limited.
We knew that in order to prevent the evangelistic potential of Compass Point from dying out once everybody in our flock reached out to those they already knew…we had to get our folks in tune with the leading of Holy Spirit. The only way to accomplish that was to get them to actually study the Bible. Not some group therapy “what is my purpose in life” curriculum…not some 12-week written infomercial for “dig a well for the thirsty lions of upper Uganda”…and especially not some gender specific journal-writing “let’s talk abut the scars in our life” crap. We needed our folks to read the actual written word of God and learn how to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit if we were going to keep our evangelism strategy moving in a circular motion.
So what does that circular motion of evangelism look like at Compass Point these days (we hope)? Someone far from God comes to know Jesus through the seed planting of Compass Point. They start attending Compass Point Church on a regular basis. They get plugged in and meet people by us putting them almost immediately into a service role. They begin to invite their friends, family and loved ones to church. They get involved with a Journey Group. Through studying God’s Word they discover how to listen to and be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit begins to show them other people outside of their circle…folks they meet randomly in everyday life…to invite to church or share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with. One of those folks is far from God and comes to know Christ because of the seed that was planted. They start attending Compass Point Church on a regular basis. They get plugged in and meet people by us putting them almost immediately into a service role. They begin to invite their friends, family and loved ones to church. They get involved with a Journey Group…