Here are the twelve surefire steps I’ve found as a pastor to leading your church to lead people to Jesus.
1. Pastor, get up from your desk and leave your office. You can prep all week, but you’ll never really preach as good as Andy Stanley.
2. Ask a staff member or church attender that is walking around the church to be your ¨guest¨ for a ¨field trip¨. Heck it could even be a stranger. They won’t be by the time you are done with this exercise.
3. You and your ¨guest¨ leave the church building. Congrats – you’ve now become a missionary.
4. Walk or drive to an area of town that is known for poverty or crime. DO NOT go to a coffee shop. Only church planters and Christian college students are there.
5. Walk around said area and talk to people. Don’t carry a Bible, don’t hand out an invite card – in fact, don’t tell them that you are with a church!!!
6. Find a person or persons that look especially despondent or hopeless and ask them to lunch. You are buying.
7. During lunch love on them, listen to them, cry with them, laugh with them…hold them if they need it. If they let you pray for them DO NOT speak in your secret prayer language as it just freaks people out!
8. Take them back to where you found them and make definitive plans to meet again. It could be for church or just another lunch. Again you will be buying and/or providing the ride.
9. Let nothing stop you from the follow up meeting – as building trust is HUGE. If you miss the ¨appointment¨ you will be added to the ¨People Who Suck National Registry¨. You will also make Jesus, the Church and Christianity look like liars.
10. Debrief about the ¨field trip¨ with your ¨guest¨ on your way back to church. Use phrases like ¨holy crap that was uh-mazing!¨
11. Instruct your ¨guest¨ to find themselves a ¨guest¨ and go on their own ¨field trip¨. This step is really fun if you use a ¨Yodda, Jedi Master¨-type voice.
12. Next week repeat this process again. If you make this a weekly thing eventually you’ll be able to do away with budget line items like ¨Special Events¨, ¨Outreach¨, ¨Discipleship¨ and ¨Benevolence¨.
BONUS STEP – As you continue to follow up with the person you met in Step #6 you will build a relationship with them. That will eventually become a friendship and eventually you will be able to verbally share the hope of Christ with them. By that time you will have already shown them the love of Christ.