On Tuesday, December 6 Exponential CEO Dave Ferguson and Wheaton College evangelism expert Dr. Rick Richardson connected to talk about the state of evangelism in America.
Dave and Rick covered a lot of ground in their fascinating conversation. Rick shared research he’s completed with his team that shows only 10% of American churches are growing through conversion, the addition of new believers.
Rick shared three common characteristics of these conversion communities:
- Missional imagination
- Missional leadership
- Missional congregational practices
Leaders with missional imagination have high levels of faith-based optimism. They don’t believe the church is doomed and they don’t overemphasize research that portrays a negative outlook about the state of the church. These pastors and disciple-makers believe the harvest is plentiful and they’re excited about the work they do.
Pastors and leaders intentionally connect with non-believers in regular and consistent ways and share stories about their experiences. The pastor models the behaviors and the people catch them. Stories create culture, almost more than anything else. When these stories of evangelism are told over and over again, they become normalized.
Missional congregational practices
The churches that are most effectively leading people to Christ are both socially engaged in very practical ways and really emphasize communicating the gospel when they’re involved in service. Almost all conversion communities do both simultaneously and very intentionally.
Watch the full replay
We’re going to continue this conversation at our global conference in Orlando in March. Get a ticket and download our evangelism workbooks to explore how you can enhance the evangelism capacity and effectiveness of your church.