Guidelines for Evangelism Led by Michael A. Coughlin
Please review these guidelines. If you have questions or concerns, I’m happy to discuss and provide biblical support for these points. I understand that there will be mistakes made; that’s OK, I’m not asking you to be perfect, neither will I be.
- My goal is for our team to proclaim the one true gospel of Jesus Christ with people.
- This can be done through tracts, preaching and one on one conversations.
- This cannot be accomplished through your actions. Nobody can “see” the gospel in you.
- I believe it is God who saves souls through the preaching of His Son. I do not believe that it is our cleverness, good looks or kindness that saves people or leads them to salvation. Nevertheless, we ought to be kind.
- You are expected to be a member in good standing in a Bible preaching local church which I may contact. I am not your pastor, but I may contact your pastor to discuss your behavior or qualifications.
- Men, women and children may pass out tracts to people and engage in one-on-one conversations. There are certain dynamics which may cause a situation to be less than ideal. For example, if a female is engaged in a one to one conversation with a male, this circumstance could lend itself to danger. The same principle may apply to kids, or to a male with a female.
- Only men preach, and not all men may preach. If you are a male and would like to preach, talk to me, and we’ll discuss the possibility. You should have your pastor’s recommendation before this conversation occurs.
- Neither women nor children are ever to be alone. They must always ensure they have a companion with them, and the men on the team are responsible for the care and protection of the women and children, even if the woman or child puts his or herself in danger. Always make sure I or another leader knows when you are leaving the home base area.
- If you accompany me on an outreach, you do not have to evangelize, preach, pass out tracts or engage people in conversation. You are welcome to come along and watch or pray. There is no pressure and we welcome you to come.
- Remember the following: I believe in the total depravity of man. We are intentionally putting ourselves in the ‘world’ in order that we may reach sinners with the gospel. Because of this, you may encounter the following. Do not be surprised!
- People who are drunk or drinking or possibly using drugs.
- People who are dressed in a way which reveals parts of their body which is not appropriate or are promoting strip clubs, et al.
- People who themselves are full of sexual lust.
- People who blaspheme God and use all sorts of profanity and vulgarity. Many of these people will direct those vulgarities toward us.
- The way you dress has the potential to attract the wrong kind of attention from men (or even women). Assuming, of course, that any inappropriate or immodest dress on your part is unintentional: you still may incite lust in a sinful soul. You should be extra-cautious in your appearance before an outreach – for your own protection, and that you would not cause an unbeliever or even a fellow teammate to sin. If you want to be sure, ASK a brother or sister to honestly tell you. They will see you differently than you see yourself in a mirror.
- While we are out, I am the leader. This is important for several reasons. You are to humbly submit to my authority during the outreach. Only I am to engage the police unless I designate someone else as authorized or the police insist upon talking to someone other than me.
- Remember, we are engaging in an activity that has gotten people arrested, beaten and killed for centuries. This is a possibility for us, although never our goal. As stated above, the goal is to proclaim the gospel, not to be persecuted. We will do nothing which brings about persecution intentionally, but we will trust the Lord’s will in the matter. In general, our response to evil is not retaliation but to overcome evil with good and to
‘turn the other cheek’ (Matthew 5:39) Each situation may be different and will require wisdom and self-control.