Guidelines for Evangelism Led by Michael A. Coughlin
Please review these guidelines before joining me for an outreach. I’m happy to discuss any concerns or disagreements you have. 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.
- Gospel proclamation may be done a few ways: tracts, preaching and one on one conversations.
- Gospel proclamation is NOT accomplished through your actions. Nobody can “see” the gospel in you.
- It is God who saves souls through the preaching of His Son and His Word. It is neither our cleverness, good looks, nor kindness that saves people nor leads them to salvation. (Having stated that, we DO try to be kind to everyone.)
- You are expected to be a member in good standing in a Bible preaching local church which I may contact if needed.
- Men, women or children may pass out tracts to people and engage in one-on-one conversations. There are certain dynamics which we ought to watch out for. For example, if a female is engaged in a one to one conversation with a male, this circumstance could be dangerous or give the wrong impression (even unintentionally).
- Only men may preach, and not all men may preach. If you are a male and would like to preach, talk to me, and we’ll discuss what needs to happen. You should have your elder’s recommendation before this conversation occurs with me.
- 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 himself or herself in danger. Always make sure that I know, or another leader knows when you are leaving the home base area for all of our safety.
- 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: we trust the Bible’s teaching about the total depravity of man. We are intentionally putting ourselves in the world in order to 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.
- People who actually hate God so much they will physically attack one of His servants.
- 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. 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. It is never our goal to suffer similar persecution, but we acknowledge it as an actual risk. Our goal is to dispense the gospel, not to be persecuted. You agree that you will do nothing which brings about persecution intentionally, but rather, that we’ll 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.