Southern Baptists have always been known for their emphasis on evangelism, particularly personal evangelism. It’s what Southern Baptists hang their hat on and take great pride in. However, in the COVID-19 season evangelism has shifted and seems anything but personal—it’s becoming more broad and digital.
Churches are opening back up and things are moving toward normalcy, but still COVID-19 has made its impact on the church and evangelism. Here’s how:
It exposed church’s evangelism equipping
The church was officially locked out of her building. The church was forced to mobilize and every church’s disciple-making strategy was brought to the forefront. How well was the church walking with God, communing, and seeking a lost and broken world without the consistent accountability of in-person encounters with church ministers?
No one could predict this would happen or exactly how to equip the church for this, but it nonetheless revealed the true heartbeat of most congregations. Churches were forced to ask: did we just impart evangelistic methods, or did we teach them to have an evangelistic heart?
It opened the church’s hands
COVID-19 has forced churches to hold their methods loosely and their principles tightly. Traditional personal evangelism encounters largely disappeared over these past months. The need for social distancing has also made it very difficult to engage strangers with the gospel. Churches have needed to use less personal means such as social media for evangelism. The pandemic forced churches to innovate and transform their methodologies.
It showed churches their potential
Churches have begun to engage a wider audience and people who had never heard the gospel before are now hearing it. The people who would never step into a church building are now hearing sermons and Bible teaching through social media. Many churches realized that online ministry is real ministry as many have seen people saved through their digital content.
It’s been said before that your digital presence is the front door of your ministry. The COVID-19 pandemic has solidified that and opened the doors for a wider audience in every local congregation. The church now has a greater potential to reach and engage lost people.