==== ====Hello from user.www.example.com==== ====Many churches are dead while many are dying as an organization. This is owing to failure inadministration and failure to fulfill their purpose of existence effectively. Reflection through thehistorical past, patterns utilized in the first century ecclesiastical community and biblicallycontextualized patterns from the pastoral practice of the church through the centuries, can be veryessential for formulating relevant aims and objectives to revive our dying churches and to enhanceeffective growth through evangelism.Dynamic and effective leadership is a key to growth and success in any organization, including theChristian church. The scarcity of leadership skills in our society does not merely mean scarcity ofpeople, but rather a scarcity of people who were willing to assume significant roles and get the jobdone effectively. Churches today need competent leadership that will maintain high motivation andmoral within their communities.In this article, we shall focus upon the necessity, hurdles and strategies for effective evangelisticmobilization. Let us firstly have a preliminary consideration of the words we will be focusing on.Preliminary ConsiderationIt is expedient to establish a full explanation of what is meant by administering the local churchthrough mobilization for evangelism. Basically, three key words or concepts need special attentionand they are Administration, Mobilization, and Evangelism. We have earlier defined administeringin the introduction. We shall define mobilization and evangelism.MobilizationThe term mobilization has its root in the word mobile which basically means movable, to move,changeable or capable of being easily moved. The word mobile could also mean an individualsability or a groups ability to move from one social level to another. Thus, the verb mobilizesmeans to put in a state of readiness for active service. It would also mean to organize or undergopreparation for action.1 Similarly the Oxford Thesaurus gives some synonymous words for theword mobilize which include: activate, rally, call up, prepare, levy, muster, organize, enlist, enroll,conscript, assemble, marshall.2Administering the local church through mobilization requires a motivational leader with the abilityto motivate and move people into action in an organized way or planned target or objective. In his
book, Be a motivational leader. Lair Elms underscores that a highly motivated people are hard tostop."To a group whose motivation and moral is high, problemsappear conquerable, goals seem attainable, and oppositionis nothing more than a stepping-stone to success. If under thepower, guidance, and control of the Holy Spirit, the leader candevelop a warm zeal for the task in the hearts of the people...then his job is a joy. But if the people are cold anduncommitted his job is a drag".3There are key questions for this topic, which are essential for consideration:1. What makes a leader a mobilizer?2. What do some leaders have that can inspire people to enthusiasm for the work God has giventhem?3. Is it the gift or an ability that can be learned?We could note that it is the knowledge and practical application of sound leadership principles thatare biblical and relevantly contextual which would make a leader the mobilizer he ought to be.EvangelismSeveral New Testament words are used to clarify the meaning of evangelism including such wordsas preach, herald, teach, witness and disciple. One clarifying word is that which is often translated"PREACH". It is the Greek word evangelizo which means "to announce good tidings" or "to preachthe gospel". In Acts 21:8, Phillip was designated as the evangelist, which means he went abouttelling the gospel. The New Testament evangelist is one who spreads the good tidings ofredemption and attempts to persuade people to receive Christ (acts 13:32/Heb.4:2).4 Hence theLiving Webster English Dictionary defines evangelize as "to instruct in the gospel, to preach thegospel and convert."5The other Greek work is Kerusso which means "TO HERALD" and is also translated to "preach orproclaim. The messenger of an ancient king went from village to village heralding the decree of theking. The emphasis is on a simple setting forth of a truth, not on the response of the hearer, but onthe proclamation of the gospel... (Matt. 3:1:4:12:24:14: a Tim. 3:16).6The third word is the Greek word Didasko which refers to holding discourse with others in order to
instruct and it means "TO PREACH". Teaching means more than announcing the truth: it involvesclarifying and illustrating the plan of salvation. When a person responds to the plan of salvation byaccepting Christ, teaching becomes evangelism. In describing the evangelism of Jesus, it refers toholding discourses with others in order to instruct. Jesus secured eternal results through teaching...Matt. 9:35.7The fourth word is the Greek word Mathateuo which means "TO DISCIPLE". The term isconcerned with results and carries with it the idea of converting. The converted one is made alearner or student and therefore a disciple or follower. Jesus commissioned His disciples to makedisciples of others - Matt. 28:19.The last word is the Greek word Martureo which means "To bear witness: A witness givesevidence(s) or substantiation of the truth. A witness tells what he has seen, heard, or experienced.A Christian witness tells others what Christ has done for him - that is, what he has seen, heardand experienced (Acts 1:8; 2 Jn. 1:1-4).The task of evangelism in view of the above-mentioned concepts is rightly stated by C.E. Autrey inthe following way: "evangelism is to bear witness to the gospel with soul aflame and to teach andpreach with the express purpose of making disciples of those who hear." Also John R. Mottdefines evangelism in the context of result: "the declaration of the gospel of Christ, either privatelyor publicly by a messenger of God so that man might repent of their sins, turn to God and liveabundantly."8To have a full comprehension of the dynamics in administering the local church throughmobilization of evangelism, the above stated considerations must be taken into account.Consideration of the meaning, scope and concept of the key words such as administering,mobilization and evangelism is inevitable.The Necessity for MobilizationOne of the great dangers facing the church in evangelism is the lack of concern and activeinvolvement in touching the lives of others who are without Christ. A revitalized zeal must beevidenced in churches programmes so as to transform Christians into active soul winners.9In real evangelism, every possible method and every effort must be applied inside and outside thechurch door to bring people to Faith in Christ and membership in His church. Each new generationof Christians must communicate the gospel to its peers. Methods and techniques used to do thismust take into account biblical mandates and contemporary society with its values. FrancisSchaeffer, in his book, Escape From Reason, underscores that "those who would share Christmust understand those to whom they minister and relate to them appropriately".10 It is essentialthat warm emotional feelings should accompany evangelism. No matter what culture or method isused the warm evidence of Love MUST radiate from the soul winner.Many reasons could be given to justify why mobilization is necessary in any form of administration,especially, administering the local church. Four key reasons are given for our consideration.
A. Mobilization is Necessary to Control the OperationNecessary control is the only way the results achieved in evangelism will conform to planspreviously made. This implies that planning is involved as well as organizing and directing in thewhole process. Apart from these major tasks the leader must perform activities designed to ensurethat the results achieved conform to plans made and approved. When authority is delegated ordirected the leader is still responsible for the work and controls are built into the assignment suchas deadline, periodic progress reports or a budget.Several factors influence the effectiveness of controls: (1) using mistakes as a basis for improvingfuture performance, instead of taking pride in triumph and gloss over errors; (2) being systematicin personal activities, scheduling and controlling the work of other people and the resourcesavailable; (3) having a sense of timing in making things jell in your church or department byknowing the people, mastering the fundamentals while using logic over emotion and (4) knowinghow to use information to improve operations.11B. Mobilization is Necessary to Equip WorkersThis whole area of mobilization or motivation centres upon involvement with people and it includesthe ability to gain the respect of people as to having influence over them. Competence andexcellence in leadership require meaningful relationship with people. A leader essentially mustmanage, direct or lead people. One important aspect of leadership role is the manner in which youtalk to, help and relate to people.A leader must be able to relate to others for many reasons: 1) It helps to induce change in theleader and the other person; 2) It helps a person develop his own personality by opening up; 3) Ithelps in understanding where the other people are.12 Gene a Getz puts it this way:" Forcommunication to be qualitative, it must get beyond the verbalization level into the visualizationand then to the level of involvement." Also he emphasized that there should be a balance betweena ministry to groups and a ministry to individuals as demonstrated in the life of Paul to Silas andTimothy. Effective Christian motivation must include an in-depth ministry to a select group as wellas a ministry to the larger group of Christians.13God gives the leader the responsibility to develop the people committed to his charge. Everyperson needs further development and training (2 Tim. 2:2; He.12J. Each one has been given agift by God that the spirit of God can use to enrich and deepen the lives of others for their work ofservice in building up the body of Christ. Apart from Personal development, people could bemobilized through special training in skills for evangelism. Such training could be formal as in aclassroom setting or informal as the trainee learns by doing.In my interview with the pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in Freetown, Pastor Carewof the New Evangelical Assembly of God church on Wellington Street, he said to me, "I train myevangelists by going out with them and, let them see and do the job themselves. I teach themsome principles, I organize them, I supervise them and let them learn on the job. They become
very excited and they grow also from their mistakes."C. Mobilization is Necessary to Achieve ObjectivesThe managerial functions of planning, organizing, motivating and controlling are all engaged ingetting things done with and through people. An effective leader gets things done because heutilizes a workable method and has the ability to motivate others highly. He also becomessuccessful when he is task-oriented. This means he must learn the resources available to hischurch organization and study the means to arrive at goals and approved plans. He must have theability to define policies and procedures in order to organize the activities of his people toward thecommon goal. This is the art or science of getting things done through people.Goal setting is the starting point for results and it must be special. State the objective with tangiblereasons for achieving it and an outline plan to achieving it.14D. Mobilization is Necessary to Maximize Meaningful ParticipationSeveral reasons and factors may serve as impediments to maximum participation in the outreachprogram of the church, but effective motivation and mobilization can overcome unwillingness andcarefree attitudes. The mobilizer needs to study the situation and come up with tangible reasonswhy it is necessary that the people should do what he wants them to do. In the case of mobilizingthe church for evangelism, there are manifold convincing reasons that church members cannotescape. The reasons for evangelism listed below should cause the believer to examine andevaluate his own evangelistic interest or activities and be motivated to help in the evangelistic andministry of his church: (1) Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations(Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8). Hence evangelism is a command that each believer must obey. (2) Lovefor Christ compels evangelism. Jesus said to his disciples, "If ye love me keep mycommandments" (Jn. 14:15) also Paul indicated that the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ in thebeliever should motivate him to evangelize (2 Cor. 5:14); (3) The lost condition of men shouldcompel Christians to evangelize. All men outside of Christ are lost (Rom. 3:3; 6:23; 3:6), andChrist is calling them to Himself (Matt.11:28). Love for our relatives and fellowmen should compelus to evangelize them as Andrew did in John 1:41; (4) God has entrusted believers with thestewardship of the gospel according to Gods directive (1 cor.4:11); (5) The lack of workers is avery serious issue to challenge believers to evangelize. Very few are witnessing. More mustevangelize. This attitude of neglect in fact caused Jesus to address the issue in Matthew 9:37. Theprimary emphasis of a local church should be evangelism. Social action, education, fellowship orcommunity services are secondary.15Mobilization as an indispensable ingredient in leadership is necessary to control operations, toequip workers with willingness and competence, to achieve approved objectives or goals, and tomaximize meaningful participation.The Hurdles toward Evangelistic MobilizationIt has been established that highly motivated people are hard to stop. While this statement ishighly true on the one hand, it is also true on the other hand that there are possible impedimentsthat may slow or completely kill every mobilization effort. Some of these impediments may bespiritual problems, physical problems or natural problems. Some may be from the mobilizer or
from the people being mobilized or just from the environment. It is important to identify each hurdleand find a strategy to overcome it. Difficulties and hurdles for leaders usually come in two forms:(1) problems with the group, and (2) problems in the life of the leader (mobilizer). We will considerthree elements, which can stand in the way as hurdles.A. Poor communication as a HurdleAn effective leader should keep the lines of communication open, if not he may be heading fordisaster. Poor communication leading to misunderstanding kills every good intention a person hasand in fact puts people at war against each other. This is vividly illustrated in the life of Moseswhen he killed the Egyptian who attacked his Jewish Kin. Scripture says, for he supposed hisbrothers would have understood" (Acts 7:25). But they did not understand his intention. Had theyknown Moses intention they, along with Moses, may have killed millions of Egyptians secretly.Instead, Moses was accused by them so embarrassingly, he had to flee from the Egyptian palacefor his life.Some leaders fail in this area. They assume that people know what is going on. Therefore, thepeople should respond accordingly to their intention. Only God knows what is the mind of eachperson without that person disclosing it. In fact, a leader may have a good intention, but poorcommunication may cause nobody to see the value of it or understand it. Effective communicationto your church members will create likemindness and an agreement to embark upon an adventure.The message of effective communication makes sense to the listeners. Effective communicationaccomplishes something. At least it should motivate people into thinking or into action or both. Itshould unite your mind with the minds of the listeners (likemindedness). Likemindedness createsunity, agreement in purpose and cooperating to execute a particular goal.B. Spiritual Failure as a HurdleFrom the Garden of Eden, Satan had always tried to distort or destroy Gods programmes throughman. Therefore, Satanic forces may be in operation to destroy any good evangelistic plan by achurch or a group of believers. As a mobilizer, a leader of an evangelistic expedition, it is importantthat one becomes very sensitive to spiritual impediments. Prayer and fasting help to removespiritual obstacles as well as physical ones. Also, holy living is a powerful weapon in spiritualwarfare (Jam. 5:16-20). The use of the biblical authority of the word of God as the foundation ofones plans or evangelistic expedition helps to bring spiritual success instead of failure (Jos.1:8; 2Tim. 3:16).In his book, The making of a Christian Leader, Ted W. Engustron outlines some hurdles ofleadership which he calls the "Price of Leadership". His thesis is that every worthwhileaccomplishment has a price tag in terms of hard work, patience, faith and endurance. He listssome aspects in which the cost is high for any person in leadership as follows:1. Criticism - Every leader has to expect some criticism. If one cannot handle it, that meanshe is emotionally immature. This defect will eventually show up and impede his and the groupsprogress towards the common goal.2. Utilization of Time - Managing our time really means managing ourselves. One who plans histime more effectively will far outperform others who dont. Also, Christian leaders must take time
for creative thinking, meditation and determine the best methodology to meet the goal, as well asproblem - solving.3. Making Unpleasant Decisions - Many a time it becomes the duty of an effective leader toremove or rebuke someone who is not performing up to the stated standard. A person whoconsistently fails to perform with distinction is a hindrance to a churchs or organizationseffectiveness. When an evangelism team is confronted with such a hurdle something needs to beone. It is not easy especially when it needs to meet the approval of the church.4. Rejection - so many reasons may be given for the rejection of a leader or a good evangelismplan for the church. A Christian leader must also be prepared to face the hurdle of rejection. Hemust lean upon Jesus and develop good ego-strength to cope with rejection.16C. Personal/Interpersonal Problems as HurdlesWhile pride, jealousy, hatred, slander and other sins may be manifested as well on theinterpersonal level, other personal problems such as lack of interest, excuses, incompetence andother things may serve as impediments.In my interview with Pastor Carew of the New Evangelical Assembly of God church he told me thatsome unwilling members have given lots of excuses, some he managed to counsel and theyjoined the evangelistic work of the church. Most of these turn out to be very faithful and fruitful. Onthe other hand, some have genuine excuses and do not join at all.Pastor Carew also underscores that failure in a particular adventure has sometimes served as anobstacle in that it brought discouragement to the team and the young immature ones becamedowncast. Hence good planning is very important, taking into consideration feasibility study,finance, logistics, manpower and a month of special prayers before launching out.Man as a social being sometimes encounters friction in his personal interaction with his fellowmen.Pastor Carew also told me that sometimes interpersonal friction comes out: However, as a Pastor,he exercises his pastoral function to counsel those involved and encourage them to maintain unity,peace, and a forgiven spirit (2 Cor. 2:9-11). Like Lair Elms, Pastor Carew believes that the value ofa united team cannot be overstated. He has the concept that all of us will do more and do it betterthan a few isolated individuals (1 Cor. 12:20-27).17In administering the local church through mobilization for evangelism it is expedient tocommunicate effectively, because poor communication can lead to disaster. The administrator orMobilizer must be sensitive to spiritual discrepancies such as critics, use of time, unpleasantdecision-making, rejection and other negative effects due to satanic forces. Prayer, fasting, holyliving and the use of biblical authority in spiritual warfare is necessary. Moreover, interpersonalproblems must be resolved interpersonally and with pastoral care.Strategies Toward Effective MobilizationIn terms of strategy much has already been said in each Chapter and subheadings. Almost all ofthe points covered have some kind of strategy or principle toward effective mobilization. Thus thissection will comprise a general overview of systematic strategies.
A. Some Basic Principles to ConsiderBefore a person takes on a leadership responsibility, he should weigh the matter carefully. Theleader will be held in more severe and stricter judgment than his followers, (James 3:1). However,when God has called you to a task He will work in and through you to do His good pleasure (Phil.2:13). Seek to be a goal-oriented leader who is aspiring and working efficiently.Secondly, an effective mobilizer for evangelism must be one who makes an impact on peopleslives. One who makes an impact for God is wholehearted (2 Chron. 31:21; Col. 3:23; Ecc. 9:10),and single-minded in his approach to his job.Thirdly, it is very important to understand the dynamics in the excelling of some leaders. Leaderswho excel are those who put out programmes that are fresh and alive, with the people involvedvery enthusiastic, motivated and productive. These are leaders who desire to do things withexcellence in Christlikeness. They are initiators and they are creative in trying new and differentthings to get more done for the Lord.A mobilizer or Christian leader should have as one of his prime goals, the meeting of the needs ofthe group or church entrusted to him. It should revolve around the deepening of the spiritual livesof the people he leads so that they grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, developing inthem effectiveness for Him and deepening their devotion.18This aspect of meeting needs isinterfused with resolving difficulties and surviving dangers.B. Some Basic Methodological Steps.From this writers own experience and information obtained during research for this book thefollowing steps have been offered as practical strategies for evangelistic mobilization.Step One: VisionAs Isaiah worshipped in the Temple a vision came to him. He saw his own unworthiness as wellas that of his community, but cleansing and enlightenment came to him and he was commissionedand sent with a special task Isa. 6:1-13). It is very important for a leader or mobilizer to spend timewith the Lord and get vision from the Lord. A clear vision from the Lord can give assurance of theLords presence and vindication of whatever ministry or task Christians undertake. A vision wouldbe a foresight of what lies ahead. At this point of vision it is important to do some critical thinkingas to the nature, scope and anticipated result of whatever evangelistic expedition is to beembarked upon. Herein is a leader who is goal-oriented. He takes the initiative to establish asense of direction in order to ensure progress and achievement.19Step Two: Personal ContactNehemiah went to Jerusalem, surveyed the task he went to perform, and personally met with thepeople to share his plan and vision with them. (Neh. 1:11-18). A Christian leader or mobilizerought to make personal contact with people to share his dreams, aspirations and visions. Somewould include only personal friends, but for an evangelistic expedition for the Lord it is important toopen-up to whoever the Lord may send (especially gifted and competent people). At this point it is
basically to share and discuss with experienced Christians who would counsel and support yourvision or aspiration. They may even support prayerfully if they are unable to be a part physically.Such a kind of personal contact helped this writer when he was the chairman of the Outreachcommittee of the Sinkor Evangelical Church in Monrovia, Liberia. It was like an underground workto mobilize church members into getting involved in the church outreach activities. I visited someat their homes and some I talked with after church service on Sundays. Some gave me advice;some gave me support while some became key figures in the outreach activities of the church withzeal to work.Also, Pastor Carew of the New Evangel A.O.G. Church told me that he reaches out to personallycontact those with gifts and potentials for ministry. Then, he encourages and trains them to bemore effective.Step Three: PlanningAfter obtaining insight from other people, proper planning is to be done. At this point the Christianleader or mobilizer must apply his ability to define policies and procedures, and to organize theactivities of his people toward the common goal. Hence technical skills, human skills andconceptual skills must be appropriated. The technical skill enhances the ability to use knowledge,methods, techniques and equipment necessary for the task. Human skill enhances the ability andjudgment in working with and through people. Conceptual skill enhances the ability to understandthe complexities of the overall organization and where ones own operation fits in.20Step Four: Publicity/MotivationThe idea of publicity is likened to sales agent who wants to sell his product. Publicity would be todeclare publicly your desire or vision in an appeal so as to have other people support yourcampaign. This is the time to really motivate people. Publicity of a church should utilize theannouncement time, bulletin board, handbills and other communicational media to attract people.Step Five: Organizing People and ActivitiesIn order to avoid confusion, disorder or anything that may bring failure, proper organization ofpeople and various activities is inevitable. After publicity many people may come to be part of yourcampaign. This is the time for the formation of different committees or teams such as singinggroup, prayer group, counseling team, evangelists, tract team, etc. The purpose of organization isalso to basically achieve goals. Also, time frame logistics and the utilization of resources toachieve objective are some of the major tasks. These are all important in effective mobilization.Step Six: Control of OperationFrom step one to the end of each evangelistic campaign, the mobilizer or Christian leader must bein control of the entire process. This means he appoints and delegates responsibilities to faithfulmembers as well as takes responsibility of the entire success or failure of the campaign. It is veryimportant to have this in mind especially when you are dealing with a bright church or a bigcrusade or campaign. Control of operation is important whether it is door-to-door evangelism,open-air evangelism, tract evangelism, church evangelism or crusade evangelism.
ConclusionMobilization for Evangelism is an asset in promoting the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. Thelove of Christ in believers is passed on to a sin sick world through effective evangelism as a way oflife. It is a thrilling experience to see non-believers coming to the faith in Christ Jesus andbecoming members of a local church. We have looked at the necessity, hurdles and strategiespertaining to Mobilization for evangelism. The Great Commission of Christ is still the unfinishedcommission.End Note1Colin Brown ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology(Exeter, Devon: The Pater Nostra Press, 1980), p. 6382Ted W Engstorm, The Making of a Christian Leader (Grand Rapids: Zondervan PublishingHouse, 1976), p. 243Webster, p. 6134Urdang, p. 755Leroy Eims, Be a Motivational Leader (Wineaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1987), p.86Elmer L Towns, Evagelize Thru Christian Education (Wheaton, Illinois: E T T A., 1981), p.77Webster, p. 3398Towns, p. 89Ibid., p. 710Ibid., p. 811Ibid., p. 512Francis Schaeffer, Escape from Reason (Downers, Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1968), pp.93-9413Engstrom, p. 17914Ibid., p. 19415Gene A Getz. Sharpening the Focus of the Church (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), pp. 182-18516Engstrom, pp. 137-138
17Towns, pp. 10-1116Engstrom, pp. 95-10119Eims, Be a Motivational Leader, p. 11520Leroy Eims, Be the Leader you were meant to be (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1987, p. 11621Ibid.,22Harold Commins, Starting New Churches (Nairobi: Baptise Publishing House, 1980) pp. 10-1123Ibid., pp. 11-2424Jack Redford, Planting New Churches (Nashville: Broadman Pree, 1978), p. 121Dr. Leopold A. Foullah is currently Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Philosophy &Religious Studies, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Mount Aureol, Freetown. He isalso the General Superintendent of the Missionary Church of Africa, Sierra Leone Conference. Heholds the following academic qualifications: Dip.Th., B.Th., M.Div., M.Th. and Ph.D (LeedsUniversity, England). He is interested in Biblical Theology and Social Issues. He is ExternalExaminer for both The Evangelical College of Theology (TECT), Jui and the Sierra LeoneTheological College & Church Training Centre in Freetown. He is married with three children.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Leopold_A._Foullah