It was a great insight to have Ralph Winter from the US Center for World Mission to come to our church for a missions conference. Ralph and Roberta served in Latin America for years, reared children there and developed a fantastic Mission Training Organization. He came back to the States to Fuller Seminary and then established the US Center. They were great innovators and entrepreneurs.
Ralph taught us about the four types of Evangelism/Missions.
1. E0-Winning people from the church to Christ. There are many more converts from within the church than outside the church. The min Evangelists are Parents, Sunday School Teachers, Youth Leaders, Deacons, Elders, and Pastors.
Back in 2000 I was consulting with a large church in our area. I taught on this very concept to alert the Elders to the importance of "INWARD Evangelism". The stats are old but the trends are the same.
Look at your church and fill in the specific Evangelistic efforts under each age group. For example, E/0 efforts to children would look at the specific "in-reach" activities designed to lead our own children, youth and adults to faith in Christ. E/0 looks at those ministries/programs that are "outreach" to children, youth and adults that are in our cultural group who do not know Christ as Savior.
Approximately 17 million people become church members each year through conversion.
1. About 7 million leave the church annually.(How can we slow this exodus?)
2. This is a net of 10 million new believers added to the roles of churches annually
B. Some 53 million children are born into Christian families each year. A huge number, three times the number won to Christ from outside the church.
1. About 21 million church members die annually.
2. This is a net gain of 32 million people in the church, if the children are converted.
3. When added to the 10 million new members, there is a grand total of 42 million people added each year to the global church.
C. This makes a growth rate of approximately 115,000 people coming into the various churches of Christ each day, 365 days per year.
1. 27,400 people each day are new converts
2. 87,700 are babies born each day to believers.
D. Therefore, "in-reach" evangelism-E/0-is critical to successful evangelism and missions.
Go through the various segments of your church and count how many people are in them and how many come to faith in Christ each year. This will help you see where your new converts are coming from. (No converts means all you have is transfer growth.)
Respond to this by telling us where your converts are coming from. Which ministries are successful and which are not so successful?