Cebu, Philippines

By Arnel Panares
I directly consider any outdoor and social events needs to be part of a church’s larger evangelism strategy. While it should be just one component of that strategy, it is a valuable one. It puts the church where the lost are. It gets the church outside of the four walls and into the community. This opens up doors for the church to then demonstrate the love of Christ with the community in practical ways. Here the church can “be the church.” It provides a setting where you can share the Gospel in a less threatening environment. We can encounter people who would never have considered stepping foot inside of your church. They would, however, not hesitate to walk across the street to see what the party is all about. When this evangelistic strategy takes place, the community is sowed down with the Gospel. New seeds are planted. The Gospel is shared and people are given the opportunity to respond. People experience the love of Christ in a practical way. For those in community who may not have any Christians in their circle of influence, it will be a unique and tangible opportunity for them to experience the love of Christ.
It gives lost people the opportunity to invite lost people to hear the Gospel. As word gets out about the social event, neighbors will invite neighbors and the lost will invite the lost. Church members are given the opportunity to use their gifts for the kingdom. We may be surprised as we discover the gifts that come forth from congregation as they are given the opportunity to use in this unique setting. It is fulfilling for them, and it may also encourage them to use their gifts in other areas of the church.
“Last night I was only invited as one of their visitors from our church member on a child’s birthday event. They invited also their neighbors, friends and relative love ones! Instantly, God directed me to do my task as an Evangelist for this social event. So I asked the parents of a birthday celebrant in the house to let me share the Gospel before the dinner celebration started. Praise be to God for He moved mightily to the people, as all accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Lord & Savior!  Thanks be to God, all the glory belongs to Him. 

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