About The Growing Edge

  • Philip Lotspeich was called to the position of Coordinator for Church Growth in the Evangelism Program Area of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in February, 2008. He was the organizing Pastor of Faithbridge Presbyterian Church in Frisco, TX. He also was the pastor of a transformational congregation in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He is a graduate of Austin Seminary.

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August 24, 2009


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Bob Pearson

All this assumes a traditional church. Our evangelism needs to move more to starting new communities that are first relational to the community around them, then meet the needs of that community. This will mostly NOT be with worship services, or bible studies or Sunday school, but with counseling, job placements, food banks, housing support, immigration issues support, environmental stewardship, recreation, evening gathering places other than bars, etc.

Only after developing relationships and long term trust can you begin to enter into conversations on why you are doing all of this in the first place. Then the top six issues above are all moot.

Karen Ferguson Carl

As for Mistake #1 - In my experience as Consultant for Congregational Transformation for Detroit Presbytery, our existing stable and declining congregations really have no idea how to blend evangelism with social justice/witness. We have a lot of work to do to help leaders in congregations see the big picture (envison an opportunity) where they might engage the community around them in social action while expressing their faith not only in action but in words! There is truly a duality here...we talk about our faith during worship and education hour and "do" our faith in social action projects. This is difficult, but necessary to change. Pastors and worship/teaching leaders must help individuals create and use real words/dialogue to express their faith to others...we really have yet to learn this skill.


Karen has a point. Without words, we are just a non-profit doing good works.

Read more here http://www.evangelismcoach.org/2008/is-neighborhood-outreach-evangelism

Re: Mistake #2. Announcements are insider stuff. Even video announcements are not working if one doesn't know who to talk to afterwords. "See Bob and Mary" doesn't work if I don't know what Bob and Mary even look like.

Finally, I do think Easum is right in his observations all the way around for the traditional church. House churches are a different animal.

Chris W

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