Keeping Outreach before the whole congregation in Lake Placid

(Part 3 of 3)

Written by Ray Cameron, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Lake Place, FL.

After we had a group from our church travel to Columbia, SC, for a Christianity Explored workshop hosted by the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia and by Outreach North America, the elders of the Lake Placid congregation were committed to making Christianity Explored part of our outreach and evangelism strategy. We are very glad we did!

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Christianity Explored has made a difference in our congregation as nearly 100 of our members have participated in hosting sessions as a part of our small group ministry. It has been helpful in several ways:

• It has given us a definite place and time to invite our friends to come hear the gospel.
• It has engaged us in gospel presentation and prayer.
• It has further equipped us to share our faith in other settings.
• It has engaged us in using the Gospel of Mark for sharing the salvation story.
• It has been a blessing to see and hear people come with questions, doubts, hurts and disappointments, and then come to faith through the Word and the Holy Spirit working through them.
• It has given an avenue for the Great Commission to be applied faithfully and regularly by our congregation.
• It has been an opportunity for discipleship, as members of the congregation have grown in their faith personally, and invited other professing believers to come who do not have a church home.
• FPC strives to keep outreach before the entire congregation as a Biblical mandate that is entirely natural for a healthy church to live out. “[He] is the vine, [we] are the branches.” We desire to “bear much fruit” as we abide in Christ and He abides in us.

While Christianity Explored is not our only strategy for outreach and evangelism, we have found that it is an effective, Biblical strategy that will continue to be one of the tools we use for discipleship and evangelism. The number of guests we have varies with each session. We have had some people take it more than once. I believe it has been a very healthy addition to our congregation.

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