HONG KONG- The first ever Global Chinese Alpha Conference has commenced Monday. The British Alpha Chaplain takes the Chinese pastors and believers back to the teaching of the Bible, sharing with them what he considers as the most efficient evangelism strategy.
As the wave of huge evangelistic outreach gathering with powerful worship and world-class evangelist speaking hit many countries around the world, it has successfully turned many to God. However, seekers who were converted would often feel disappointment when they attend their "humble" local churches. On the other hand, huge evangelistic outreach gatherings are not necessarily attractive to all people.
"Therefore, the most efficient strategy is church-centered evangelism," Rev. Nicky Gumbel offered the answer to the 2,000-strong audience at the Conference. "As seekers gather at the place where they are going to be part of it in the future, they will naturally become a member of this church; it will also make them easier to participate in church life after conversion."
Since the church is the base of evangelism, it will in turn inspire the current believers to evangelize, and an army of evangelists will be formed from there, Gumbel added. Gumbel further shared with the audience how the Alpha Course works to multiply membership. In the beginning of making a church, most of the friends of believers are Christians, but once the church starts running Alpha Course, current believers are encouraged to evangelize. After the first non-believer becomes a Christian, he will bring in more non-believer friends to the church. According to his experience, once a converted brought in 26 friends to join the Alpha Course.
Opening more doors will attract more people than just opening one door only- this is the secret of church-based evangelism strategy.
Apart from church-based evangelism, Gumbel commented that evangelism ministry is like a continuous and long-span process in nurturing children. In addition, there is no Gospel other than Christ’s but it can be more attractively introduced to people by many creative approaches. Gumbel has also drawn attention to holistic gospel, reminding the Chinese pastors and believers that not only Jesus saves souls, but does he also care about the weak and the poor. Therefore, Christians must be ready to reach out their hands to the society.
Last but not the least, Gumbel and the prayer team led the congregation to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the origin source of power in evangelism, so Christians must always be filled with the Holy Spirit so that evangelism is effective, Gumbel concluded.
[Editor's note: Carol U contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]