[Series III] Evangelism and Church Growth

Evangelism and Church Growth: Research on Non-believers
For Evangelizing Strategy in the Korean Context
and A Model of Diamond Evangelistic System 

Written By HONG, Young-Gi (Ph.D.)
The Senior Pastor of the Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

 

A Model of Evangelism for Church Growth: Diamond Evangelistic System

I have so far presented the survey’s contents and suggestions. If we compress the contents, the point is that although Protestant Churches are eagerly witnessing, it is not done effectively so they need to select a group that is open to gospel and witness in a constructive way. Because there are many cases in which the witnessing method is raising a rejecting response from the non-believers, there needs to be a custom-made witnessing for each individual.  Not stopping at simply witnessing and bringing them to church but helping the newcomers to settle through a systematic nurturing was also an important discovery.

I have developed a Diamond Evangelistic System from the implications of the above research as the basis and from my ministry experience. The core of the Diamond Evangelistic System is to introduce customized witnessing using the research as the foundation and to equip the churches with evangelism structure.  This model has a implication that the whole church should be born again as an evangelism-based church and strive more for witnessing and newcomer settlement ministries.  Also because spirituality and the system has to create a harmony by mutually complementing each other for church growth, I suggested the fourth dimensional spirituality which was invented by Reverend Dr. David Yonggi Cho to the Diamond Evangelistic System as the most fundamental starting point.

The Diamond Evangelistic System is composed of a total of six levels and the content when looked at closely is as follows. The word ‘Diamond’ is derived from the two meanings: the diagram of evangelistic system looks like a diamond form with six points and carrying out the six steps of the Diamond System will bring about winning souls who are more precious than diamonds.

 

Figure 1.  Diamond Evangelistic System (Six Stage)

 

1. The Fourth Dimension Spirituality
2. Area Research
3. Customized Evangelism Strategy
4. Evangelism Network
5. Evangelism Training
6. Three-layer Newcomer Settlement 

1. Have the Fourth Dimensional Spirituality of Witnessing

The first level of Diamond Evangelistic System is to have the fourth dimensional spirituality of witnessing.  The world we live in is the third dimension.  If living under time and space restriction is the third dimensional life of humans, then the thing that rules third dimensional life is the fourth dimensional world.  The Bible says, “so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)  There is the fourth dimensional world that surpasses the reality that is visible to the eye, that is a spiritual world.  The fourth dimensional spirituality is composed of thinking, faith, dream, and word and if the fourth dimension is changed, the reality world of the third dimension can be changed accordingly.

Therefore, in order to witness effectively in the third dimensional world, we need to have the fourth dimensional spirituality of witnessing.  The spirituality of the fourth dimension consists of thinking, faith, dream, and word.  This is like a software running the computer program. Without installing the software of the fourth dimension spirituality in the inner world of church members, we cannot bring about innovative change in their life and in the church ministry.

Figure 2.  The Fourth Dimensional Spirituality Diagram

 

From the elements of the fourth dimensional spirituality, it is necessary to change the way of thinking first. 

We need to change the minds of church members that it is the will of God to evangelize and we can evangelize. According the 2005 joint research of Hanmijun (a Society for Preparing the Future of Korean Church) and Korean Gallop, 74% of the church members of Korean churches have no experience of witnessing.  Only 26% have experience in witnessing.  This is a striking research result.  The bigger problem is the reason behind why they cannot witness.  Looking closely at the reasons that they give, “life is too busy” is the biggest reason but the answer, “because of lack of confidence in witnessing” took a big part of the percentage.

It is time for Korean churches to recover the confidence of witnessing.  We need to proceed with the positive thought that we can witness.  As Bukwang Methodist Church (Rev. Sang Hyun Kim) of Incheon, Korea, was reborn into an evangelism-based church, it is experiencing a rapid growth.  There was the first thing this Rev. Sang Hyun Kim, Senior Pastor of Bukwang Methodist Church, did after his start at this church.  That was the breaking of the fear that the members have of evangelism.  So that the members would think of witnessing as easy, he implanted an idea that there is no failure in witnessing.  For example, he let the people who could not witness on the streets for 57 years go and pass out Easter Eggs to passer-bys and doing so, blew in the confidence of witnessing to them.   The result of it was that Bukwang Methodist Church was able to change to an actively witnessing church.  The thinking has to change first in order to become a witnessing church.

Second, we need to have faith.  We need to have the fourth dimensional faith that we can witness.  Just as the faith of a mustard seed has the power to move mountains, we need the faith that we can evangelize to non-believers, the faith that God is doing this work.  The thing that we need at this time is to equip ourselves with the blood of Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.  Looking at 1John 5:8, it says, “For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”  We can succeed in witnessing if we equip ourselves with the Spirit, the blood and the Word of God.

Third, we need to dream.  We need to dream and draw in our hearts that God will use me to save the non-believers.  There is something that Wang Sung Church (Rev. JaYeon Kil) of Seoul, which is famous for embracement witnessing, emphasizes.  It is embracing the prospective believers in the heart and praying for them. Especially picturing in mind that the prospective believers will change and praying for them is the point.  Wangsung Church is getting a taste of revival through embracement witnessing which prayer and dream runs side by side.

Fourth, we need to speak positively.  After saying that we can witness, we need to use words of love and blessing.  It is because the loving and forgiving words that are spoken to the non-believers can bring them back.  Also, positively acknowledging that we can witness brings an opportunity of releasing the authority of the Holy Spirit.  If we use conversion of the thought that we can witness, equipping with faith, dream of evangelism, and positive speech, then we can greatly bear the fruit of witnessing.

 

2. Understand and Characterize Non-believers According to Area Research

The second level of Diamond Evangelistic System is to understand and characterize non-believers according to the area research.  It is only natural to know the non-believers in order to witness to them effectively.  Even in regular businesses, consumer research is fixed as a required heading.  It is because depending upon the perspective of the consumers, companies can not only provide great product and service but also create new product.  For the past one year, a phrase that has been a topic in the business field, “blue ocean” strategy is basically thinking in the consumers’ point of view.  It is saying that a new market can be found if instead of looking at things at the perspective of the existing market, it is seen in the perspective of the consumer and see what they want.  That can result in non-consumers becoming consumers.

In doing an area research, it is desirable to put the following questions in the center.  “Do you attend church regularly?”, “Have you ever been to church in the past?”, “Do you have any intention of changing religion to Christianity?”, “Why don’t you go to church?”, “Do you believe that there is a God?”, “If you do go to a church, what kind of church would you like?”, “What kind of advise would you give to the pastor of the church you would be attending?”, “What do you think is the biggest necessity in this community?”, “What is your biggest problem and interest?” are some of the various questions.  These questions are to find out the non-believers’ outlook on church and life.

The Institute for Church Growth classified the materiality of the non-believers according to the non-believers’ life-style based on the research.  The theoretical background of the classification of the material life-style of the non-believers is the life-style that was presented in 『The Nine American Lifestyles』(Macmillan, 1983) by Arnold Mitchell.

In the Stanford Research Institute, based on Arnold Mitchell’s research, four types of life-style, desire oriented, external oriented, internal oriented, and all-integrated were presented.  First, the desire oriented is the group that is in the bottom of the life style ranking and their main interest is the basic and natural desires.  Second, the external oriented focus on what other people think and run their lives “boastful, detailed, and materialistic” manners.  Third, the internal oriented are intrapersonal people focused on their internal self and concentrating only on their work instead of being swayed by other people’s opinion.  Fourth, the all-integrated people satisfy the desire of self attainment in their life style and are comparatively balanced people that obtain only the best qualities of the internal oriented and the external oriented.

With this kind of theoretical basis as a foundation, the Institute for Church Growth classified the non-believers into four categories, optimistic non-believer, negative non-believer, neutral non-believer, evasive non-believer (see <appendix 1>).  After looking at the special quality factors of the non-believers’ life style, whether or not the life style is showing an internal oriented propensity or showing an external oriented propensity was figured and applied to the research.  The internal oriented propensity of the life style was understood around the features of expressing oneself, the type of speech usually preferred, and the form of worries that oneself was put in. The external oriented propensity of the life style was understood around the value of life, the features of the residential location, the use of one’s spare time on Sundays, and outlook for the change of the future society.  Next are the types of non-believers.

First, an optimistic non-believer refers to a non-believer that has an active mind and attitude towards life.  Looking at the life style features of these non-believers, people with high internal oriented and external oriented propensities apply to this.  Optimistic non-believers apply to the all-integrated in the type of life styles of non-believers.  In other words, they put the ultimate value in self-attainment.  In interpreting the people with this kind of life style features in the perspective of Christianity, it can be said that they are people with a positive mind towards Christianity for they have an active and optimistic thinking of life.

Second, the neutral non-believers are referred to the non-believers with a mindset and attitude that is neither active nor passive and acting neutral.  Looking at the life style features of these non-believers, the internal oriented propensity is low but the external oriented propensity is high.  Neutral non-believers apply to the “external oriented” in the life style type.  In other words, they are people who consider the perspective and judgment of others important and satisfy the tangible, detailed, and materialistic values.  In interpreting these people with this kind of life style features in the perspective of Christianity, these are people with a neutral mindset towards Christianity for they have a neither active nor passive thinking towards life.

Third, negative non-believers are referred to non-believers who act negatively with a passive mindset and attitude towards life.  Looking at the life style features of these non-believers, people with high internal oriented propensity but the low external oriented propensity apply to this.  Negative non-believers apply as a “internal oriented” in the non-believers life style type.  These are intrapersonal people trying to satisfy their ultimate value by concentrating on one’s work and intrapersonal world.  In interpreting these people with this kind of life style features in the perspective of Christianity, these people have a negative mindset towards Christianity for they have a passive and negative thinking on life.

Fourth, evasive non-believers are referred to non-believers who act evasively with an overly passive mindset and attitude of life.  Looking at the life style features of these non-believers, people with low internal oriented propensity and low external oriented propensity apply to this.  Evasive non-believers apply as a “desire oriented” in the non-believers’ life style type.  In other words, they set their ultimate value in satisfying the basic desire or natural desire of life.  In interpreting these people with this kind of life style features in the perspective of Christianity, it can be said that people with such passive thinking of life can also have an evasive mindset towards Christianity.

 

To be Continued…

2 Comments

  1. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post.

  2. Thank you for your encouragement. Evangelism is the reason
    of the being of the church, and we need to rekindle the
    fire of evangelism in the church. May God bless you^^

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