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REACHing Kentucky: Unexpected results from personal evangelism training


Why would a pastor set aside three Sunday morning worship services to equip members in personal evangelism? Furthermore, why would the same pastor expect Sunday morning attenders to take part in personal evangelism role-play during Sunday morning worship time?

 A pastor would only do these things because he is fully convinced of the power and importance of personal evangelism training for the people of God.

Justin Carrico is the planting pastor of Catalyst Church, which currently meets at the Graves County High School in Mayfield. Catalyst started out of the pastor’s concern for the 27,780 residents of Graves County who, according to Glenmary Research, do not attend any church, anywhere on Sunday morning.

He said, “That means that 75 percent of the people we live beside, work beside, and play beside do not attend church. We believe they have either been burned by a church in the past or have not had much contact with Christians who are vocal about the gospel and how it affects their everyday lives. God gave us a vision to change that. We pray to awaken a movement where the church is equipped to make disciples and serve this community.”

For Catalyst Church, the desire to make disciples who will be vocal about their faith required them to devote four Sunday mornings to personal evangelism equipping time.

Carrico led the church of about 100 people to use the “3 Circles Personal Evangelism” tool being promoted statewide by Kentucky Baptist Convention.

As to why he chose to use “3 Circles,” Carrico said, “I personally knew the creator of the method, Jimmy Scroggins, and had sat under his teaching in seminary. But the main factor was that it was a visual way to present the gospel. We live in a visual/image driven culture. We felt like this method helps to engage the listener and allows for an incredible invitation to respond at the end as all ‘3 Circle’s are there in front of the listener, visibly demonstrating all that has just been shared.”

Pastor Carrico and the members of Catalyst Church experienced outcomes of the training that were both expected and unexpected. “Overall, it was well received,” Carrico said.

 The pastor demonstrated the 3 Circle presentation from the stage and then gradually eased the congregation into personal role-play. “We had a good number of people who felt equipped and prepared to share the gospel through this training,” he said.

The unexpected outcomes were also mentioned. Pastor Carrico said, “The most important and exciting thing that has happened through this training is that we had salvations happen while we were practicing sharing with each other. We had a wife that was practicing with her husband and he ended up realizing his need for Jesus. We also had a dad share it with his stepson one Sunday morning, and the 15-year-old son repented and believed right then.”

Catalyst Church and Pastor Justin’s experience serve as a great reminder of the importance of personal evangelism training. When God’s people are equipped to share Christ then the gospel will be shared and people will be saved. If you are interested in learning how you can be equipped and resourced to train your church in personal evangelism contact the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Evangelism, Church Planting and Campus Ministry team at evangelism@kybaptist.org or call (502) 489-3418.

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