Evangelism Through Small Groups


Small group evangelism is a great way for pastors and church leaders to integrate community outreach into their congregation. Although done in a cell or small group setting, most methods are similar to those used by small churches.

Tips for Small Group Evangelism

  1. Train people to evangelize. Church leaders must train their members in personal evangelism. This should be the normal process of discipleship. We lead someone to Christ, train them to do the same, and they train the next person, and so on.This is one of the things Paul was stressing to Timothy when he said, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
  2. Use your testimony. One of the best ways for people to witness to others is to use their testimony. If a person is born again through their faith in Jesus Christ, they have a testimony. This will give them victory over the enemy (Revelation 12:11) and be a great starting point to share their faith. We can say with the blind man Jesus healed, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).
  3. Reach out to personal acquaintances. After people have been trained, they should reach out to people they know. Effective evangelism takes place most often with those we are closest to. Have members invite people to their small group meetings. Reach out to family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
  4. Plan special events and meetings. When your church is hosting a special service, meeting or music event, it’s much easier for members to get their friends and family to visit. Small groups are no different. There are multiple events you can host, such as cookouts, special speakers, music, pool parties, outings, etc. Use your imagination.
  5. Visit people in the community. Door-to-door evangelism isn’t used as much as it once was, but it is still an effective way to share the gospel.
  6. Give gifts to the needy. Helping someone in need in your area is a great way to be a witness. James 2:15-17 – “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 1 John 3:17-18 – “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Below are a couple examples of how to help people in need:
    • Food. Have a food drive or take up an offering to purchase food. Make a list of those who are in need in your area and leave a bag or two of groceries on their front porch or steps. Also leave a tract or church flyer with your group’s contact information.
    • Holiday gifts. For holidays such as Christmas, take up a collection of toys, clothing, money and/or other gifts for a few families in your area. Like food, the gifts should be given discretely so the family is not embarrassed.What a wonderful way to express the love of Jesus to those less fortunate. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
  7. Be a witness. Pastors and church leaders must teach their people not only to witness, but to also be witnesses. Just prior to Jesus’ ascension He told His disciples, “You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8). He didn’t say they would merely receive the power to witness, but to be witnesses. Jesus said we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14). We are to let the light of the gospel shine from within. We are also to be the salt of the earth. Salt adds taste to life and make us thirsty. We should live our lives so those around us become thirsty for what we have.
  8. Be confident. You may say, “I’m not sure I can be a good witness.” None of us have it in ourselves alone. Peter said, “His divine power (the Holy Spirit) has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Through His divine nature we can be all He calls us to be. Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), but Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Let’s set our hearts to evangelize. Whether through small groups, as a family serving Christ together, or through our local church. We can make an impact by sharing the gospel with others. Let it be said of us, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:6).

Starting a new church or ministry is one of the most rewarding things you can do to advance the kingdom, but it can also be very challenging. With over 40 years of church planting and ministry experience, Dr. Linton’s passion is to encourage, support and equip pastors and church leaders.