Time Required for Community Evangelism

Paper No. OCCG-036

Benton F. Baugh, Memorial Church of Christ, Houston, TX

Download the PDF version HERE


Our general conclusion from our investments indicate that we don’t think it takes much time to do community evangelism.  This paper equips you to try to quantify how much time it takes and gives an answer from a Brazilian missionary team as a comparison.





Community Evangelism — Converting someone out of your community rather than baptizing your family members.

Community Evangelism Time (CET) — The time you spend in the process of bringing someone from the community up to the point of assimilation in your congregation.

Personal Religion Time (PRT) — Time you spend in your personal worship and your fellowship with other Christians.

Maintenance Time (MT) — Infrastructure upkeep and support work.


The conclusion on needed community evangelism time we would draw from our efforts when compared to our goals would indicate we don’t think it takes much time.

We can look at the Day of Pentecost, what happens when a prospect is baptized and brings his friends, or what happens in 3rd world nations and take comfort in this point of view.  Then again, what we are doing is not working at home so those may not be good measures of what we need to do.  They may be “low hanging fruit” situations and not representative of what happens most of the time.

To a large extent our members today feel that if they come and listen to a worship service or 2 in the week, they have done their service for Jesus. Most of those more engaged are involved in PRT and MT, with little time to devote to CET.

If the church is to grow and accomplish the Great Commission in our area,
our practices must change

To get a realistic feel for the time required to achieve effective personal evangelism time we need to find a situation in which community evangelism is a primary focus.    This situation exists when one or more missionaries begin an effort in a new area.  After the missionaries land in the new area, secure a meeting place, and are comfortable with the language, they are likely to be focused on PRT and CET.  There is likely little time invested in MT.  Our situation immediately after our conversion and talking to close friends is likely similar to this in that a new member is not yet bogged down in maintenance type activities.

The object of this study is to collect the PET commitment for the first year after reaching a comfort level in a missionary field and compare it to the community evangelism success during that period.

The other side to this is that if you have 300 members in your pews each Sunday not doing evangelism or evangelism support activities, consider motivating them to dedicate 3 hours each week.

That would give you a resource of 900 hours to do evangelism.  Compare that to the number of hours you conclude it takes to do effective evangelism and see how your congregation would grow.


At this point you need to recognize that you are running a large organization of 300 members.  For them to collectively do 900 hours of evangelism, they need to be organized and coordinated.  This does not happen by chance.  You need a plan.

Overseeing the plan is shepherding work.  Making the plan is deacon work.  Put your deacons to work putting your congregation to work.  Everyone wins.