What is the most important message of your church? Obviously the answer to that is that the message of Gospel—of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Jesus.
But do people know that after visiting your church or your church website? Stop a minute and think about it. When people spend an hour with you in person or online did you share with them:
- great music?
- inspired preaching?
- information about activities for the family?
- special events invitations?
- small group, recovery or other ministry opportunities?
You probably did and these are all good things, but did you share the most important thing? Do they know that your church can help them find salvation in Jesus? Did you mention that at all in your sermon? Is it even hinted at in your bulletin or website? Or in anything your church communicates in print or online?
I'm not writing this to make you feel guilty--but a few years ago when I was collecting samples for an e-book, Gospel Presentations in Church Bulletins, which you can download a FREE copy of below, I was surprised at how many (by far the majority) of both church bulletins and websites do not tell people how to get saved. Somehow the most important thing we are about gets lost in all the things that fill the life of a church. Please don't think I'm saying that any of these activities in church or during the week are bad, but as the subtitle of the e-book says:
What does it profit a person to have clear directions to the potluck, but lose their own soul?
Recently I've been looking at church websites and sadly the same thing—a lack of a clear gospel presentation is characteristic of many. In response I found the book and a short video I did on it. Though a little outdated (and some of the print quality isn't the best in the book), I think the information is very valuable.
Correcting this is easy to do
The gospel, at its core is pretty simple. John 3:16-18 in the Message translation sums it up:
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him."
It doesn't take much space or effort to include that in your church bulletins and websites along with links for more information and a person to talk to. The book referenced above has lots of examples and in addition, I did a short video on YouTube: Gospel Presentations in Church Bulletins that shows you how to do them.
A Gospel Presentation is not your Statement of Faith or What We Believe
Though your Statement of Faith is very good to have on your website (unless it is a very large one, I don't think they are necessary on your church bulletin), they are not the same as sharing the Gospel. They are usually very corporate sounding and institutional. They sound like the operating rules and guidelines for the church--which they are and which are very important.
However, very few invite a spiritual seeker to join or to explore the faith. Don't do away with these, but share them in perhaps a footer link on your website. Make how to know Jesus, have your sins forgiven and a relationship with God in a much more prominent place.
Please check out the video and the e-book, but most of all think about how you can invite someone to consider Jesus as Savior and how to find out more about Him. Do this briefly in your words and in your church bulletin every week and no matter what else goes on in your church service, you will have communicated your most important message.
As an ongoing message, be sure you have it on your website also.
Below is the Free e-book, just click on it to download and please pass on to others.
Share your samples PLEASE!
One more thing.....if you share the gospel in your church bulletin or on your website, PLEASE send me a copy of it (PDF or original files or web link) along with this permission statement (just copy and paste it into an email)--so I can share an updated version or on this website to inspire church communicators.
The attached materials are given to Effective Church Communications for you to use without compensation, restrictions, or attribution in return.
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much!