Need-oriented evangelism intentionally cultivates relationships with pre-Christian people so they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who are actively participating within the life of the church and community. Using appropriate ministries and authentic relationships, believers can guide others into the family of God.
Hardly any aspect of church growth is as riddled with cliches, dogmas, and myths as the area of "evangelism." This is true of those who view evangelism with skepticism as well as those who have made it their life calling. Most discussions about this topic have blurred the distinction between methods of evangelism that may have been used successfully by one or many churches and true principles of evangelism, which apply without exception to every church.
NCD research disproves a thesis commonly held in evangelistically active groups: that "every Christian is an evangelist." There is a kernel of truth in this saying. It is indeed the responsibility of every Christian to use his or her own specific gifts in fulfilling the Great Commission. This does not, however, make him or her an evangelist. Evangelists are only those to whom God has given the corresponding spiritual gift.
We must distinguish between Christians gifted for evangelism and those whom God has otherwise called.
It is the task of every Christian to use his or her gifts to serve non-Christians with whom one has a personal relationship, to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with the local church. The key to church growth is for the local congregation to focus its evangelistic efforts on the questions and needs of non-Christians. This "need-oriented" approach is different from "manipulative programs" where pressure on non-Christians must compensate for the lack of need-orientation.
The NCD Survey measures:
- Personal evangelism
- Corporate evangelistic strategies
- Seeker awareness
- Assimilation of new Christians