I was visiting a country where there are aggressive church planting movements. In talking with leaders, it soon became obvious something unusual was happening in evangelism and church planting in this part of the world. There may be multiple reasons behind this but one obvious cause was their strategy of instant mobilization of new believers to do evangelism. When they lead someone to Christ, they tell the new believer to immediately go tell someone about their decision and give the gospel the best they can. At the same time, an appointment is set to meet the next day to talk about their witnessing experience. There is no waiting around.
In the West we tend to delay evangelism until someone knows a lot. We may want them to attend an evangelism training class before starting evangelism. At the very least we want the new believer to take some some kind of follow up class. In the mean time we urge them to cut off all ties with the “ungodly crowd” of their previous life. Then sometime down the road… a year or two later… we urge them to get involved in evangelism. By then, they have lost their connections with lost people and have gotten over the newness of their life in Christ. Our approach to to all this can slow down or even stop evangelism.
In its simplest form, evangelism is simply telling someone to “come and see.” A new believer may not be able to give a lot of detailed theology but they are great door openers. They do have a testimony. They definitely have the wide-eyed wonder of grace coursing their veins. They have huge potential for evangelism. So why not mobilize them right away?