Had this thought a few weeks back - some Church leaders are looking for reproducible and relevant evangelism PROGRAMS, but mentoring PEOPLE is always the most effective evangelism plan. That's what Jesus did!
Really, people are our most valuable resource for any cause.
Heard about a recent interview with a key Church leader in America who shared that a very, very wealthy businessman was looking to donate a significant amount of money to an innovative evangelism program reaching young people. Supposedly they scoured the nation, and even the Church leader who is very connected stated they could not find a place for this man's money.
If they had lived in Jesus's time, they may not even have given money to Jesus himself, if this was their perimeters for success!
Jesus invested in people. He didn't leave us an evangelism method, program, book study guide or much else of what we attribute to something worth investing financially in. Instead, he embodied truth and poured it into others. And he changed the world.
It's like E. M. Bounds exclaims in his classic on prayer over a hundred years ago:
"We are constantly on a stretch, if not on a strain, to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the Church and secure enlargement and efficiency for the gospel. This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man or sink the man in the plan or organization.
God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” The dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for Christ was bound up in that man John. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” The world’s salvation comes out of that cradled Son. When Paul appeals to the personal character of the men who rooted the gospel in the world, he solves the mystery of their success. The glory and efficiency of the gospel is staked on the men who proclaim it. When God declares that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,” he declares the necessity of men and his dependence on them as a channel through which to exert his power upon the world. This vital, urgent truth is one that this age of machinery is apt to forget. The forgetting of it is as baneful on the work of God as would be the striking of the sun from his sphere. Darkness, confusion, and death would ensue.
What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use-men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men-men of prayer." (Power Through Prayer).