Arkansas Congregation Takes Great Commission Seriously

40 Percent of Adults Enroll in LWF EE Training

Whether their congregations are small or large, urban or rural, contemporary or traditional, pastors everywhere face a similar challenge—devising ways to encourage and equip members to share their faith.

“Every pastor is trying to find a way to get people to step into personal evangelism,” said Greg Addison, Senior Pastor of Fort Smith Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. “It’s one of our most important job requirements. It’s also one of two or three things Satan most wants us to neglect.”

One of the reasons it’s difficult to reach out is that “people are hesitant to tell unbelievers they’re wrong,” Greg said.

And that’s one of the important reasons Greg chose Love Worth Finding’s Evangelism Explosion training platform to offer to his church of 620. The cost-free training focuses on telling the story of Jesus and incorporating one’s own personal testimony of Christ’s love—an approach that is more communicative and less confrontational than trainees might expect.

“This training is accessible, interesting, and divided into bite-sized pieces,” Greg said. “It’s also well-designed. It’s evangelistic in the subtle and artful way it’s constructed. There’s no way you can go through the training without making a decision about Jesus Christ.”

Church Places Special Emphasis on Evangelism

To interest his church in training, Greg and his team devised a special emphasis program that combined a sermon series, coaching support, and follow-up.

Greg started with a sermon series to cast church vision for the Great Commission, personal evangelism, telling the Jesus story, and sharing one’s own testimony.

He and his team challenged people to take LWF’s EE course and made QR codes for sign-up available on AV screens and in the church bulletin.

“There were just a few sign-ups at first,” Greg said, “but momentum grew each week.”

Church leaders recruited members previously trained in EE to serve as coaches to those in training.

Dave Skorupa, whose dual role at the church includes serving as pastor to the 60+ community and managing IT/Communications, monitored EE platform usage and consistently encouraged those going through the training.

“I really liked the behind-the-scenes tools,” Dave said. “I also liked that the program allows people to create detailed profiles but does not make the profiles mandatory.”

Trainees Appreciate Personal Approach and Gospel Emphasis

Trainees who chose to communicate using the program’s social posting feature encouraged one another with their comments. Here are just a few:

"This helps us to be good listeners so that we can understand where someone is at before jumping to the end of a Gospel conversation."

"If we don’t ask good searching-type questions, how do we know where people are at in their spiritual belief system? …When we ask the questions. we must truly listen to their answers, not already be formulating our next question to ask them."

"By sharing the story of my salvation, the other person may be going through a similar ordeal and can relate—and realize—that if God loves me and saved me, she can also experience God's love and be saved."

"God may have orchestrated our meeting because it was their time, and He is allowing me the blessing of being the vessel to share Him with them."

Interest In Training Overwhelming

More than 150 of the church’s 400 adults participated in training—that’s a whopping 40 percent!

“The modular approach in the training was very popular,” Dave said. “You saw a lot of people go directly to the training they needed. A high percentage of people completed multiple modules.”

The church’s special emphasis program also encouraged increased interest in mission trips and grew giving toward missions.

As a follow-up to the program, Greg offered a Wednesday night class on personal evangelism that was attended by 20 of the most committed trainees. The church is also planning a neighborhood evangelism event in the near future.

“I’d recommend Love Worth Finding’s EE training, coupled with a special emphasis program, to any pastor,” Greg said. “I will find a way to use it again. It’s that good!”

You’ll find the LWF Evangelism Explosion training at