Chapter 23 is another very short but very important chapter. It relates to immediate follow-up after the evangelistic conversation, focusing primarily on those who did make a positive response to the Gospel. There is also included a suggested protocol for evaluating a Gospel conversation. This evangelist has been beat down many times after a conversation by the Accusers words, "You didn't say the right thing!" "Why didn't you say this?" "Why didn't you say that?" Sometimes introspection is helpful. But usually it can be destructive. Proper evaluation can help.
Chapter 24 addresses the need for and the link between the evangelistic conversation, conversion, and Water Baptism within the local church. This chapter also addresses some confusing and unexpected consequences of infant baptism upon the evangelism enterprise of the church.
While a short chapter, Chapter 25 may be one of the more important chapters in the entire book. In the estimation of this author, Christ provides His disciples with a theological rubric within this parable. There are the saved; there are the lost; and then there are two groups that can make us feel uncomfortable, the shallow soil and the weed-infested soil. Whereas "classical theologians" can describe the saved and the lost, according to their categories of logic, they have more difficulty with the two middle soils. However, pastoral ministry and evangelism ministry make it abundantly clear that the middle soils do exist, and that they do infect the church and discourage the evangelist.
It is my feeling that Christ gave this parable as an encouragement to His disciples to press on, even though some (or much) seed does fall on shallow soil and some (or much) seed does fall on weed-infested soil.
In Chapter 26, I seek to provide a link between evangelism, follow-up, and discipleship. I delve into the pages of history to pull the reader out of the contemporary battles in this area. Then deal with some definitional issues. Perhaps the discussion of Matt 28 and its translation may be a benefit to the reader, as well as the sequel of verbs describing the follow-up activity of the apostles in the Book of Acts. Do not these verbs describe what the local church is all about, and what it should be doing?
After laying out the verbs, I discuss the importance of follow-up, from the standpoint of my early years in the ministry wherein I was strongly influenced by the discipleship movement. While very grateful for those years of training and thought, I must confess that I had to scour the pages of the Bible to find strong admonitions and examples of discipleship and mentoring. When I used similar efforts in seeking information on evangelizing, it resulted in the content of Chapter Seven.
The appendixes to Chapter Twenty-Six provide an evaluation of some polemical hot-points in the local church and its view of evangelism and discipleship.
Just as Evangelizology includes a chapter on the Bible and another chapter on God's role in evangelism, so in the follow-up section of the book, I have included a section on God and the Bible in follow-up. Again, because of our Pelagian tendency to place all the weight of responsibility for follow-up upon the shoulders of the evangelist, Chapter 27 provides a counter-balance as to God's self-disclosed responsibility in follow-up, as well as the power of the Word of God in follow-up.
Finally, Chapter 28 gives some graphically-portrayed schemes for follow-up and spiritual growth. Perhaps these can guide the evangelist as he assists those that he has led to Christ in their walk with the Lord.
Chapter 29 provides practical notes for developing and maintaining a regular visitation program in a local church. Visitation Initiative gives the skeleton or framework through which any local church can custom design its own evangelism and visitation ministry.
This chapter was developed when I was a part-time pastor of visitation at a local church and was frankly overwhelmed by the task. Hopefully this will provide a bite-sized and workable solution to this often-neglected area of local church life.
Chapter 30 came to my attention as I began to notice that many of the evangelism programs developed for small groups or for the local church fell into some pretty well-defined categories. Because of this commonality, rather than evaluating them individually, I wondered about evaluating the various methodologies as groupings or categories.
Chapter 31 provides the next logical step for these notes. If all that has been noted is true and is biblical, then how do these truths correspond to theological categories as they are noted today? Further, can deviancies from the personal gospel be noted and analyzed? While the chapter on the gospel message considered issues related to the gospel, Chapter 31 concerns issues that correspond to a theology of evangelism.