Authentic Outreach®

The course is designed to train the laity and not be reliant on the church staff. However, the staff is definitely encouraged to participate, because when the church staff sees outreach as important, so will the parishioners.

Course Overview

  • Why we don’t talk about our faith
  • Un-Evangelism: A fresh look at The Great Commission
  • Evangelism in the U.S. today
Changing Our Life Outlook
  • An evangelism perspective for today
  • Joy vs. Duty
Increasing Our Love
  • Identifying people who need Christ
  • What is a true non-Christian friend
  • Building a true friendship
Communication Style
  • Learning your style
  • Assessing your friend’s style
  • Learning to adapt your communication style
Digging Deeper
  • Be open first
  • Initiating spiritual conversations
  • Have your friend share their spiritual journey story
  • Sharing your spiritual journey story
Drawing Spiritually Close
  • Helping friends uncover their spiritual need
  • The “Transition Phase”
Serving A Friend
  • Gospel overview
  • The Gospel Dialogue
  • Gospel dialogue preparation and practice
Answering A Friend
  • Handling objections
  • Other life views
Special Situations
  • Family
  • Work
  • Short “Time” Situations
The Great Adventure
  • Assurance of salvation
  • Serving the community
  • Embracing The Great Commission
  • The joy of being the “second cause”

If you have a mindset that evangelism is an event that only happens in a big stadium, or is for qualified pastors, elders, and deacons, or it is done on a street corner, then you need to think again and take this class.

…I have gradually crept into a safe Christian enclave, surrounded by those who think, believe and act just like me. God used this class to convict me of this and now I am taking steps to more actively pursue friendships with non-believers.

The teaching and material covered within the class were excellent. The course reinforced that evangelism is a long process and that God is in control and not me.

For the first time I realized that it is not my job to convert people. Therefore the usual pressure to evangelize is gone.

For the first time I realized that it is not my job to convert people. Therefore the usual pressure to evangelize is gone.

I have several non-Christian friends, and I’ve never been sure how to move the relationship to a more spiritual level. We rarely discuss spiritual matters. Now, I’m looking for those opportunities.

All of the other evangelism courses I have taken were more of a “telling” style of communicating versus a “listening” style.

How to ask the right kind of questions that probe but don’t accuse or insult is one of the best things I got out of the class.

TEI Fees

Please call TEI at (804) 240-3356
if you have any questions.

  • 30+ people must be signed up in advance for Stuart Holt to come in person.

  • There are no fees to the church or participants.

  • There is an “optional” printed student manual for $25 that can be purchased after the course.

  • There are no travel expenses. 

  • Accommodations (at someone’s house or hotel), Meals, and transportation are provided by the church. 

  • There will be an online version available for small groups coming soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What excites you the most about people interested in evangelism?

Many Christians would like to experience a closer walk with God. How can a Christian experience a closer walk with God if he/she is going to opt out of participating in God’s plan for growing His Kingdom by evangelism? As Christians make sharing their faith part of their everyday lives, love those who do not have a personal relationship with God, develop true friendships with non-Christians, and initiate spiritual conversations, they will experience the joy and adventure of God working through them and around them to transform lives. This is truly exciting.

What discourages you the most about people not getting involved in evangelism?

There is no reason to be discouraged, but unfortunately my human side rises to the forefront from time to time.  To prevent discouragement, I decided to encourage church members to rise up and actively share their faith. I tried to lead the effort without laying a guilt trip.  My efforts follow my prayer; I desire to motivate the pastors and leaders of the Church to help the lay people know how to share their faith.  I also know that those churches that have 15% or greater of their adults “active” in sharing their faith are flourishing.

This also helps the Church to stop thinking only of its own needs and direct its attention outward.  Even the Christian bookstores today have a predominate amount of self-help books in them.  I realize we all need help with the struggles of life, but we have gone too far and need more of a balance.  Many churches and their members have built moats around themselves and have very little to do with those who do not call themselves believers.  They may serve in a soup kitchen (and I often encourage church members to serve the community), but when it comes to reaching their close friends, they shy away from the sharing the gospel. My goal is to lead people to be prepared to give an answer for the hope they have in Christ Jesus, which is the true answer to individual, sociological, political, and world problems.

85% of all churches have Evangelism in their mission statement but allocate less than 2% of their budget for evangelism.  They are not really walking the walk.  It is not uncommon for churches to encourage their members to go overseas for missions at approximately $1,500 per person.  They raise financial support for these trips with donations, car washes, etc.  Why then, is the church not raising monies for evangelism?

What has TEI discovered about the effectiveness of the "evangelism landscape”?

Of Christians, 98% are not personally involved in evangelism or the Great Commission.  This means that only the remaining 2% of the church actively shares their faith (and that includes the paid staff), while the vast majority sits on the sidelines.  Christ commanded us in Matthew 28.19-20,

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Why is sharing our faith such a problem for the church if what we believe is truly the answer to many, sociological, political, and world problems?

As long as most Christians think evangelism means confronting strangers, engaging in a Gospel monologue presentation, and trying to “close the deal” or gain an immediate conversion, they will continue to avoid personal involvement. Many Christians who have tried to evangelize unsuccessfully and failed have concluded that evangelism is not for them. It must be for someone else. It must be for the “gifted” or for the church staff.

While certainly some people are called to a traditional style of evangelism, I find most people are not. In our Authentic Outreach® course, we take a new and closer look at the Great Commission. We see that evangelism is a process that takes place over time and involves a series of spiritual conversations. It is not our job to convert someone; that is God’s job. What most people think of as “evangelism” is often our attempt to do God’s job.

God works predominately through people to reach people, even though He uses all sorts of ways to reach people for Christ. Though we are imperfect messengers, God uses us anyway. In Authentic Outreach™ training, we focus on our true role in the evangelism process: loving those who need Christ, developing true friendships with un-believers and skeptics, and initiating spiritual conversations. If a person processing the Gospel goes through 10 spiritual conversations, are we willing to participate in one of those conversations, knowing that in 9 of them, Christians will not have the experience of praying with someone to receive Christ?

We have found in our Authentic Outreach® course that when people realize they have been trying to do God’s job, and now better understand their true role in God’s Plan, they feel liberated, motivated, and re-engaged in the Great Commission. They gain a greater appreciation of the joy of their salvation and see in their life the new adventure of God’s work around them and through them.

What are the primary weaknesses in the traditional approaches to evangelism?

Traditional evangelism approaches have been the standard for decades. We don’t view them as having “weaknesses” per se. Our view is that the world we are trying to reach has substantially changed. We believe it necessary for most Christians to learn to adapt their communication style to the world that has changed around us.

The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 says,

“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible… To the weak I became weak to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.”

God’s truth has not changed, but the world has. Like Paul, Christians will find it more effective to adapt our communication style to the person who needs Christ and not insist on our own way of communicating.

One of the key teaching differences between Authentic Outreach® and the traditional approach is the emphasis put on building active relationships with non-believers with a “listening” style versus a “telling” communication style.

Some churches using a traditional approach to evangelism may find it satisfactory. In that case we are happy for them.  However, many churches are doing little if any evangelism and this is not satisfactory. The church should do something – if not with TEI, then with another evangelism strategy.  There is no time like the present for Christians to do more to reach those who need Christ.

1 Peter 3:15 reminds us of God’s thoughts on sharing our faith.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

What is the difference between evangelism, missions, and discipleship?

I like the way Rick Warren in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, separated the five purposes for our lives:

  1. WorshipYou were planned for God’s pleasure.
  2. FellowshipYou were formed for God’s family.
  3. DiscipleshipYou were created to become like Christ.
  4. MinistryYou were shaped for serving God.
  5. EvangelismYou were made for a mission.

All of us are created for all five purposes.  The question we have to ask ourselves is, how, within the body, are we seeing all of these purposes developed and not just one purpose or the other?

Why do you call it "Authentic Outreach?"

Most Christians think evangelism means confronting strangers, engaging in a Gospel monologue presentation, and trying to “close” with an immediate conversion. Many Christians who have tried to evangelize unsuccessfully have concluded that evangelism is not for them; it must be for someone else.

Authentic Outreach™  is about reaching the world you live in for Jesus Christ.

The name of the training process is Authentic Outreach®.  The course is designed in a way so that every Christian who is willing will be able to learn a style of sharing that not only fits his/her communication style, is non-confrontational and non-argumentative, and not just for the “professional” and “gifted” evangelist.

Do you have a religious, theological or denominational preference?

We believe the Great Commission applies to all Christians; therefore, this Authentic Outreach® Course is for all denominations that claim Christ of the Bible as their authority. Most believers want to participate in the Great Commission, but 98% do not actively share their faith for many different reasons. We seek to make sharing one’s faith easy and doable.  We are often told that local pastors and churches want an option that is practical and realistic for their congregation.