Forerunner Evangelism: Engaging in the Great Commission
Ministry and Outreach
At the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC), we have a heart to serve and reach out to the Kansas City community. As believers, we are all called to engage in the Great Commission, and we are witnessing the salvation of the lost and the transformation of hearts by the power of God.
Our Forerunner Evangelism department is dedicated to daily outreach, alongside training and sending men and women to proclaim the good news of Jesus to their neighbor and to the ends of the earth.
“First, we’re an evangelism community,” says Hal Linhardt, director of the department, “we’re trying to be of one mind, one spirit, striving together for the sake of the gospel.”
As Christians, we desire to grow together in Christ and be equipped to walk in the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. We want those called to the ministry of evangelism to feel supported by a community who will encourage them in their calling.
According to Hal, cultivating community also reflects Jesus’ desire that “the world will know He sent us by how we care for one another.”
Josh MacDonald has been part of the department for five years, and reflects:
“As an evangelist, being part of the prayer movement has kept me on course to not just “do things” for God, but to have a prayer life, and be able to slow down and know Him on the inside.”
Hal is quick to remind people that we’re all called to be witnesses. Regardless of a person’s age, location, occupation, or even their perception of being called to the ministry of evangelism, we must remember that the power of the living God dwells within us, and that unbelievers are in need of salvation.
Hal exhorts many in our evangelism trainings that “if the Holy Spirit says talk to a person, we say, ‘I can talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time about Jesus.’”
At IHOPKC we provide an introduction to a lifestyle of evangelism through our Prophetic Evangelism Seminar, our daily outreaches, the Great Commission Intensive month-long training program, and opportunities to become familiar with our Forerunner Evangelism department through week-long visits.
Locally, Forerunner Evangelism organizes about a dozen different outreaches each week to declare the gospel in Kansas City—to those in prison, nursing homes, and schools, and to those who are terminally ill. We are also directing evangelism and discipleship efforts in a nearby low-income housing area in Kansas City, working with inner-city men and women from various backgrounds, and helping to bring healing to women who have been abused and trafficked.
In addition to our weekly schedule, we host large-scale outreaches in Kansas City throughout the year, including the Kansas City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Love Ruskin Heights Outreach, Global Outreach Day, the 4th of July Freedom Outreach, and our youth drama, “The 99.”
During an average year, the department records about 20,000 one-on-one witnessing opportunities, 1,500 prayers for salvation, a thousand baptisms, and a thousand people receiving healing. This month, the department engaged in 24 hours of continuous evangelism, with more events planned for 2015 and a long-term goal of 24/7 evangelistic outreach.
“Jesus is worthy of night-and-day adoration and proclamation,” says Hal. “The book of Acts is the church worshiping and witnessing—those are the two main themes I see in the book of Acts.”
But Hal is quick to point out that the fruitful witnessing opportunities, baptisms, and healings are a result of continuous worship and persistent prayer.
“We do all of this out of a lifestyle of prayer and worship,” he said. “We believe that intimacy with Jesus is essential for what God has called us to do. We want everyone to be rich on the other side, but we want them to have a real relationship with God here. When we minister out of that place of intimacy with Him, we are better evangelists.”