The word saturation means “to fill completely with something that permeates.” Saturation evangelism has been defined as “an approach to spreading the gospel that functions much like leaven in bread dough. Its purpose is to spread the gospel until an entire area is permeated and affected.” It describes a passion for evangelism. It is not taking on the “whole” world, but rather taking responsibility for “your” world. In God Dreams, Will Mancini states, “We will define a geographical area around us and take responsibility to personally communicate and demonstrate the gospel to everyone in that area.”
In What Jesus Started: Joining the Movement, Changing the World, Steve Addison traces the steps of Christ going village to village spreading the gospel. Addison writes: “Matthew records that Jesus’ ministry touched ‘all’ 175 towns and villages in Galilee. To reach them all, Jesus could rarely have stayed in one place for more than a few days; He would have been constantly on the move. By the end of His ministry, most of Galilee’s 200,000 people would either have met Jesus or have known someone who had.” Now that is saturation and living out His mission — “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
In God Dreams (which I highly recommend), Mancini offers four images of vision:
• “Vision Advances” is depicted by an arrow. He challenges us to “Take It.”
• “Vision Rescues” is depicted by a plus sign. Here he challenges us to “Save It.”
• “Vision Becomes” is depicted by a circle. Here we are challenged to “Grow It.”
• “Vision Overflows” is depicted by a wave. We are challenged to “Let It Go.”
Mancini utilizes great templates that allow you to pray and think through this process.
Every church has been given a mandate called the Great Commission, and that is why your church exists and what you have been called to do. How are you doing at that?
In advancing the vision that God Dreams offers you, three additional templates are given to walk you through how your church’s vision is to advance through geographic saturation, targeted transformation and people-group penetration. Missional living requires taking responsibility for your “map,” whether that is the college campus you live on, the job where you work, the city you live in or the two-three blocks around your house. This requires a laser focus connected to an intentional strategy and plan to reach those on our spiritual map with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you lost your burden and passion for the lost?
The Bible shows us that a “dedicated minority” can make a huge impact. First, there were 12, then there were 70 and then the Scripture speaks of 120. Yet, in Acts 17:6 this “dedicated minority” is described as having turned the world upside down.
While teaching in Ukraine several years ago, one leader was giving a testimony about how he came with a map of the zone he believed God had given him the responsibility to reach with the gospel. He then said the training and challenge of the conference had convinced him that he needed a larger map. May God expand our vision and our territory in spreading the gospel.
Every believer and every church must be mobilized for evangelism. Even then, in some cities and nations, you would still be a minority in comparison to the total population. This should not hinder you and your efforts to saturate your area through evangelism. When God does great things through a few people, all the glory goes to Him instead of man.
At our church, we like to state our purpose as, “People helping people to find and follow Jesus!” That begins by identifying those we need to get on our missional maps. What place or person do you need to get on your spiritual radar? What faces have you learned so you might know them by name?
After identifying them, you begin investing into their lives. God has called us to love others. How can you demonstrate the love of Christ to those on your missional map in practical ways? Who can you bless so that they might feel a sense of belonging in order that they would consider believing in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? Now that you have identified them (geographic saturation) and you begin investing in them (targeted transformation) you can then decide what you can invite them to attend. You may need to start small by inviting them to a cookout in your backyard or some other non-threatening activity.
Notice the progression of identifying, investing, inviting and then increasing. You begin to truly live missionally when you develop a heart and mindset that is aware and deliberate about sharing the Good News — through word and deed (people-group penetration). This requires building an outward focus in your individual life, but also requiring it of all the groups in your church. Who is it that needs to be seated next to you in your small group or worship service? Where do they live and what do they look like? What steps must you begin taking to show them the love of Christ and share your testimony with them?
It really is not that complicated. He has called us to follow Him and fish for men. People are either lost or saved. If someone is lost, witness to them. If someone is saved, disciple them or be discipled. Saturation evangelism requires us to have the passion that Jesus had in getting to every person in our geographic area and accepting the responsibility of exposing them to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember, a dedicated minority (you) can have a huge impact just like Jonah had in Nineveh and the disciples had in the early church.