Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rethinking Evangelism

I'm heading offsite today. One of the first instructions Pastor Mark gave me when I joined the NCC staff full-time was to make sure I scheduled regular "focus days." Days to get outside of the office, away from the phone and email, and dream with God about my ministry. In the beginning, I did that regularly. But then the job "caught up" with me, and it always seemed I was too busy to get away. So today, I am getting out of the office to read.

I am re-thinking evangelism right now. The old tricks and methods and diagrams and cute analogies and evidence that demands a verdict just don't seem to "work" in this post-modern culture where truth is relative and experiential. I think we are learning good ways to communicate the Gospel in a relevant way on Sunday mornings. But we need to make sure we are training our people to communicate the Gospel one-on-one.

Here's what is in my backpack for today:

Just Walk Across the Room (Bill Hybels)
Evangelism Outside the Box (Rick Richardson)
Reimagining Evangelism (Rick Richardson)
The Bible-- of course, this is our best resource. I want to dig into the Scriptures and look closely at how Jesus and the disciples did this. I want to look at it in a new and fresh way and not come to the Scriptures with pre-conceived ideas.

Small Group Outreach was helpful in jump-starting my thinking on evangelism, as well. I also plan to re-visit Becoming a Contagious Christian at some point. I think it's probably a bit dated, but I always thought the "evangelism styles" explanation was tremendously helpful.

If you've got any helpful ideas that would help me or others, please pass them along!


At 3:45 PM, Blogger Elaine B said...

Wow. I just got back from my mission trip to Ukraine and spent an hour today discussing this issue with my pastor. We joined with another church and used the 4 Spiritual Laws as our teaching curriculum. And I question the effectiveness of the decision mentality. I think that true effective evangelism comes out of relationship. It's harder to maintain and train for, but I would argue that the results are far better.


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