Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It Is Easy As 1-2-3…

I am frustrated with the way the current church culture presents the idea of evangelism. That might be too sweeping of a statement. In resent weeks I have had a few different things shared with me about telling the good news. Each method was presented as easy, simple, and a sure thing. They gave me two thoughts or images. First the dialogue would flow smoothly and second while buy groceries with a friend you could tell them about God and before you know it they are leaving over the dairy section excepting Christ.

It’s not that simple. There is too much of a human element the systems don’t take in to consideration. Conversations never go the way you expect. People aren’t working off the same script as us. I shared my faith last week with a few different people. None of the talks went as I had pre-planned and none ended with kneeling for prayer. A few I wanted to pull my hair out afterwards, one left me in tears, a the rest left me hopeful that the conversation isn’t over. This is what I believe: Evangelism is who we are not what we do (got that from Mike McNeil). None of my failures were failures. We shouldn’t have to give a sales pitch to "win the lost". We are here not to convert but to make truth known so that the Holy Spirit can work. Just some thoughts going around my head.


Mommy Rader said...

I agree. :)

matthew said...

me too.

I think our major mistake is actually in thinking that salvation is a 1 time event. Salvation is a far broader theological reality than the initial conversion experience.

And so I agree that evangelism is primarily relational.

Sarah Beth said...

Yeah, I'm with you too.

Elizabeth said...

I think, too, that it is not our responsibility to "get" a response from them...

Our responsibility is to sow the seed: to love people ( by showing compassion, helping those in need, encouraging the broken, and speaking the Truth in love), and to tell them about the Good News. Then it's our responsibility to leave them in the hands of the Father and pray that the seeds would take root.

Forcing people into a prayer will not bring about salvation. Only the drawing of the Holy Spirit to a heart that's truly broken can.

So, the evangelical Alter + Sinner's Prayer does not necessarily equal a Saved Soul.

Combs said...

We talked about this last week in our youth group. There general consenus of what evangelism is is pretty much what you described here. They were conviced that all you really had to do was tell someone, and while that wouldn't always receive a reponce that was all we really had to do. It was interesting to see there reaction when we took them through the scripture to the places where it talks about evangelism. What they found was that while we might talk about evangelism and discipleship as two different things, most scritures lump them together to the point that the thought that we could seperate the two is rather rediculous.
I like that many of us say that we need reminded of the gospel story or reminded of how much good somthing like pray is for our walk, but then we turn around and think that a one time telling will be addiquit. Evangelism and dicipleship are on going, never ending it should be discouraging that we don't get it. It's like reading a book over again, you always find somthing more than you did the first time.

David said...

umm, I think i agree.

You can't prepare for what God throws your way. You plan something, like a ministry opportunity, but God can shake it up.

Because of this, we need to be flexible. People don't need to hear a method. Nor do they need to hear a system. They need to hear God speaking. When we have our own agendas, they often get in the way of that.

That's all I got.