One of the biggest questions people have when faced with blazing a trail into a new (or old but forgotten) arena is what can this look like? If you can help people see what something can look like you remove much of the fear of the unknown that might otherwise pose a barrier to starting something new. This series of posts is intended to cast a vision for evangelism for churches large or small. This is still a work in progress and I look forward to learning from you as well.
If we are honest with ourselves many congregations have passive evangelism. We hope people will come. We hope they will be touched by the sermon. We hope they know what to do, where to go, what questions to ask and who to ask them to. Is that realistic? Is that purposeful? Most important – is it biblical & does it actually work? If not, are we willing to try a new approach?
Over the last two years we have been working on how to reach out to new people in order to help them grow into mature disciples of Jesus Christ. I have been wanting to share these thoughts for some time but I just didn’t feel right about it until we had already begun taking action. There is enough action-less talk out there to keep me from jumping in the fray without meat on the theoretical bones. As of last Sunday the plan has begun, people are getting on board and people are taking action. It is all very exciting!
Usually I would give you miles of theory and background before I would describe what we are doing. Instead, I am going to lay out what it looks like and later give you some of the nuts and bolts from behind the scenes. I see it like a well made computer. If you picked it up, turned it on and used it it all seems pretty simple. Underneath the hood there are some moving parts that make it what it is but that isn’t obvious just looking at it sitting on the table. In other words we are trying to take something that could be complicated and make it simple and functional so that anyone can plug into it and do something meaningful with it no matter what their level of maturity.
Here is what is coming. The next post will be a description of what we are doing followed up by why we chose this route and later some posts on what we have learned that got us to this point. I will also be sharing resources that we are developing to supplement this outreach so that you can try them out as well.
looking forward to reading.
I admire your effort in this area, and I wish you God-speed in this endeavor. We have so mystified “evangelism” that the term scares most people to death! I look forward with anticipation to your series – and to seeing your results. I believe they will be important.
I am glad you are not taking a passive approach. The Bible says the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few. With that being said, please let me know your approach once you start. I would love to reach as many as possible before I leave this world. Not for fame or fortune but just to be about my father’s business.
I wish you God’s speed.
Some aggressive “evangelists” treat their “prospects” (how Madison Ave. is that expression?) in the same way the little Oriental acrobat does the folks who’re drinking something other than V-8 in the current V-8 ad series. He arrives on the scene, unannounced, unexpected, and uninvited. Then he knocks away whatever they are drinking, replaces it with the V-8 concoction of the day, smiles and disappears as rapidly as he came.
I would loathe someone who treated me that way – especially if they did it in the name of the Lord.
I’m not for “passive evangelism” (though I’ve practiced it far too much in my life time), but there is a middle ground between the hyper-salesman approach and being passive. I’m sure you’ll have some pointers on those differences as you go along!
Jerry…have you seen the Nooma video called “Bullhorn”?
No, but several years ago I saw something called “The Gospel Blimp” that might have been similar.