Since I’ve already admitted to being a terrible evangelist, I thought it might be better to start us thinking about evangelism with some other people’s wisdom.
Here are three good articles on evangelistic efforts from diverse perspectives. I hope you’ll take the time to read them.
- Four Questions at the Heart of Evangelism – John Meunier draws four self-evaluation questions from a book on real life evangelism. These are hard hitting. “We cannot share what we do not have,” he says. How do you answer these four questions?
- Re-building a vital congregation – Though he never uses the word evangelism, the work Don Haynes is doing in a small community is deeply evangelistic. He’s urging us to visit from house to house! Maybe there’s really something to it. I’m most interested in the “sitting where they sit,” “appointed to territory,” and “from house to house” sections. And by the way – though this is a small-church pastor doing these things, nothing is preventing all of us, regardless of occupation, from similar practices.
- What happened to the missional impulse of the Methodists? – Steve Manskar shows how new church plants are using the practices of the early Methodists to reach new people. He laments that the Methodists have mostly forgotten these practices. Two men I deeply respect are reviving that impulse among Kentucky Methodists. Paul Brunstetter was the first person to help me understand that creating new places for new people–and raising up new leaders for those communities–may be the most effective and historic model of evangelism there is. Aaron Mansfield is the most die-hard, old-school evangelist I know. He’s showing us the importance of constantly going to people where they are, and then inviting them to faith and into the church. If you’re a Kentucky Methodist, you have reason to have hope. We Methodists must get our missional impulse back.
These three articles come at it from different angles, but all three lead us to the same place. How fervently do we believe the gospel, and how strongly have we experienced its power? Will we now go wherever people are to help them toward repentance, faith, and holiness? Will we be intentional about developing disciples, not mere converts?
Which of these challenges you the most? Are any of these ideas or perspectives new for you? Is this all church-talk, or can the average Christian take and apply these?