Re-Thinking Evangelism by Dallas Willard Discussion

An article published 11 years ago stirred some conversation on Twitter that prompted me to share it here in the hopes of continuing an important discussion on relevant evangelism.

chalkboard

Here are a few poignant quotes from the article:

“Much of evangelism today is rooted in a misunderstanding of salvation. People have been told they are Christians because they have confessed they believe that Jesus died for their sins, but the total package is presented in such a way that it leaves the general life untouched.

“What we want is not just evangelism that makes converts. We want disciples…and if you are intent on making disciples and keep on that track, evangelism will take care of itself.

“Three out of four people who make professions at crusades never show up in any church. That’s partly due to the fact that in our notions of evangelism today, being converted has nothing to do with community; it just has to do with your “personal relationship” with God.”

“How do you do “evangelism-discipleship?” My short answer: You ravish people with the blessings of the Kingdom. You make them hungry for it. That’s why words are so important—we must be wordsmiths. You use words to ravish people with the beauty of the kingdom. It’s the beauty of the kingdom that Jesus said was causing people to climb over each other just to get in. People become excited like the pearl-purchaser—they will give everything to get in.”

“So I think our preparation now makes a lot of difference. Once you get over the idea that you are going to be warehoused for all eternity when you die, lying about on shelves, listening to harp playing on Muzak, you can see how it makes a real difference.”

We have to recognize that most of what we say today does not cut through to real life, and we must find ways to do that. Generally speaking, we have to address the real needs of people—to understand those needs and to devise ways to help people understand that you are talking to them about their needs.”

Our challenge is to get those ideas into language that addresses what people see and experience every day, that helps them separate what is good and what is not good, that helps them understand what redemption from sin means today.”

Read the entire article here.

Share your thoughts in the comments: What did you like/dislike? How does this article speak to the changing realities of sharing the Gospel in today’s culture? 

The Blogference Day 3 Posts!

Welcome to The Blogference Day 3!

Here is the list of today’s posts:

Bridging the Gap Between 50 Year Olds and 20 Year Olds, by Brian Barela, in Leadership

Pursuing the Good in Ethnic Ministry, by Brian Virtue, in Leadership

Surviving vs. Thriving in College: What Do You Think It Takes? By Alex Chediak, in Leadership

Click on the title of each post to read it. To leave a comment, you will need to be logged into Facebook. When you post the comment you can choose whether or not to share your comment on your Facebook profile.

Bridging the Gap Between 50 Year Olds and 20 Year Olds

The ability to translate the meaning and intention of a person above and below is a critical to an organization’s future. Having spent ten years on staff with Cru I have observed that there are a lot of 50 year olds, and a lot of 20 year olds.

As I have sought to pursue change the biggest challenge has been translating my passions and ideas into language that those with decision making power understand. I’ve also learned that’s it not the quality of the idea that primarily causes change–which can be particularly frustrating for younger leaders who do not understand that there is more to making changes than coming up with ideas.

On a day to day basis a huge gap between 50 and 20 year olds is the way each other give and prefer to receive encouragement. 50 year olds often prefer to communicate encouragement as exhortation, which many 20 year olds experience as inauthentic and uncaring. 20 year olds often prefer to communicate encouragement by casual conversation and “hanging out,” which 50 year olds often experience as rude, unprofessional, or inappropriate.

What 20 Year Olds Need to Know About Their Ideas

  • They are not THAT great
  • They are EXTREMELY valuable to explore
  • In a large organization it often takes 10x longer than you think to get a new idea implemented

 

They are not THAT great
Seriously there are people with more experience and wisdom than you. Your idea comes out of a specific and unique context–corporate or organizational decisions are made in light of the whole. An original idea needs to flex and iterate and bend in order to make it to the top. If you are willing to lose all of your idea but the core concept than you stand a great chance of seeing change happen.

 

They are EXTREMELY valuable to exploreEven though your idea is not that great, it’s still extremely valuable to the organization. 20 year olds are usually closest to the target group of any organization–if we are to be relevant in 5, 10, and 20 years than these ideas are critical to understanding what cultural changes are happening and how to potentially solve them at the corporate level. For those in the 50 year old camp, understand that 20 year olds value being heard and would be extremely encouraged to KNOW that you have considered their idea–acknowledging the value of an idea does not obligate you to fund or move forward with it. In fact it would help 20 year olds tremendously to hear critical feedback about their idea so that they can go back to the drawing board and come up with a better iteration of their idea.

In a large organization it often takes 10x longer than you think to get an idea implementedJust because you have thought about an idea for a long time does not mean that others have. It takes time for people to absorb new ideas and think about the implications. Realize also that new ideas disrupt other people’s current reality–if you want to get an idea acted on be prepared for resistance, find people who are older than you that believe in the idea, and work with them to educate and demonstrate it’s value in tangible results.

What are some helpful ways you have found to bridge this gap? If you are close to or on the 50 year old side, what do 20 year olds need to know? If you are closer to the 20 year old side, what do 50 year olds need to know to help them understand you better? 

 

The Blogference Day 2 Posts!

Welcome to The Blogference Day 2!

Here is the list of today’s posts:

Are We Really Doing Great Co-Missional Campus Ministry?–By Daniel Curran, in Evangelism

Is it worth the trade?–By Karin Tome, in Leadership

12 Ways to Strengthen & Grow a Mobile Ministry Team–By Dana Byers, in Social Media

Sunday is Dying and That’s Fine With Me–By Vince Marrotte, in Leadership, Social Media

Click on the title of each post to read it. To leave a comment, you will need to be logged into Facebook. When you post the comment you can choose whether or not to share your comment on your Facebook profile.

The Blogference Day 1 Posts!

Welcome to The Blogference Day 1!

Here is the list of today’s posts:

Moms: The Unsung Heroes–By Stephanie Raquel, in Leadership

Would You Mind Me Telling You What I do With My Computer?–By Miheret Tilahun, in Social Media

What Form Will Your Leadership Take?–By Gary Run, in Leadership

The Future is Spanglish–By Destino Eric, in Evangelism

Click on the title of each post to read it. To leave a comment, you will need to be logged into Facebook. When you post the comment you can choose whether or not to share your comment on your Facebook profile.

The Blogference Starts Monday! Change the World From Your Coffee Shop!

The posts from this year’s The Blogference authors have begun to arrive, and I could not be more excited! If you have participated in any of the previous online conferences–THANK YOU!

sightglass coffee

If you have not then please consider reading, commenting, and sharing at least once this year! The Blogference brings together ministry leaders from around the world to discuss relevant ministry issues. By leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts you create a diverse and energizing experience for leaders seeking to have an influence for Christ around the world!

The Topics This Year:

  • Virtual Evangelism–A Personal Story
  • Virtual Ministry–A Challenge
  • Evangelism and Latinos
  • Leading as  a Mom
  • How Social Media is Influencing Culture and Changing the Church
  • Thriving at College
  • Missional Campus Ministry
  • Spiritual Leadership
  • Leading Strategically
  • 50 Year Olds and 20 Year Olds–One of Campus Crusade’s Biggest Internal Challenges

To Participate the Blogference:

  • Find a post that interests you
  • Leave a comment, Tweet the post out to your friends, “Like” the post, or add either the author or commenters as a friend
  • Wash, rinse, and repeat at your leisure!

Follow The Blogference on Twitter to stay connected during The Blogference 

 

Ministry Resources Must Be Shared Globally!

share resourcesI do not believe you should wait 15 years to gather enough ministry resources to feel equipped and empowered to do your job well. The Blogference seeks to share resources from around the world.

Many of the authors have published resources (books, ebooks, articles) that can be of tremendous value to you. In previous years there have been resource drives where the attendees send in resources to be shared with the entire conference.

My hope is that by interacting with the posts, leaving comments, and connecting with other ministry leaders online, collaboration will increase across many boundaries and become more a part of the ministry culture.

Ministry is Impossible Without Effectively Using Social Media

iphone 4 usageFive years ago when The Blogference started many doubted whether social media was going to be a part of daily communication. There is no doubt today with over 750 million people on Facebook and the explosion of smartphones and tablets that allow instant connection to social media anywhere.

The Blogference posts on social media will inspire you to try new tools and new methods for communicating with your audience and those inside your ministry.

Leadership: Faith-Filled, Future-Oriented, Strategic, Intentional

arrowThe biggest shift I experienced in leading a ministry happened when I stopped reacting to the present, putting out fires, and scrambling from one thing to another and started strategically planning the future and trusting God to work significantly.

The posts for The Blogference on leadership seek to cultivate this philosophy and encourage you to take people where they are not yet ready to go!