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.
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.”
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?