Evangelism has quietly left the church (but it’s still in the building). Long ago Christians went door to door to pray for their neighbors. We boldly shared our faith in the workplace, schools, and in social environments. But, somewhere along the way our method of introducing Christ to our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and classmates shifted to an invitation. It was an invitation that led them to a church gathering or program so that they could hear our pastors give a Gospel message which would hopefully change their lives. Our jobs shifted from praying door to door to placing an Easter sign in our yards. Evangelism became an invitation and (for the most part) it’s what we know how to do. I realize that this is a generalization and does not apply to all, but I’d argue that it does apply to the majority.

That being said, I’m curious to hear your response about this new evangelistic norm. Please comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts…

 

What do you feel are the implications (if any) if this continues to be our method for reaching people? What adjustments do you suggest should (or shouldn’t) be made?

On a scale of 1 – 10, how concerning is this to you? (1 – Does not whatsoever OR 10 – Extremely concerning)

 

I’ll post again soon based on the responses. – Matt

  1. May 16, 2018

    I think the church has to make some cultural shifts, but not in all locations. I’m not that concerned, but I can see how others might be. I’m a 3.

    • May 17, 2018

      Thanks for your reply Steve!

  2. May 16, 2018

    I definitely think our church leaders need to better equip the people in their congregations to share Jesus wherever they are at on a day to day basis. People are less and less willing (and wanting) to go to a church building on a Sunday. We cannot deny that attendance is going down in our culture today. So – who is going to reach those people who want nothing to do inside those doors? I am at an 8.

    • May 17, 2018

      Equipping is a gap, I agree.Thanks J!

  3. May 17, 2018

    This shift has happened because Pastors have turned to academic’s as the primary focus of Ministry. I am a Minister with a Ministry focus of Evangelism and Discipleship. Both are either hard to find or nonexistent.

    I know this because of the 10-year search in Orange County to share and develop the Ministry the Lord has called me to do.

    Academia has replaced the calling of Ministers/Evangelism which is God the Holy Spirit job to place called Minister within the body of Christ.

    • May 17, 2018

      This is an interesting and fresh perspective, I appreciate your insight Michael!

  4. May 17, 2018

    1) I think the implication is that we will continue to have few churches that reach lost people.
    2) I think the adjustment to make is to proclaim and teach a gospel that highlights the life giving aspects of the gospel in the here and now (just like the apostles did). All people hunger for a sense of relief from guilt and powerlessness – all answers apart from the gospel are only temporary or work for one individual in a small way. The gospel is the eternal and most clear, powerful answer to this problem. The adjustment in our gospel teaching and proclamation is consistently say that we have the answer to POWERFULLY and completely solve the biggest (felt need) problem humans face in the here and now. And oh yeah, our real need for forgiveness from the holy God is an even bigger problem and the gospel solves that, too!! 🙂
    3) 8-9

    p.s. thanks for this post, I so miss SoCal (now live in Wheaton), so wish we could have a smoothie together to discuss this Matt

  5. May 17, 2018

    Mike great words…all answers lead back to the Gospel and our identity in Christ. I wonder what it will take for us to make this shift…

  6. May 17, 2018

    Matt, Thank you for your encoraging comments. I think it will take you and me making disciples who make disciples who do this. That was Jesus strategy! :). It’s takes time and is quite messy (just like in the Gospels and Acts), but in my mind it’s a strategy that has worked for the church consistently and powerfully the last 2,000 years and in particular in China, India, Cuba, South America, and among Muslim background believers the last eighty years.

    We probably should also encourage and network with those that are committed to this type of gospel proclamation and church building strategy. What do you think?

    • May 17, 2018

      Definitely in agreement. I think we’ve unintentionally watered down this call to following Jesus. Perhaps we’ve sought comfort at extreme levels and the things that feel uncomfortable (especially when it comes to faith), get pushed to the perimeters. Again, all roads lead back to a deeper understanding of Identity and the Gospel. Time to learn how to become comfortable in the uncomfortable. There’s a lot more at stake than we realize…

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