In an article on mainline evangelism from an Oregon Newspaper today, a researcher points out the well-known numerical decline in mainline churches.
One possibility suggested for the decline:
“Mainline Churches, many of which tend to be more liberal, are suffering from a fear of evangelism.”
The article goes on to review some evangelism activities in mainline denominational churches.
“Evangelism in terms of study groups, sports teams and even a monthly movie night at the church. ”
“Evangelism is about encouraging people on their own spiritual path.”
“Members are encouraged to invite friends on social service projects like cleaning up the beach. . . . people need to feel like they belong to something of value before they are willing to adopt the beliefs of that community.”
I’m not sure I would describe all the activities described as evangelism, but at least it raises the point. The article doesn’t really address any of the theological issues surrounding evangelism.
Let me ask you this:
Would you describe some of the programs mentioned as evangelistic?