As mentioned in Saturday’s post I just finished reading Nick Pollard’s Evangelism Made Slightly Less Difficult: How to Interest People who Aren’t Already Interested (order your copy direct from Amazon).
The goal of his book is to
help you get uninterested people interested in Jesus, to reach people “who are simply not interested in hearing about Jesus because they are quite happy with their own views” (p. 31).
The subtitle makes it clear: How to Interest People who aren’t Already Interested.
In other words, this book is offering to help you reach a specific category of people:
those who doing fine in life without Jesus, and therefore don’t see the need.
To reach them, “we must help them become uncomfortable with their current worldview and then perhaps they will be” (p. 42).
This is done in a conversational dialogue about worldview (which all of Ch 2 is about).
Side Note: The best book on world view that I have read is Discipling the Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures, by Darrow Miller. Follow the link to get your copy from Amazon.
Pollard’s approach to conversational evangelism with people who are not spiritually thirsty is what he calls “Positive deconstruction.”
In all of chapter 3, he explains that through the use of critical questions, you can help a person analyze their world view, take it apart, and examine it.
The goal of such conversations is to expose the internal contradictions in the worldview.
This form of debate may seems negative, but the goal is to search for truth.
The destination of the conversation is meant to wind up at the place where a person says
“I’m not so sure that what I believe is right after all. I want to find out more about Jesus” (p.44)
“We’ve got a major job to do if we are to help people want to find out about Jesus.”
Preparing for Conversational Evangelism
The starting point is to find out what a person believes.
Conversationally, this can be done through the use of questions and sincere inquiries that are genuine.
Then, after finding out what a person believes, make efforts at understanding their worldview (such as read books about it).
With these two things, you are then prepared to know what kinds of questions to raise — to help the other person examine their worldview.
Chapter 4 looks at principles involved in researching worldviews, preparing your self for worldview conversations, and then creating questions to examine a world view. See a chapter excerpt at “Where do I start?”
- Identify the world view.
- Analyze the world view — Is it true? a. Does it cohere? b. Does it correspond to reality? c. Does it work?
- Affirm the truth in that worldview
- Discover the error.
Pollard gives a worksheet to help you analyze a world view (p.57)
|Affirm the Truth||Discover the Error|
|3. Does it work?|
You can see an except of Chapter 5, where he walks through a case study of the principles. “It’s Not for Me” from bethinking.org
Is this evangelism less difficult?
The rest of Evangelism Made Slightly Less Difficult goes on to examine worldviews, and help you think about potential conversations.
There is no formal gospel presentation offered, but a general analysis of conversational points. To engage in this style of evangelism conversation, you
- have to be able to think philosophically,
- have to be able to examine all sorts of worldviews, and
- have to be able to reasonably dialogue about them.
I took entire courses in seminary on worldviews, read several books on worldviews. (A good example of an evangelist who understands world view is Ravi Zacharias of www.rzim.org.).
Does worldview research and philosophical analysis come easy to you? Or, does it overwhelm and confuse you? This is where one needs to find a evangelism style to fit your personality.
Let me ask you this?
What approach would you use to engage this particular subset of people: those who are not interested?