I’ve got a great batch of articles for you this week, pointing out some of the things I’ve been reading and compiling.
Belief and understanding:
At Evangelism Action, we’ve been discussing the conversion experience. Feel free to review the conversation. We are discussing about the relationship between belief and understanding. Do we have to understand first to believe, or can we understand after we profess belief? The conversation trail has little to do with the actual evangelism article, but perhaps it will warrant an article on both our blogs. I enjoy reading Evangelism Action.
Fear of Evangelism
As we engage people in conversation, The Centurion Papers gives us a great article about not fearing. Sometimes our gospel conversations can feel unnatural or even forced, but other times, we just have a little fear to overcome. We all feel it at times.
Door to Door:
Here is the adventure of a pastor meeting all the families of his neighborhood. He’s got a good idea to start a parenting group in the subdivision that he lives in. His door to door approach is not for evangelism presentations, but to get to know the neighbors and start a new group that might meet neighborhood needs. (Read my door to door evangelism approach).
Relationships and evangelism
Nicky Gumbel, key leader of the Alpha course, recently reminded us about the importance of the church in evangelism, and how relationships are vital to the church’s future.
In an article at CT Online, (original source link broke) I find the following observation about the church’s ‘back door’:
In “Closing the Evangelistic Back Door,” Win and Charles Arn cite a study of three groups’ receptions to evangelistic presentations.
One group made commitments and were actively involved in local churches.
Another group “dropped out” soon after making commitments.
And the third group rejected the presentation outright.
Of those who remained committed, seven out of ten received a presentation using “non-manipulative dialog.” In contrast, nine out of ten “dropouts” received a presentation using “manipulative dialog.” And of those who said “no, thanks,” seven out of ten received a fact- and theology-driven presentation.
This study’s results indicate the need to revise evangelistic strategy. The Arns recommend abandoning manipulative coercion and viewing evangelism as a process rather than a one-time gospel presentation. They also believe evangelism should be fundamentally relational and tied closely to the church.
For if the church community doesn’t befriend and incorporate believers within the first six months of their spiritual life, the church will likely see new converts become apostate dropouts.
Let me leave you with this thought from Arn’s article:
Evangelism should be fundamentally relational and tied closely to the church. Ask God to increase your passion to do evangelism in connection with your church.
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Each week, I send out new articles to help you grow your church through personal evangelism, invitations, improving your greeter ministry, and refreshing your vision for church hospitality.