Recently, I have been giving some local church workshops on personal evangelism with church members who have had lots of prior training in personal evangelism:
- How to present the gospel in less than 3 minutes
- How to steer a conversation to Jesus.
- How to present the Good News to a total stranger.
These passionate evangelists
- go door to door on Saturdays in their community.
- prepare open air campaigns in local parks
- distribute tracts to anyone who will receive them
- talk about Jesus to anyone who is sitting on a park bench.
They are well trained in contact evangelism and have the personal courage to make it happen.
My own experience with contact evangelism
I’ve done contact evangelism like this on the mission field (That’s me in the picture in the khaki pants).
My first mission trip to Vienna Austria was doing nothing but contact evangelism on the streets on Vienna (right in the main plaza).
I’ve taken youth to a local shopping mall and talked with people in food court, and talked with strangers in cafes and on airplanes.
Other trips to Latin America during the past 15 years have also seen me do evangelism this way. I’ve grown comfortable with contact evangelism and can do it.
But I keep asking myself:
How can I train the ordinary person in the pew to do evangelism?
For grandma who wants to share her faith. . .
For the regular person in the pew, the perception of this evangelism method is uncomfortable or too intimidating.
I’m thinking of some of the sweet Christians I’ve met who
- have in churches for years and want to talk about Jesus with their family members.
- are introverts
- are not “in your face” type of people.
As a method of evangelism for the ordinary person in the church pew, this evangelism method has its training challenges.
Even where this form is practiced by the churches where I have been giving evangelism workshops, people are privately confessing to me that
- This scares them.
- They don’t like interrupting people’s life
- They subject themselves to rejection that’s hard to not personalize.
These perceptions are real and present a real challenge to personal evangelism training.
When I train on workshops, this is a common image of evangelism that immediately comes to mind when I ask about evangelism.
I’m not writing to critique or dismiss this method. Rather, I am thinking how to train people in personal evangelism who have rejected this method for themselves.
My own Evangelism Teaching on DVD
I have a DVD set that focuses on a conversational style evangelism that would be effective in:
- casual conversation between friends
- causal conversation between strangers
It is a form of evangelism training that can help people lower their fear. Even grandma in the church pew can use this tool to more effectively and comfortably talk with people about Jesus.
Read more about the Effective Evangelism Conversations in the store
It is a recording of a live seminar I gave in 2012.
[…] Evangelism Contact Evangelism Gone Wild0March 21, 2011 As I mentioned in my previous post on contact evangelism as a evangelism method, I share my thoughts on how to train people and evangelists who are scared […]
[…] Evangelism Contact Evangelism as we do it0March 20, 2011 Following up from the previous postsThe Perceptions of Contact EvangelismContact Evangelism Gone WildI want to share how I practice contact evangelism.The Phillip Model of […]