Last week, I met with a leadership team for the first time to help them brainstorm new ways to grow in evangelism. I led them in a group discussion on evangelism.
Since this was my first discussion with them, I wanted to get a feel for their experiences and their pre-conceptions about
What is evangelism?
The outgrowth will be future discussions into particular areas.
What is evangelism?
Leading a group discussion on evangelism can be a challenge because the field of evangelism is huge.
In fact I did an evangelism mind map to start thinking about all the different aspects for this group discussion.
If you are
- gathering a new evangelism team, or
- starting up a new evangelism work in the local church, or
- leading some other group discussion on evangelism
here are some discussion questions I used that you might find useful.
Discussion Questions – What is evangelism?
- How would you describe or define evangelism?
- How do you think evangelism should be done?
- How do you do evangelism in your life now?
- In your journey to faith in Christ, how did evangelism happen in your life?
- What is the role of the congregation in evangelism?
- What is the role of the pastor in evangelism?
The Group Discussion on Evangelism
The opening question generated lots of answers that felt like cliches or rote answers — quick bursts of answers from years of hearing it from the pulpit.
- Preaching the Word.
- Sharing the Good News.
- Sharing your testimony.
- Giving the reason for your faith.
It may seem like a no-brainer question, but this questions reveals assumptions that people bring to the discussion on evangelism.
As the group facilitator, I pushed back a little to help people think through the “fixed answers.”
- What’s good news? What makes it good?
- Can laypeople do evangelism if it’s only preaching?
- What are the key elements to the gospel that you want to share?
- Personally, how do you share?
As we got into the group evangelism discussion, it became clear that on a surface level, these 8 people had great answers, but underneath that surface, I saw
- Different approaches to evangelism.
- Different experiences.
- Different theological understandings.
Avoid conversational drift.
Most opening discussions on the nature of evangelism, if unchecked at this point, tend to drift into colorful theological debates. For example,
- Do people respond to God’s grace, or do they make a decision to respond?
- What is the value or lack of value over the “sinners prayer?”
- Do people have to fully understand their sin first, or can they start following Jesus and learn about sin later?
- Can people follow first and understand later?
- Can people follow Jesus before even having a completely biblical world view?
- What do people have to understand before following Jesus?
- Can conversions be “false?”
Other times, it may drift into areas of practice and styles:
- Rush to present the gospel to as many people as possible.
- Take the time to build relationships of influence with people.
- Invite people to church
- Go to the mission field.
The purpose of this group discussion on evangelism was not theological debate, but to expose some of the presuppositions that these group members were bringing to the table.
By exposing the presupposition through careful questions that challenge simple rote assertions, it made for a very rich discussion, and then setup the potential for further discussion into particular areas.
Get a full copy
I’ll send you the full PDF discussion guide that I used. I want to have it field tested with other users, not just me. To get it, leave a comment below (or at the blog if you get this via feed).
At least tell me how and with whom you’d use this discussion guide.
I’ll send it to you and then follow up to see how the discussion went.