the weblog of Alan Knox

Jesus was not a very good evangelist

Posted by on Jul 23, 2009 in discipleship | 46 comments

During my time at seminary, I’ve been required to read several books on the subjects of evangelism and church growth. After considering their conclusions and comparing these to Scripture, I’ve decided that Jesus was not a very good evangelist.

When he called his first disciples, he didn’t tell them about his good plan for their lives; he simply said, “Follow me.”

When he talked to Nicodemus, Jesus didn’t point out his sins; he simply talked about the new life in the Spirit.

When he talked to the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus didn’t call her to repent; he just announced himself as the Messiah.

When he talked to the “rich, young ruler,” he didn’t tell the man to simply believe or trust him or pray to him; he told him to sell all he had and give to the poor and follow him.

When he forgave the paralytic, he did so based on his friends’ faith.

When he cast demons out of people, he often told them to not tell other people about him.

When Jesus ate at Zacchaeus’ house, he seemed pleased that Zacchaeus talked about his works of giving back to the poor, but Jesus never told him to make sure he had faith.

When Pilate asked Jesus if he was the king of the Jews, Jesus did not give a very convincing apologetic argument.

When he met Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus left out almost every point in the Roman Road, E.E., C.W.T., F.A.I.T.H., and any other evangelism method.

No, Jesus was not a very good evangelist… at least, not according to most Christian definitions and descriptions of a good evangelist.


46 Comments

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  1. 7-23-2009

    And I’m not either.

  2. 7-23-2009

    What? No 4 Spiritual Laws to define His grace??? How on earth can I do the work of an evangelist without my Wordless Book?
    It’s a sad thing when we have more boxes of tracts than disciples. Somehow, I don’t think that Jesus really intended that.

  3. 7-23-2009

    I am having a hard time understanding what your point actually is, Alan.

  4. 7-23-2009

    But Jesus did say, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”….oh, wait a minute…those were words spoken to a church, not the unchurched, my mistake. :-)

  5. 7-23-2009

    I don’t think He was a very good Baptist either!

  6. 7-23-2009

    Last time I went here on my blog, it ignited a decent storm. But, I agree. Jesus stunk at evangelism. I don’t know what Paul did either–I’m just glad he finally penned Romans so we could have a road to lead people down.

  7. 7-23-2009

    You are so much more learned than I am in things of God and/or theology. I hope one day to be able to have some of the tools that you have been gifted. So I offer my opinion very humbled today but I think I may be the first to differ a bit on what your putting forth. Namely, Jesus was not a very good evangelist. Now, I get it, I know it is a slight tongue in cheek jab at how many view “saving” folks should go. Yet, I think there is a middle ground to the poles that seem presented. For instance, your correct in saying that he never had a TRACT with him, but that wouldn’t mean to say that he didn’t quote scripture right? So do any of his methods line up with what we do today? I would say yes, some, not all.

    I do see how he said to Levi, “Follow me.” Yet others like Peter, broke down and repented crying out how they were sinners to which Jesus told him he would now be a catcher of men. The he would spread the gospel. Preach the good news. Evangelize.

    He didn’t point out Nicodemus’ sins, but he didn’t leave the topic alone either. He told him, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” Indeed he didn’t point out specifics but he didn’t ignore the fact Ol’ Nic had been already condemned.

    When he talked to the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus didn’t call her to repent; but he didn’t he just announced himself as the Messiah. He also told her she had been with “five husbands.” It is after this she recognizes him as a prophet. Pointing out her specific issues was a way for Jesus to reach her. He indeed told her the good news. The Messiah was here and who he was.

    When he talked to the “rich, young ruler,” He did mention that if the guy is calling him good, he needed to know that no one is good but God. Jesus is divine and was showing him how to raise the bar on what the ruler thought was “good.” Then he told him he knows how hard it is for him to enter the kingdom of God because of what it requires. I see this in many evangelism tracts!

    When He told the demons not to tell, it does not seem because he didn’t want folks to know though, the rest of the context points out that Jesus Himself was going to more towns to “preach the good news…. that is why he was sent.” It seems it was because he needed to go to more places and they were trying to keep him there.(41Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
    42At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”)

    Jesus never told Zacchaeus to make sure he had faith. Yet, although all the people knew him as a sinner already there was no need to point it out. He did repent of his sin. “So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’ ”
    8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” After this repentance Jesus says that salvation has come… once was lost is found.

    Indeed, when Pilate asked Jesus if he was the king of the Jews, Jesus did not give a very convincing apologetic argument. He didn’t need to. It was a yes or no question, to which Jesus said, “Yes,” and added “it is as YOU say.” Sometimes when the questions are that simple the answer needs to be to. When people did question his authority, he often defended in a parable that convicted, or stumped them so they wouldn’t understand.

    When he met Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus did tell him his sin, told him that He was Jesus, and sent him in a different direction he was going. He didn’t follow and “f.a.i.t.h” program but had some key points in there.

    So, I agree that we still have a lot to learn from Jesus and it often looks very different from what we do today. I simply don’t want to bash all the methods today because many are effective. Some aren’t and should be thrown in the trash, but Jesus indeed had many of the elements that Evangelist do today. I would love your thoughts. I know you are much more wise in these things than I and I am open for instruction.

    For Christ Sake,
    Scott

  8. 7-23-2009

    Steve,

    I’m not either. God seems to do pretty good in spite of me though.

    Kat,

    I think we should ask what God intended more often.

    Stephanie,

    The purpose is to show that Jesus did not practice what books and experts say are necessary for evangelism.

    Chris,

    I have heard that verse used as an argument in favor of door-to-door evangelism.

    Grady,

    Probably not. But alot of Baptists aren’t much like Jesus either… including me.

    Alan,

    I enjoy a good discussion. I wonder why Paul wrote all that other stuff in Romans, when all we really need is the “Road”?

    Scott,

    Jesus did not use a set method when we talked to people. Instead, he talked to the people where they were. Obviously, he knew them better than we can. So, we should spend even more time getting to know people, before we start echoing a script. By the way, I’m not sure that I agree that modern evangelism programs are “effective.”

    -Alan

  9. 7-23-2009

    Scott,
    I think the point was that Jesus didn’t walk around throwing out methods. He customized his message as he interacted with people on a daily basis. We typically don’t do this, we leave our campus with our tract and CWT method and we sell Jesus with our slick approach. If they accept it great…if they don’t we blame it on Satan and move on.

    Jesus didn’t do this, he lived out his life before people…often times they knew of his reputation long before they heard his words. Yes he knew truth…He was (and is) truth but he didn’t cheapen the method with an Amway like approach or method. He combined words and deeds and served as a great example for truly missional living.
    Grady

  10. 7-23-2009

    Alan,

    When I talk to people and really get to know them, they open up. Sadly, the worst witnesses against Christ can often be Christians themselves. The words that come up are judgmental, self-righteous and hypocrite. It’s hard to get people to buy into what you have to say when they have already seen the example.

    Now, I’ll be the first person to get in the not perfect line. It just seems like folks should be using different words to describe Christians. Which gives rise to the question: if modern evangelism programs are effective, where is the transformation?

    -jeff

  11. 7-23-2009

    I would definitely agree Alan in your response to comments posted that to say modern evangelism methods are ‘effective’ are questionable at best. A thought-provoking entry and generally challenging to me, at least, to free from pre-set programmes and try this thing called relationships.

  12. 7-23-2009

    Alan,

    Jesus never called us to be good at evangelism, He called us to make disciples, which, as your article shows, He demonstrated well. Our desire to have backsides on seats has caused us to get the cart before the horse.

  13. 7-24-2009

    Alan and Christopher,
    Thanks for responding so fast. There seems to be some confusion when I used the term “effective.” Again, I simply don’t want to bash all the methods today because many are effective. Many is a key word here. I didn’t say all. Again, Some are not effective and should be thrown in the trash, but Jesus indeed had many of the elements that Evangelist do today.

    To everyone, let me be a bit more clear.
    I see two polar extreme views;
    1)All evangelists today have it right with their canned answers, sermons, and tracts.
    2)No evangelist today is effective at reaching the lost with anything learned as a means to do so. Only “relationship” evangelism works. That is the only way Jesus did it.

    I disagree with both these statements and I believe there is a middle ground, where can I see we still need work on improving our communication of the gospel… but I have also met many a tract passing, evangecube wielding, three point sermon spitting evangelists who are genuine in their faith and truly EFFECTIVE as tools of God to reach a certain lost that God is calling.

    To often it seems that many of us are hurt by the church or see where it has hurt others and we try to distance ourselves from that. This can lead us to try new things which can be good. It can also be bad. Many movements have sprung from this line of thinking that change in method is the answer. Or that no method is the best method. “Naw man, we don’t restrict the gospel to some stupid little ABC’s of Jesus, Naw bro… we are more free than that.” We can’t be so afraid of method that we become afraid to hit points of the message when sharing our faith.

    Grady,
    I think Jesus did have a method. It was a method of customizing his message as he interacted with people on a daily basis. He lived out his life before people and combined words and deeds and served as a great example for truly missional living.
    Also, when one studies the Rabbi of the day there are striking similarities with the “approach” the they used and the parallel with the Messiah. Like how Jesus seldom answered a question directly, but rather would answer with a question. This was not Jesus being rude, it was a Rabbi way to teach. Their method.
    Just one example to show that it isn’t having a method or not that is important but finding the best way to be used of God when needed.

    There is a balance. It is not two extremes.
    I hope that makes more sense.

    FCS,
    Scott

  14. 7-24-2009

    Grady,

    You said, “He [Jesus] combined words and deeds and served as a great example for truly missional living.” Yes. One of the things that I hope people think about after reading this post is this: “How did Jesus approach people, and how does that compare with the way that I approach people?”

    Jeff,

    You said, “When I talk to people and really get to know them, they open up.” Unlike Jesus, we have to spend time with people before we get to know them. Only then can we know how God is working in their life, and how the gospel can best impact their life.

    Christopher,

    Working through relationships is tough… it means we have to actually form a relationship with people.

    Aussie John,

    You’re absolutely right! We often approach people as if sharing the gospel is the end of our responsibility. In fact, that is just the beginning.

    Scott,

    You said, “I think Jesus did have a method. It was a method of customizing his message as he interacted with people on a daily basis.” Yes, that is exactly the point. Since we don’t know people the way that Jesus knows people, we have to spend time getting to know them. A canned response may work occasionally – usually with people who already know the gospel. But, when we get to know people, we find out what God is doing in their life, then the Spirit can help us know how to “customize the message” for that person.

    -Alan

  15. 7-24-2009

    Alan,

    I will be honest, a few years back I realized that I was not intimidated to share the Gospel with others (share is the operative word). So as late as last summer I would go around with a back back full of Gospel tracts and books, spreading the good news around. I felt I was somone like Phillip or Paul who traveled around spreading the message of the Good News. For the most part I was pretty good at this, as I can sometimes be witty I love talking with people and I had a pretty good apologetic comeback for most questions (there were a few times I was stumped). I would be nervous the first 15 minutes or so but once I got going, I got going.

    Well this became an every Sunday morning (as we met in the late afternoon) ordeal for me. And I became quite the “evangelist”. But one day studying through the scripture I realized something (not to mention through your site and many others who are more hands on) I didn’t really care about the person holistically, I only cared if they accepted the message. This conviction began around early 08, but I didn’t think much of it. I ended up sitting with a guy whose apartment complex was right next door to the church that planted us. The church that planted us is quite elaborate sits on a few acres and was built for about 25 Million or so. The guy said “man you come here every week, and I lived here for 2 years and the people right next door has never came by”. He then talked to me about not having a job, being an ex-con and recovering drug addict, talked about picking up odd jobs to just help his friend (whom he was living with) pay the rent and buy food. You know what my response was “I will pray for you”! Thats it.

    I then came to James and John and Titus. Then the scriptures in the Gospel became more vivid and I began to see, that “evangelism” isn’t limited to sharing a message dropping off tracts and books then going to the next person, but truth be told I was much more comfortable doing that then taking him around trying to help him find work, or giving of my resources to help him buy groceries or slipping him a few bucks underneath the door. I began to learn that Jesus’ way of doing ministry (and even Paul if we read 1 Thessalonians when he says “we not only shared the message but our whole lives”) was much more holistic and much more caring. I only cared if people agreed with my message and then I was off to the next crew.

    I hope people really take this post to heed. I think our mass conversion mentality dominates the horizon, versus inflitrating the culture and finding ways to practically help people sharing the message in our deeds and our word.

  16. 7-24-2009

    More than feel where you’re coming from, Lionel….and I do pray others see the post as well.

    But on the issue of “evangelism”, something that came to my mind–in regards to why others may be so disinclined to having a more holistic view of evangelism (whether opening your home to hanging out with others to helping find work, etc) is due to the issue of how many feel rushed….

    In example, how often have you heard it said that “This could be the last time you meet this person—and if you don’t talk about Jesus NOW, they’ll go to Hell!!!!”..with all of the scriptures brought up on the urgency which the apostles preached the Gospel/pleaded with others to be saved. The scriptures are not what I have a problem with….but on the issue, when those scriiptures in Acts are taken as if they were an “Every Day Event” and people read the scriptures forgetting that the book took place over 50 years—with not every day being a “revial/prayer rally”—one can naturally come away with the impression that “hit & run” evangelism is all that matters and it’s on us to get it done rapidly. People can not really be given time—even YEARS–to never hear about Christ or be taken into a conversation about theology/conversion until they’ve had the opportunity to see you live out CHrist.

  17. 7-24-2009

    This right here is why we discuss “Responsible” Evangelism, and not a means to an end.

    “Experience God’s Transforming Love THROUGH Jesus Christ”

    Food for thought.

  18. 7-24-2009

    Lionel: Bingo.

  19. 12-15-2009

    Jesus is the subject. He should be the ‘subject’ of the evangelist.

    It is better that others seat you at the head of the table than for you to seat yourself there.

    One of God’s purposes for Jesus was to be an example in which all God’s children can aspire towards. Jesus couldn’t speak about his kingship and holiness directly otherwise he would have been assassinated or murdered long earlier before he was able to complete his testimony.

  20. 7-21-2011

    It also seems like jesus was intentionally offending people. He only wanted the people the father gave to him. It is like he wanted to filter out all the folks that wanted to make him bread king. Perhaps a few dozen sincere disciples can be more beneficial than thousands of doubleminded ones.

  21. 9-21-2011

    Just because we only get part of the conversation doesn’t mean those things didn’t happen

    And many already knew the message of christ and repentance because of john

    You can’t only give some instances and base everything on that

    This is a very slim context post and I’m kind of dissappointed that you would post such

    Is a half truth a lie?

  22. 9-21-2011

    Just because you know part of my conversation doesn’t mean I didn’t say things you didn’t hear

    Even john said all Jesus did couldn’t be written down

    Cmon dude this is weak

    Just sayin

  23. 9-21-2011

    Mike,

    Thanks for the comments. Some of the examples that I gave are from other Gospels besides John’s Gospel. Can you give me an example in Scripture where the gospel proclamation includes everything that needs to be included in a gospel proclamation?

    -Alan

  24. 9-21-2011

    The point is that not everything is recorded everytime

    They are all recorded and written down for our contextual benefit and if we have the revelation and we take parts out and make a doctrine while leaving out others conveniently then I don’t think that’s a fair assesment of the gospel as fully recorded

    This is how many get away with their false philosophies

    Prosperity preachers universalists annihilationists

    They take part to proclaim THEIR message but not the full counsel of the bible

    And while we are all guilty of this it doesn’t measn we should just be ok with it

  25. 9-21-2011

    Mike,

    In some of the examples above, it is possible that other things were spoken in that particular instance. In some of the example, the text reads as if everything (at least everything important) is recorded. For example, in the case of Cornelius, the Holy Spirit fills Cornelius and those with him while Peter is speaking, that is, before he completes any proclamation that he intended to make.

    The account of the rich, young ruler would be another example. That seems to be a full account of what Jesus said to the young man.

    The point of this post is not whether these things (i.e., repentance, sin, or faith/trust) are important for people to understand. They are extremely important. The point is that there are many examples where EVERYTHING is not proclaimed at first or at one time. Yet, Jesus was certainly a good evangelist, even though he didn’t always present a complete “Romans Road” or “gospel presentation” to the people he spoke with.

    Sometimes, it’s best to simply begin introducing Jesus and his message to people in a way that intersects where they are in life. That appears to be what Jesus did. Should we stop there? Certainly not. But, that may be the best place to start, and that does not make anyone a bad evangelist.

    -Alan

  26. 9-21-2011

    Actually alan there is unrecorded conversation in acts 10 and also peter points out how they know about the coming messiah and all the happenings in judea

    36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

    So you see they already knew what the gospel was and peter pointed out some of it before the HS fell on them =D

  27. 9-21-2011

    Mike,

    Yes, I’m comfortable with Acts 10:36-38 being the extent of Peter’s “gospel presentation” and Cornelius’ knowledge of the gospel up to that point.

    -Alan

  28. 9-21-2011

    Except there was conversation that wasn’t recorded before the recorded

  29. 9-21-2011

    Mike,

    It’s obvious that we’re not going to agree on this. It’s clear to me that a complete gospel presentation (at least as that is typically understood today) is not made every time someone “proclaims the gospel” in Scripture. For you, it seems clear that a complete gospel presentation is made each time. So, we disagree.

    -Alan

  30. 9-21-2011

    Mike
    I think you are making some big assumptions here. It is interesting that a typical presentation of the gospel in the modern world does sound a lot different from what we read in Acts. It is an dangerous assumption to believe that our understanding must be the one that was conveyed they just didn’t take the time to record all the important bits until Paul wrote to the Romans years in to his ministry.

    What is a bigger stretch? Matthew, Mark and John managed to write lengthy documents about Jesus life and ministry but never got around to presenting the whole gospel as they knew it….or….perhaps following Jesus is more dynamic and multifaceted than can be captured in modern day gospel tract?

    I believe each author in the New Testament gives us a different view on who Jesus was and what the good news is. I think we do a lot of violence to the text trying fit everything together in a nice seamless systematic package. It is like trying to put 3d puzzle pieces together to create a seamless 2d puzzle.

    If the apostles understood the gospel in our typical post-Reformation Penal-substitutionary atonement lens than John in particular left some really really important stuff out.

    1Jn 1:5 Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

    It is perfectly legitimate to take our theology and values and then transport them in to a 1st century context
    and see if Jesus and the apostles would do what we would in the same situation. We spend a lot of time trying jump the hermeneutical bridge from the 1st century to our current context. Another real test is to see if we could jump back.

  31. 3-12-2012

    Alan, I love this article. As an article like this would, you’ve stirred up a storm of those who would argue your exact point in different wording. Now, I don’t know about all the “methods” of modern evangelism, but I know that meeting people where they are at is a lot more than handing them a tract. Mass evangelism is as possible and effective as personal evangelism when either is done correctly. But that’s the real issue, isn’t it – what, exactly, is “correct” evangelism. I wonder if we’re brave enough to follow Jesus’ examples, both in personal and mass evangelism….

  32. 5-17-2012

    Simple. Jesus is our best example. We should listen to God’s Spirit, attentive to whom He wants us to engage, being sure not to carry a big old, “sin stick” to whack them over the head with. We are to live as examples, being ready to give an answer, discipling those who are willing to hear.

    Unfortunately, the programs put too many people out. Many are uncomfortable using the programs, or feel they don’t conduct the program correctly. Others feel that there are those called to be evangelists and they could do what an evangelist does.

    Also, there is a dependence upon the programs to get people saved. Ugh. This means the Holy Spirit is reduced to a program? Sad. We are commissioned to go, we are commissioned to make disciples and we are told that if Jesus be lifted up, He would draw people unto Himself. No program, no mass meeting with a gifted speaker. Just us, relating with people, sharing God in our lives.

    However – I am not one to say any program or mass evangelism is wrong. Each has their times and places and each has been used to introduce people to the Lord. But, in the end, which is really where it begins, it is the Spirit Who draws and it is He Who speaks to peoples’ hearts. We do not have to be a Billy Graham nor do we have to carry a pocket full of the Four Spiritual Laws (again, these are good, just not mandatory). All we need to do is listen to His Spirit, obey where He wants us to go and who He wants us to talk to and be sensitive toward individuals, where they are at and if God has prepared their heart.

  33. 5-18-2012

    John,

    I’m not opposed to evangelism programs or strategies or methods either, especially for helping someone overcome their fear or concerns about talking to others about Jesus. Unfortunately, I’ve talked to too many people who say that we MUST say this or that or something else. I’m opposed to those kinds of requirements. :)

    -Alan

  34. 9-3-2012

    My wife and I have recently stepped away from the traditional church to help plant a missional community. Our stated goal is to follow Jesus and help others do the same, whatever that looks like. We’ve told our friends in the traditional church that the plan is, there is no plan, because we’re going to try and let God do the leading. All we know is that we need to follow Jesus and make A disciple — not even disciples, because that implies we have a plan. We just want to be obedient as far as our responsibility goes — make a disciple. In the feedback we’ve received, the fact we have no plan is the single biggest stumbling block for them. I appreciate you pointing out that Jesus’ “plan” was for his disciples to simply follow him. I think he reveals his plan for each of us as we simply obey him.

  35. 9-3-2012

    Love it! Bingo

  36. 9-5-2012

    Dan and Mike,

    Thanks for continuing the discussion on this post. I’m learning more and more about following Jesus as I begin with Scripture instead of beginning with modern methods and programs.

    -Alan

  37. 9-9-2012

    Alan,

    Thanks for this post. It’s timely for me, as I’ve spent the last few hours discussing all things “spiritual” with a handful of people with many different opinions and views on religion. The interesting thing was that even though we were having a pretty esoteric conversation about worldview and good and evil, two people had to share their encounters with being “envangelized to” by Christians. It was clearly their main impression of Christianity, and clearly an obstacle for them to ever explore it further.

    Throughout the conversation, I was, because I have been programmed to, evaluating my own evangelism effectiveness. Was I communicating the Gospel? How can I convince these people of what is right? How can I get in more of my own testimony here?

    I’m pretty sure I failed at winning anyone over to my side. But as I was praying through the conversation I felt God challenge my anxiety. What was I more worried about…that I would succeed in convincing them over to my way of thinking, or that God would encounter them powerfully?

    I have no doubt God will pursue these beloved people. And I have no doubt they will either choose to accept or deny Him. But my part in that is not based on perfect answers or how effectively I speak about God to these people.

    Ironically, tragically, it is evangelism that has already erected obstacles for them to follow Jesus. How much more careful do we need to be about how we scattershot Christianity all over the world, and much more dependent on God’s pursuit and revelation of Himself?

  38. 9-9-2012

    Sarah,

    Thank you for sharing this story, and thank you for sharing the love and good news of Jesus Christ with the people you mentioned.

    -Alan

  39. 10-16-2012

    We are so works based that when it crosses our minds, our first response is ‘I have to do something’.

    We have two choices, our lives can be found in our ‘doing’ or our ‘being’.

    Our ‘flesh’ craves doing, our ‘Spirit’ is found in resting ‘in’ Christ. He will define our ‘doing’ as we walk ‘in’ Him.

    This blog may be helpful:
    http://jamaljivanjee.com/2012/10/busyness-laziness-or-actively-present-a-cure-for-homelessness

  40. 10-16-2012

    Jim,

    I think problems come in when our “being” and “doing” are separated. Being in Christ will result in doing in Christ. And, a lack of doing in Christ may indicate a lack of being in Christ. I think the biggest problem in the realm of evangelism is that we tend to think that we have to answer every question and that it’s our responsibility to convince people to be saved (in the right way of course).

    -Alan

  41. 10-16-2012

    Jesus had a way of agitating big crowds too. Sometimes they wanted to kill Him (and eventually did) and other times they heckeled and deserted Him. “Way to go, Jesus. You just ruined another opportunity to win souls and start a mega-church.”

  42. 10-18-2012

    Rick,

    That’s true. Agitation doesn’t work well these days, at least not with today’s goals.

    -Alan

  43. 10-22-2012

    Dear Brother in Christ,

    I am sunil born in India. I believe in Jesus Christ, I found few lines wrote in your article which I felt need to be rewritten or corrected.

    “When he talked to the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus didn’t call her to repent; he just announced himself as the Messiah.”
    ———————————————————————-
    John 4/(16-17)

    16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
    17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
    Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

    Although they had never met before, Jesus revealed that he knew she had had five husbands and was now living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus now had her attention!. She repented and accepted words of Jesus. And she started to procliam about Jesus…….UNLESS YOU REPENT HOW CAN ONE ASK FORGIVNESS OF YOUR SIN TO GOD.

    JESUS KNEW WHO SHE WAS AND WANT HER TO REPENT and YOU HAVE WRITTEN “Jesus didn’t call her to repent”. Well I think its wrong..

  44. 10-22-2012

    Sunil,

    Thank you for your comment. I read the passage that you quoted, then I read the entire context again. I still don’t see where Jesus told her to repent. I don’t see the word “repent” there at all. You said, “Jesus wanted her to repent.” I’m not questioning that, but he didn’t tell her to repent.

    -Alan

  45. 11-29-2012

    This actually blew my mind when I realized this myself a few years ago. I was a part of a evangelical campus club that used 4 Spiritual Laws tracts and boiled the Gospel entirely down to those 4 propositions, complete with the guilt trip and being encouraged to fight through it even though you knew the stranger you approached was trying hard not to laugh at you. But then I started reading the Gospels a lot more myself and realized that there is very little shared between what Jesus called the Gospel and how he presented it and what my group was saying and how they were saying it.

  46. 11-29-2012

    Ryan,

    That’s very interesting. Did you come to any conclusions about how we should “evangelize” in a way that is similar to Jesus’ method(s)?

    -Alan

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