the weblog of Alan Knox

A missionary speaks out about evangelism methods

Posted by on Aug 1, 2009 in blog links, discipleship | 3 comments

Grady (at “missional space“) has written a very good article called “Modern Evangelism is unfair to those who hear“. Grady is a missionary, so he’s not speaking from a theoretical perspective. He suggests that modern evangelism methods are “unfair” for several reasons:

  • They don’t know us
  • They feel like projects
  • They feel like we’re only after the conversion
  • They never get a chance to see what we profess
  • We speak out of Christian context into Secular context

Grady explains each of these “reasons” in detail in his post. Here is his explanation for the second reason:

They feel like projects

When I first became a believer I attended a Sunday school class where the “cool” Godly guys had hit lists of the ten guys they each wanted to convert. Wow, how would you like to find out that you were on someone’s list….nothing more than a project…nothing more than a pipeline. We fail to see the reality that they are much more than a potential client that needs our service…that instead they are a person who needs a friend that can help them make sense of this life and live with them. We usually prefer the “project” mode because we share, run back to campus and either brag on their conversion or blame Satan for their hardened heart.

I see a common thread that runs through Grady’s reasons. Grady wants to see believers living and sharing the gospel as part of their everyday, ordinary lives, not as a separate sacred program. He wants to see believers befriending and caring for people. He wants to see believers demonstrating the gospel as much as they proclaim the gospel.

What do you think about Grady’s reasons for modern evangelism being unfair?


3 Comments

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  1. 8-1-2009

    Alan,

    I agree with Grady’s points. One lesson I learned many years ago, and which urged upon those I trained in personal evangelism, is that we must earn the right to insert the Gospel into other lives.

    Making disciples begins with developing relationships, in which the Gospel is demonstrated in the life of the discipler/evangelist. Genuine love has a remarkable affect.

  2. 8-2-2009

    He’s right, I think. Those are also the reasons why much of modern evangelism is ineffective.

  3. 8-2-2009

    Aussie John,

    “Making disciples begins with developing relationships.” Amen!

    Kat,

    Much of modern evangelism is ineffective.

    -Alan