Effective Evangelism

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Effective Evangelism

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:40 am

In another thread on Moderate Baptists, there were several statements on evangelism. Without putting it in the SBC context, let's discuss, "What is effective evangelism in our 21st century context?" What works for you and what doesn't?
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby William Thornton » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:42 am

There are so many ways to describe evangelism but I'd expect to hear the Gospel, observe some intentionality, and expect for there to be a theology where people are presumed to need to make some declaration of belief before they are considered Christians.

I'm not stuck on any of the methodology.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:19 pm

Most of what I've read and seen in recent presentations about evangelism is that people used to come to worship or Sunday school first and then get involved in mission and ministry. Now it appears that people are wanting to engage in mission before they join the church and often even before they get very active in worship or Sunday school.

What that ultimately says about evangelism I think is still up for discussion. But it is a generational shift.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Haruo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:56 pm

What Timothy said kind of reminds me of a study of Jesus Christ in Japanese culture that a visiting preacher mentioned in a sermon at Fremont some years back. It's a well known fact that the Japanese are not prone to churchgoing Christianity, by and large. Christianity has had a presence (mostly hidden) in the archipelago at least since the Jesuit mission to southern Kyushu in the 1600s, and perhaps even back to the origins of the tea ceremony, and there has been open, sustained mission work there since the Meiji Restoration in the 1860s, but most surveys indicate that fewer than 1% of the Japanese population is affiliated with any church. Most Japanese are nominally both Shinto and Buddhist, or were when I was a kid anyway, and the number whose Buddhism or Shintoism goes beyond the nominal is certainly more than 1%. So Japan is generally regarded as a rather unchristianized nation, ripe for or immune to evangelism, depending on how you look at it.

But this study the preacher cited, from Pew or some place of that sort, indicated that while fewer than 1% of the respondents had any affiliation with a church, fully 10% of them self-identified as followers of Jesus.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Rvaughn » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:48 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:In another thread on Moderate Baptists, there were several statements on evangelism. Without putting it in the SBC context, let's discuss, "What is effective evangelism in our 21st century context?" What works for you and what doesn't?
Dave, I know this does not answer what seems to be the intent of your question, but...
I view “effective evangelism” as evangelism that occurs (here defining evangelism as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through means of teaching and sharing of personal witness/testimony). I believe we are responsible to share the gospel, but not for figuring out ways to get people to agree with what we share. Therefore, we are effective when we do it, and ineffective when we don’t – regardless of the outcome.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Haruo » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:52 pm

Regarding the evangelizedness or not of the Japanese, I might also mention that when I was a kid there, a large proportion of my classmates attended the Sunday School down at the end of the block, which was run by missionaries from East Germany. The part of town we lived in consistently elected a Communist to the Diet, and the largest employer was Fuji Bank. The world is a complex place and people are complex organisms. Skim milk masquerades as cream...
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:10 pm

Haruo wrote:
But this study the preacher cited, from Pew or some place of that sort, indicated that while fewer than 1% of the respondents had any affiliation with a church, fully 10% of them self-identified as followers of Jesus.


Church membership is something we created and while I support there being an organized Church, I don't believe that the organized church is the same thing as the body of Christ, which in my understanding is all Christ followers. Given the scandals of churches, our inability to be as accepting of people as Jesus was, and our over inward focus, I believe there are also a lot more Jesus follows in the US than there are active church members.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:08 am

My point in raising this was not as a point of argument. "Evangelism" is a word often traded in various contexts, but I often have the feeling that it is not one single reality. Sharing Christ takes many forms, and I am convinced that 21st century evangelism will be "relational." The models I have learned in the past have all relied on words of witness, often without any relationship being needed. I have been trained in EE, CWT, WIN, WOW, One-Day Soul Winning Workshops, and a number of others. I have to agree with the word, intentionality, but I suspect that in our present context the intention will require building relationships with people. Church membership does not define evangelism, and I have often felt that an old statement by Billy Graham was right when he said that 40 to 50 percent of church members still needed to be saved. Don't know that I have answers to a lot of this, but there is much work to do. Also, can there be salvation without repentance?
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Tim Bonney » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:13 pm

Dave Roberts wrote: Church membership does not define evangelism, and I have often felt that an old statement by Billy Graham was right when he said that 40 to 50 percent of church members still needed to be saved. Don't know that I have answers to a lot of this, but there is much work to do. Also, can there be salvation without repentance?


I agree with all that you've said above about evangelism and how it has to be very different than in recent generations. I suspect the Church (universal) has always had to modify evangelism methods for a new generation.

I now view salvation as a life journey and not a moment in time. So I'm pretty comfortable with saying that church members are all along the path, some having made more or less progress than others in their relationship with God including some who have barely dipped their toe in the waters of the faith. (Or in a Methodist case, the top of their heads. ;-) )
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Haruo » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:53 am

Tim Bonney wrote:(Or in a Methodist case, the top of their heads. ;-) )

Dontcha kinda wish sometimes when Bruce restored the board the last time it went out he had fixed the smilies, too?
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:37 pm

And I notice some of our user avatars don't work either.

(Decided to fix mine; didn't realize I needed to until now.)
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:56 pm

Rvaughn wrote:And I notice some of our user avatars don't work either.

(Decided to fix mine; didn't realize I needed to until now.)


I need to do that too.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:57 pm

Haruo wrote:
Tim Bonney wrote:(Or in a Methodist case, the top of their heads. ;-) )

Dontcha kinda wish sometimes when Bruce restored the board the last time it went out he had fixed the smilies, too?


Yes, that was supposed to be a wink, but I keep forgetting they don't work.
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Re: Effective Evangelism

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:11 pm

Well, the new photo is a bit fuzzy. I'll hunt around for a better one. But, it is me.
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