April 3, 2008

"Mindfulness, not technique": Great article on evangelism

John at Confessing Evangelical has posted a great article on evangelism. He begins by discussing current problems in evangelism:

Now, there are two main problems with the way “personal evangelism” gets dealt with by much of evangelicalism. First, guilt-tripping: people are made to feel that, if they are not constantly “sharing their faith” then they are (a) second-rate Christians, and (b) personally responsible for the eventual damnation of their friends and relations. This all tends to cement evangelicalism’s reputation as a religion for extroverts in which more introverted and withdrawn types feel very ill at ease.

Second, what Ranald Macaulay has called “the virus of technique“: “personal evangelism” becomes a matter of finding the right “gospel outline” - Two Ways to Live, say, or the Four Spiritual Laws - and training people to use that outline. (Note: I’m not saying that good quality gospel presentations such as 2WTL don’t have a place, just that building personal evangelism programmes around them can lead to a “technique” mentality, in which the aim is delivering certain content to people rather than genuine communication with them as individuals.)

Then he continues with a biblical model of prayer and service. You can read the whole thing here.

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