This week I attended an excellent training series on Christ-centered evangelism, by Ed Lacy. Many of the thoughts I'll share here come from him.
First, What Evangelism Isn't.
If we look at examples of evangelism in the gospels and in the Book of Acts, and then compare them with American evangelical churches, we'll learn some things.
1. Evangelism isn't just reaching out. One local church is hosting a "block party" in our neighborhood's park tomorrow afternoon.
It's an outreach event, but if the event has a spiritual purpose, you wouldn't know it from the ad.
2. Evangelism isn't just fun and games. Here's another local church ad.
What do plastic eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?
3. Evangelism isn't making people feel good about themselves or about God or about the church. Such church slogans as "You'll feel right at home" or "We believe in you" are not part of the gospel. Saying "Every bunny loves you" at Easter won't save people from their sins.
4. Evangelism isn't just getting people to follow my church's formula. It's not a matter of getting them to "say a sinner's prayer" or getting them to walk to the front of a meeting or praying over them or getting them to join the church or giving them a so-called "spiritual birth certificate." None of those things exist in the Bible. None of them are essential to the good news of Jesus.
(To be continued...)