RETHINK the ACT of Evangelism
Think of a line, scale of 1 to 10. The person of yesterday in the 1950s, they would have had a positive view of Christianity and a sense of guilt or conviction when they broke the tenets of the faith. Based on that context, unchurched people who were at 7 or 8 on the scale already worked easily because they were nearly there already. Just a tract or a talk again. AN EVENT.
Now; the contemporary unChristian might be on what – a 3? So how do we talk to them. We need PROCESS and Event. Pay attention to the process that helps them progress to a 5, to get them forward.
CS Lewis said the gospel was first of all to people who were conscious of sin, and aware of the supernatural. But ‘I sometimes wonder other we shall have to reconvert people to real paganism’, before converting them to Christ.
Move To Explanation
We have moved from Acts 2 (When Peter told them – who were God fearing Jews, monotheists and had the law all about what they knew… then… Jesus was the Messiah.. so repent). 3000 responded.
To Acts 17, the multi-marketplace pluralistic of ideas. So he stepped into that culture, found a touchstone. An altar to an unknown god.
What if I could tell you that God’s name?
He went back to creation. Then took them on a journey, that led to Christ.
We are so used to talk to the already convinced it stops us connecting to those who don’t have an idea what we are talking about.
They did an experiment on tapping songs and having people guess. The tappers heard the song in their heads while they tapped. The tappers thought they would be guessing it one out of two times. It was one on 40.
This is “The curse of knowledge.” Once we know something, we forget what it is not to know it.
Have we forgot what it is to not know it?
They are normal, we are weird.
Assume no knowledge whatsoever. “This is from the biography of Jesus written by John.. there were 4 of them, John said he was Jesus’ best friend.”
Ask and attempt to answer the Question(s) they are actually asking.
We say ‘Here’s Proof Jesus rose from the dead.”
That’s great – just not a starting place.
Ask WHAT. Or ‘SO WHAT if Jesus rose from the dead…”
Not ‘Here’s proof God exists’ – ask, “What if God exists?” What kind of God is he?
They are asking ‘WHAT is up with what you people believe?!” Eg “Why would you think God would send anyone to hell?” Or not be up for gay marriage?
These questions in their mind already have people God is just some nasty uncaring rule making God. They think “If I was God, I could do better! I would stop war, poverty, famine, mental illness, sadness, cancer, slavery, hell.” And if they look at the Bible they read about a God demanding sacrifice, ‘A moral monster’ said Dawkins. What’s up with that?!
Do we attempt to answer such questions? What fascinates them? Astronomy. Astro Physics. People are still trying to figure out the universe! Brush up on this stuff. It’s not about science, it’s about awe and wonder.
Use the Right Voice.
You can speak using either… the Prophetic voice – admonish
The Heretical – Distort the content to present to culture.
The Evangelistic. Build a bridge. Make a case. Call people to Christ. Come and see.
Don’t use prophet without evangelist – no grace
Don’t use evangelist with heretical, you can’t capitulate and transform at the same time.
Instead = TRUTH and GRACE. prophetic and evangelistic = authentic. Jesus spoke with the woman and the well with grace, but then brought her truth. Same with the woman about to be stoned.
Such people then wanted other friends to come and meet him too!!