(See part 1 - Motivations for Evangelism)
II. The Methods of Evangelizing
"Evangelism" (1828) -To instruct in the gospel; to preach the gospel to, and convert to a belief of the gospel; as, to evangelize heathen nations; to evangelize the world.
There are many ways in which we attempt to evangelize the world. Some ways are more confrontational than others. In the following list of methods, we are going to try to start with some of the least confrontational methods and work our way up to the "more advanced" forms of evangelism. If we are going to effectively reach the lost, we should probably be doing a combination of these:
A. Lifestyle Evangelism - In the process of everyday life, our testimony sometimes opens doors to be able to give the Gospel message (explained more in the next lesson, "The Message of Evangelism")
a. Others (family, classmates, co-workers, neighbors...) see us living godly and are attracted to it.
b. Inviting others to a service at our church where preaching the Gospel is involved
c. Building relationships with people in an attempt to witness to them later.
d. Wearing clothing that promotes questions (message on T-shirt, button/pin, wrist band...even peculiarly "modest" clothing)
a. Biblical examples:
1). Wife reaching her husband (1 Pet. 3:1-5)
2). Man that was blind (John 9:8-10)
3). Inviting others to "come and see" (John 1:45,46)
b. Christians should be living for Christ anyway, so this should be the easiest method and a minimum of our evangelizing methods.
a. It can become an excuse not to properly confront people.
b. As a result of this, it often doesn't go far enough and is not effective.
c. Christians often don't "shine" in the world as they should.
B. Broadcasting (Radio, TV, internet, phone...)
a. Though this technology wasn't necessarily available in Bible days, we can make a pretty good guess that if Paul were here today he would use every means necessary to reach the lost with the Gospel.
1). Paul said he had become "All things to all men" (1 Cor. 9:19-22).
2). Paul's approach to evangelism in Athens (Acts 17:16,17)
b. Power of numbers (the more you contact, the more chances of successfully reaching someone with the gospel).
c. Broadcasting can reach many people (all over the world) that you wouldn't otherwise have opportunity to reach.
d. We live in an age where broadcasting doesn't have to be expensive (could cost next to nothing)
1) Social media is free.
2) Video and sound editors are free.
3) Fairly good quality videos can be made from our phones (that we already have and use anyway).
a. This could be expensive.
b. There are obviously dangers associated with the use of modern technology.
1) It can easily become a time-waster and be counterproductive
2) It can encourage you, and those to whom you are witnessing, to take in ungodly things.
c. This could become an excuse to be lazy and non-confrontational.
d. We cannot really connect with people in the same way that we can face to face.
C. Tract/Flyer distribution ("blitzing")
a. People do read gospel tracts and get saved!
b. This is a very easy way to get the Gospel to a lot of people
c. In the process of passing out the literature you often meet people who will talk to you about what you are doing.
d. This could lead to "personal evangelism" which will be discussed more in detail later.
a. There is a minimal cost involved which could hinder mass production of good quality material.
b. Although people do get saved reading tracts, the percentage is very low.
c. Much of the material ends up blowing into the yard and becomes unsightly litter.
d. This could become another excuse not to be confrontational in our approach.
D. Public Preaching
a. Church "revivals."
b. Evangelism "Crusades."
c. Street preachers
a. Usually involves effective preachers who can connect well with people.
b. Unsaved people who have come are more likely willing to hear what the preacher has to say.
c. Prospects are usually recorded and follow-up visits can be made.
a. Many feel out of place in a "church setting."
b. Many don't know how to respond properly to the message.
c. An alter call can be a hindrance to introverted people and a false security for extroverts.
E. Public Speaking/Debate (Not to be confused with public preaching, this is more like a trial or a hearing in which one attempts to prove their faith before a particular audience and where someone else may then have an opportunity to make some opposing arguments).
a. Paul at Areopagus (Mars' Hill) (Acts 17).
b. Paul before Felix, Festus, Agrippa... (Acts 23- 26).
c. 1 Peter 3:15.
1) Sanctify the word in your heart.
2) Be ready (not necessarily to have the particulars of your presentation planned out, but to know the facts and the issues before being asked of them).
3) Give an answer (regarding the hope that is in you).
d. Present day examples: Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Lane...
a. People are not typically there out of obligation, but there to hear what the speakers have to say.
b. Speakers have opportunity to clearly present their position.
a. Everything the speaker says will be criticized publicly by someone else who has an opposing view.
b. People typically have their minds made up regarding which position they favor.
c. Although your position might be considered by some of your audience, most people will not change their position, but will simply learn how to better debate their position.
F. Personal Evangelism
a. Jesus and the woman at the well.
b. Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch.
c. Paul and Silas and the Philippian Jailer (we'll talk about the power of evangelizing "partners" later).
a. Many other methods will lead to this method eventually.
b. The "one-on-one" approach is usually the most effective method of evangelizing people.
c. We can be more assured that the person being evangelized understands what we are saying.
d. If they don't understand, we can usually answer questions or clarify ourselves.
e. We can personally witness conversions and get information for future discipleship (we'll cover discipleship later in the series).
a. Many are turned off by a "high-pressured sales approach."
b. We physically see more rejection than most methods.
c. More knowledge of the Bible and doctrine are required.
d. Takes more physical effort to reach people "one by one."
Feel free to add some methods you can think of or comment about any of these. Lord bless, and may your passion for ministry grow as you addict yourself to it. 1 Corinthians 16:15
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