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Does evangelism still function as part of your church today and what does it look like?

 

When I was in my first Evangelical church (after leaving the RCC) Evangelism was a major part of outreach (and I mean by that door to door, walking the neighborhoods).   When we moved to the next city the church we joined had a problem.  The churches leadership wanted to do it (evangelism)but the people didn't.   For most, the door to door approach was outdated.  For me, I didn't care I just wanted to meet people and share the gospel. But because of the tension between the ones that wanted to and the ones that didn't want to, nothing got done.

I went out by myself for a while and just talked with people and if the opportunity presented itself I would share the gospel with them.  

I look around now and see what others are doing  and it seems no one does evangelism anymore.  Now,  I realize that is a blanket statement and I can't say for certain that it's totally true but I don't see it on the area churches websites and the only ones that knock on my door periodically are the, well, uh......lets skip that.

I see alot of outreaches like plays and dinners and guest speakers at area churches and for many it has taken the place of the way we use to do evangelism.   

Now, before someone says, "What's wrong with that?" I want to add that this is just one person's oberservation.  I'll agree that it may not be for this generation and even downright dangerous in some instances but what, if anything, do we do?

Is evangelism dead, has christmas plays, trunk or treats and guest speakers taken its place?

I'd like to hear what's going on in other parts of the U.S.

 

 

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I have formed a general opinion, based upon what I've been observing, over the last 47 years. Nowadays, churches expect the pastors to do all the evangelizing. Pastor, will you go to the hospital and witness to my neighbor's second cousin's widow's son? I doubt that most evangelical Christians know how to present the Gospel, have not been trained how to do so, and fear has prevented them from attempting to share the gospel. Their personal out-reach does not go beyond inviting others to their church services and programs.
On the other hand, I've known believers, who will head for any park bench, where a stranger is sitting, and attempt to share the gospel. And witnesses to the nurses who come to their home weekly, to minister to their medical needs. They witness to their Doctors and lab technicians, and anyone else that will listen. Its amazing how many people have interest and questions about the Gospel and Jesus Christ, if we would only look for the opportunities. Of course, we will not do so, unless we are prepared and confident that we can make a reasonable presentation, and answer sometime difficult questions. But, where will they get this training and experience? It should be in their local church. But are their churches offering such training?
There are ministry sites on internet where you can find free training for witnessing and Apologetics. A big word that means how to be ready to gave an answer to those who ask the reason, or basis for our faith, including an understanding the mind-set of the post-Christian populace. I especially appreciate the site and magazine: Answersingenesis.org. I'm not affiliated with them, but I use their materials and find them extremely helpful in building our confidence and ability to witness for our savior, as He commanded. We cannot hire someone else to serve the Lord, in our place.
In my church there are things members do that I'd call evangelization, such as prison ministry, and ministry to the homeless. There are members I have heard of inviting others to Christ. The pastor uses the service to offer the congregation an opportunity to come forward to accept Christ. This seems strange in a liturgical service but he does.
I am personally weak in this area so I'll be looking into Jack's suggestion for info on witnessing / apologetics.
If you equate evangelism with the door-to-door approach, I think it died along with the old church bus ministries. But I don't put all the blame on the church for that. Times change and methods change. In our post-modern world, peddling Jesus is ranked right up there with peddling encyclopedias and is prohibited in many areas. It is seen as a type of solicitation. I think now the approach is more of one where you entice "them" to come to you by offering things they might find useful or interesting. Jack has a good point as well. Today, most folks think that is what they are paying the church staff for. Most folks limit their Christian activity to going to church or arguing on the internet. Going out and "bidding them come" is something that others do or is only done for special events.

Daniel

To be brutally honest, I have a fear of sharing the Gospel with... are you ready for this... wait for it... Americans. Why? Because I am constantly surrounded by and inundated with Americans who not only don't have a relationship with Christ, but are absolutely bitter towards Him and His followers. Most people outside of my Christian network of friends and family, are extremely liberal in their views about life and generally speak very negatively about Christ, the Bible, and Christians in general. In some cases they are outright hostile. In most part, the people I encounter in life don't really have any interest in things of a spiritual nature or have a bitter taste in their mouth about church or Christians.

But wait! There's more!

The funny thing is, I do not have a problem with sharing Christ with people from foreign countries. Numerous times I have shared the Gospel with those who have immigrated to America and to those countries where I have served on missions trips. Why? I have found that most people from other countries other than America value faith and religion. And in most cases, these same people would love to sit hours with you to talk more about it. I have found that while Americans are not interested in church, most other people are. Where most Americans are too wrapped up in their own lives, most other people value family, neighbor, and community. And while I find most Americans too busy, other people make plenty of time to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you and talk about things of a spiritual nature.

All of this doesn't prevent me from sharing the Gospel with Americans, and if the opportunity presents itself I engage in conversations about Christ. I quite often hand out tracts to people I come into contact with people each day, but rarely have long conversations with them. Our church is a missions-minded, outreach-focused church, and we serve in our local communities in both evangelism efforts and service type ministries (i.e. ESL, rebuild homes, etc.) But, more often than not, these are lower income communities where almost always they consist of people from other countries (namely India and Mexico). And almost always, they are very receptive to the Gospel.

I believe God is currently putting America through the fire, He is humbling us, and I believe sometime soon most Americans will be on their knees begging for God's mercy and His grace as America endures something big... I don't know what... but something BIG!
I am not much for the door to door approach. Evangelism can happen many different ways. My church does a not of community things. For example, our town had a festival the weekend before July 4th. It was a great time with bands, fireworks and booths that Non profits could set up for fund raising. Well with the current economy, the city canceled last year. Our church stepped up, went to the city and asked if we could put on the festival. Pretty much did it the same way although we provided all the workers. The people got their fireworks and we got a chance to stand up in front of everyone there and provide a chance to hear the gospel.

Things went so well last year, the city came to us and asked us to do it again this year.

We also encourage the men in our church to coach youth sports. Although we are not allowed to actively evangelize to the kids, we stand out there as examples of for the kids.
A friend of mine would invite people to come over and help him wash the boat, he had a nice boat. Then he'd take then to the lake - you wash the boat by running it over the water. While there he became the fisher of men. His line was "come and see"; It worked often.

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