Monday, June 02, 2008

Rethinking Evangelism

Evangelism sends shivers down the spines of most Christians (and non-Christians). Usually because they see it as a bad and scary thing.

And that's usually because the average person thinks of the "requirement" to evangelize as something like an Amway sales pitch for Jesus. It's a bad formula that just doesn't work. It goes something like this:
Perfect life + Perfect Jesus-pick-up-line + Perfect sales pitch + Perfect smile = A conversion every time.

Evangelism literally means "good message," and what person in their right mind doesn't want a bit of good news sent their way? So the question is, why is the way it's usually seen come across as such bad news?? And if it's good news, why don't more people respond to it?

As has been famously said: The medium is the message. In other words, people don't hear good news when it's delivered in a bad way. And it seems very much that in trying to deliver good news as a sales pitch, we've become bad news.

These guys are working against that. Trying to re-vision it as something that flows out of life instead of something forced onto people.

From a great article on their website, "The Lost Art of Being Normal":

In the movie, The Big Kahuna, Danny DeVito’s character gives great advice on what I’ve been calling “The Lost Art of Being Normal”:
BlockquoteIf you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are - just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it’s not a conversation anymore; it’s a pitch. And you’re not a human being; you’re a marketing rep."


Juliana said...

Love that billboard! Did Andrea let you put it in your front yard? :-)

Randy Siever said...

Thanks for the plug, Scott! I'll be in Richmond, VA, August 16, doing a Doable Evangelism Seminar at an Assembly of God church there (for their young adult ministry). I'd love to have you come so I could meet you! Come as my guest. One day, nine to four.

Is Richmond anywhere near you?

Randy Siever said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Hi Randy -
Chesterfield is a suburb of Richmond....and I'd love to come and bring some folks from our church. I'd guess that you're going to be at West End Assembly?