Types of Evangelism

Posted: 01/26/2010 in Liquid
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In Liquid, we’ve been looking at the life of Christ and discovering the relevance to the lives of our middle schoolers. So often, we view his life as something so distant, but it is really very tangible and available and relevant. Last week, we dove into the topic of evangelism and we different methods that people use to spread forth the “good news”. We found 7 different modes of evangelism using the 3 tools that God provided for us to spread his message.

The Three Tools:
Your Lips – (Luke 4:14-22; John 8:12-25) We don’t mean this in a makey-outy sort of way, like dating evangelism… but rather God did give us the ability of speech to communicate the Gospel to either rebuke sin or tell the story of salvation.
Your Life – (Matthew 4:1-11; Matthew 27:54) You are a light to the world and your life shines bright of the witness of God’s power for change.
Your Love – (John 13:1-17) If God is love, how else can we reveal Him but to show love ourselves? They will know we are Christians by our love.
The 7 Modes:
Street Corner Evangelism: This method only capitalizes on the lips as a tool God has given us. Vocal proclamation is the only resource, and you can often find these evangelists with bull-horns or passing out tracts.
Moral Compass Evangelism: This method only capitalizes on the life as a tool God has given us. If others merely see our lives and how we live morally differently from the rest of the world, then maybe they will be curious enough to desire change. This method is often used as a backlash for fear of becoming the Street Corner Evangelist.
Hippie Evangelism: This method only capitalizes on the love as a tool God has given us. Free love is the full message. God lavished his love freely on us, so we ought to do the same. Morality and truth are unnecessary as long as love is the end result.
Testimonial Evangelism: This method uses both your lips and your life. This is essentially how your story connects with God’s story. You share how you used to be, how God interceded, and how your life has changed since then.
Servant Evangelism: This method uses both your life and your love. In service, you care for the “least of these” and recognize them as the very presence of Jesus in your life. By becoming a servant like Christ (Philippians 2), you reveal the presence of the Kingdom of God in a real and physical way.
Counseling Evangelism: This method uses both your love and your lips. While counseling, you offer sound advice and comfort to those who are mourning or in need of some sort of discernment. By being present in one’s life, you invest in people on an emotional and spiritual level, which provides the “good news” in a time when it is needed most.
Discipleship Evangelism: This method combines your lips, your life, and your love in a way that strips away techniques and reveals that evangelism is a sacrifice of life itself. Evangelism becomes less something that you do and it becomes integrated into your life so that it becomes all you do. In discipleship evangelism, you walk alongside another in all aspects of life and reveal the Kingdom in each aspect of your life. Though Christ definitely revealed his ministry in the previous 6 modes, they were all manifested and actualized under the umbrella of discipleship, where Jesus took 12 young men and invested in them to the point that they could radically change the world.
All fellow believers have been given the gifts of our lips, life and love to move in powerful ways for the Kingdom. This isn’t something left for the professionals. It’s a call for us all.
I would say that none of these methods are necessarily invalid. Though I do believe some of these can be rather abrasive and often create more harm than good, I have seen the Spirit move in each of these methods to bring people to Christ. With that being said, however, I believe it is especially important to once again look to the life of Christ as our example evangelist.
We have good news. We have been brought from death to life, and we have a mission of healing and redemption to this world. What a beautiful task.
> shalom
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