Stop With The Evangelism Already
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “evangelism”?
Is it Billy Graham? A street preacher with a bullhorn? An unwanted intruder knocking on your door on Saturday morning?
If you were to look at synonyms for “evangelism” you see words like “propaganda, proselytism, or crusade.” Not words that we would normally associate with something positive.
There’s been some interesting research done on this topic by Barna Research Group. They found that almost all practicing Christians believe that part of their faith means being a witness about Jesus (ranging from 95% to 97% among all generational groups). The same percentage also agree that “the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to know Jesus.” Not only that, but the younger the generation, the better equipped they feel to share their faith (73% of Millennials say that compared to 59% of Boomers).This all seems pretty exciting until you read the next entry to the study which says that “almost half of Millennials (47%) agree at least somewhat that it is WRONG to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith (or no faith) in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.”
To quote our friend, Heather Carl, from the Made for Monday’s Podcast, “What the WWHHHHAAAAAAATTTT???” We universally believe it’s important to share our faith (which is good, because Jesus told us to do that in Matthew 28:18-20), we feel equipped to share our faith, and we think the best thing to ever happen to someone would be to come to faith in Jesus, but we feel it’s WRONG to share our faith?
This Sunday is Big Day at Believers. We are encouraging EVERYONE to invite someone to sit with them this week for the start of our new teaching series on healthy relationship principles called re|engage. I know that you know people who are struggling in their relationships, and they need to hear the content that is being taught in this series, but they won’t wander into Believers this Sunday, they need to be INVITED to attend…AND…they need to be invited by YOU!
Don’t think of it as evangelism. Think of it as offering help to a friend. If you saw a friend stranded on the side of the road, you would stop to see how you could help. I’m not sure who originally said this, I’ve seen it credited to Martin Luther, D.L. Moody, and T.D. Jakes, but evangelism is simply “One beggar telling another beggar where to find Bread.”
In inviting someone to attend church with you, you are not saying you are better than them, smarter than them, or morally superior to them. You are simply saying, “I know life can be hard. It’s hard for me too. I have found something, Someone who has helped me. I would love to point you toward the Person who has done so much for me, in hopes that you will also find help. That someone is Jesus. He is the source of life. He is the giver of grace. He is the one who can help ANYONE who turns in His direction.”
So, stop with the evangelism, already. Just help others. Come alongside someone and extend to them an invitation that could change everything for them.
Know that I’m praying for you and cheering you on. Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday!
PS – Reply to this email and let me know who you are inviting. I will pray for them! Also, if you are interested in the data I shared on evangelism from the Barna Study, you can find it here.