Presentation on theme: "New Wineskins for 21 st Century Wine Evangelism in An Age of Evangelization."— Presentation transcript:
New Wineskins for 21 st Century Wine Evangelism in An Age of Evangelization
The Evolution (& Devolution) of Evangelism What is evangelism? ◦1 st -4 th centuries – personal, individual sharing of a relationship with Jesus Christ ◦5 th -13 th centuries – virtually unheard of; the spread of faith was political/military ◦14 th -16 th centuries – institutional/empiric – invitation shifted from “Christ” to “Church”
The Evolution (& Devolution) of Evangelism What is evangelism? ◦17 th -19 th centuries – factional/theological – shifted from “Church” to “church” ◦20 th century – personal/universal – “do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior?” Church identity shifted from community to individual. ◦21 st century – institutional representation – evangelism = marketing
United Methodist Approaches to Faith Sharing & Evangelism
United Methodist Obstacles to Faith Sharing & Evangelism
Challenges to Modern-Day Evangelism Confusion ◦83% of United Methodists equate evangelism with “inviting people to come to church” ◦57% of United Methodists have a “strongly negative” or “negative” emotional response to the word “evangelism” (only 12% have negative reactions to the term “faith sharing” ◦Only 4% of UMs remember ever having been taught HOW to share their faith
Challenges to Modern-Day Evangelism Ignorance ◦9% of United Methodists would like training and guidance in sharing their faith with others outside the church. ◦76% of United Methodists say they don’t think it is their responsibility to share their faith with others – faith is personal and private
Five Facets of Modern Evangelism Restrictive Evangelism – Invitation based on a construct of “who belongs/who doesn’t” belief system – strong division between “sacred” & “secular.” Remedial Evangelism – Turn-or-Burn, escape-the-wrath-to-come, do-you-know- where-you’ll-spend-eternity invitation. Revisional Evangelism – Invitation into a narrowly defined, pre-determined relationship with God/Jesus/the Church.
Five Facets of Modern Evangelism Representational Evangelism – Relying on non-personal messaging – marketing, tracts, billboards, flyers, websites, newsletters, etc. to do our evangelism for us. Relational Evangelism – Interpersonal invitation for mutual sharing and reflection grounded in relationship.
Five Foci of Modern Evangelism Restrictive Evangelism – Who we will allow in (Us) Remedial Evangelism – Who we want to save (Us) Revisional Evangelism – What we want people to know and believe (Us) Representational Evangelism – How we can get people to join us (Us) Relational Evangelism – Who we care enough about to introduce to God/Jesus
Three Types of Modern Evangelism Invasive Evangelism – Dualistic (“churched/unchurched,” “saints/sinners,” sacred/secular, “us/them”) Evasive Evangelism – Indirect/come to us (about programs, services, events, having needs met, coming “to church.” Pervasive Evangelism – Direct and personal (journey in community, walking together, interactive, developmental)
The Future of Evangelism AlphaOmega Personal & relational Incarnational People trained, equipped, supported Focus: building the body of Christ for the transformation of the world Impersonal & uni- directional Institutional People left to own devices Focus: expanding the scope and reach of the church for the transformation of the world.
Six Wants of Spiritual Seekers We want conversation, not a lecture We want questions, not answers We want safety and respect, not disapproval We want stories, not “Four Spiritual Laws We want welcome and patience, not pressure and deadlines We want guidelines, not rules
Where Do We Start? Focus on Faith Sharing rather than Evangelism Teach people the art of conversation Help people learn to tell their own story Talk about talking about the faith Build faith sharing into group processes ◦“Where have you experienced the grace of God in your life this week?” ◦“Where have you extended God’s grace to others this week?” ◦“And how is it with your soul?”