Evangelism 2.0, part 2

Yesterday I talked about Evangelism 2.0: Evangelism for the Rest of Us. If you haven’t read that post, I encourage you to back up and read that one first.

Once when I was presenting this information to my church, a friend and member decided to take me up on this and started making friends. But somehow he missed the “redemptive” but got the friendship stuff right. He was a fairly new Christian and began friending this couple. Then one night, he made the decision to invite this new couple out. My friend and his wife took them out for drinking and dancing. Yes, you read that right…. He was so excited about it when he came back…I had to correct him anyway. I reminded him that you can’t redeem someone if you stay where they are. It’s true that Jesus came down to our level, because we couldn’t get up to his. Yet, he didn’t leave us there. He said, “I don’t condemn you, but go and sin no more.” In other words, our friendships have to be redemptive for Evangelism 2.0 to work.

Another time, a friend would go out and get into all kinds of theological arguments with people, seeking to win them, I guess? Now understand this with me. I believe our theological arguments stand the test. I’m not afraid of proving from scripture what my beliefs are. But I tend to leave that for Evangelism 1.0: Reaping Meetings. This friend was trying to get the redemptive part, but missed the “friendship” part. They must go together.

Soon after we were married, my wife was on a Bible study visit with me. The lady we were studying with talked about her aunt who was in heaven and helped her. I just ignored it and moved on. My wife asked me why I didn’t get into the State of the Dead with her. My response was this: “We’ll get there, but this was an emotional feeling she has. If I would have taken her on today, she would have shut us out. We’ll keep studying with her and she’ll come around, because she’ll learn that we are trustworthy and we are friends.

Trustworthy. Friends. Redemptive Friendships. Don’t forget both parts…. Evangelism 2.0: Evangelism for the Rest of Us.

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Evangelism 2.0

I have a friend who coined this term. It was designed to move his church away from evangelism only being an event, and moving it more towards a Christian lifestyle. In other words, evangelism for the rest of us.

It’s a great concept. Roughly 10% or less of any individual congregation has the spiritual gift of evangelism. But God calls every individual Christian to be part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28). How do they do it if they don’t have the public speaking skills of Dwight Nelson, the effective calls of Shawn Boonstra, the big crowds of Mark Finley or the ability to do a backflip like Doug Batchelor?

Enter Evangelism 2.0: Evangelism for the Rest of Us.

This is about building redemptive friendships in the community. Building friendships, relationships, with the hopes of one day sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. This isn’t about being a used car salesman. It’s not about being the one who gets people to bow their knee to the Lord. Rather, this is about being a friend, sharing a testimony, and inviting them to come hear someone who has the actual spiritual gift of evangelism.

What would happen to the evangelism budgets across North America, if the members actually began to invite people? What would happen to the crowds if we really invited them to come hear? What would happen if our relationships were so strong, that once baptized, these members actually mentored their friends in the walk of Christianity also?

WOW!

Right now, we know it takes about $180 to get one person across the front door to listen to an evangelist. It takes about $2,000+ to get a person baptized. What if we really implemented Evangelism 2.0? Those numbers would go way down!

How does it work? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Go on a hike and invite your non-Christian friend to go with you
  2. Invite people over to a barbecue, and say, “You bring what you want grilled and we’ll provide the grills.”
  3. Share a tract
  4. prayer walk your neighborhood and stop and talk to people, introduce yourself
  5. Start a hobby and meet people with that same hobby
  6. Go to the library and meet people who love to read and spend time in a book club
  7. frequent the same gas station and rather than paying outside with your card, go in and learn people’s names at the gas station
  8. Go through the same checkout line in the grocery store – even if it’s longer – just so you can befriend the person running the register.
  9. Learn names – theirs, their kids, their grandkids, their friends, their parents
  10. Invite to dinner at the Olive Garden, Golden Corral, or Applebys.

The point is to be a friend. At some point in time, someone will ask a question about you and church, your spiritual life, a crisis, or something. 1 Peter 3:15 says:

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Pe 3:15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

It will get there. I’ve never seen a friendship that doesn’t get there. It always does. Build redemptive friendships — become friends and pray for an opportunity to share your testimony. This isn’t a time to prove them wrong about what happens at death, the Sabbath, or to argue at all with them. It’s not a time to have all the answers. Share your testimony – what your life was like BEFORE Jesus, how you met him, and your life AFTER meeting Jesus.

Evangelism 2.0: Evangelism for the Rest of Us. (to be continued….)

Take Courage. Do What is Right. The Lord is With You.


Do you ever get involved in one of those discussions online that you are sorry you even bothered to enter? I thought I was so over those things…. I had learned to stay out of those conversations because it wasn’t in the  best interests of anyone. Online discussion is SO misunderstood and we are SO inclined to be sharp-tongued in those online discussions. 

Today, I got involved in one via LinkedIn. It was a discussion about hellfire and eternally burning hell. I just couldn’t let it pass. I was prompted to let it pass. I just coudn’t. This is one area of apologetics I’m pretty passionate about. So, I tentatively entered the discussion. The flaming began, because everyone else was inclined to agree with the original author. I, on the other hand, spoke differently. So the author has attacked, accused, and condemned me to hell.

Oh well, I’m done with the discussion. I knew better anyway. Yet, in my devotional time today, I realized that I can take courage, do what is right and God is with me. I didn’t flame back. I didn’t condemn to hell. Rather, I just tried to ask some questions and let it go. I’m not mad. I entered gracefully. I’m trying to leave gracefully….

I’m encouraged though. God is leading. I’m glad. I have courage. I’m seeking to do what is right.