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?
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:
- Go on a hike and invite your non-Christian friend to go with you
- Invite people over to a barbecue, and say, “You bring what you want grilled and we’ll provide the grills.”
- Share a tract
- prayer walk your neighborhood and stop and talk to people, introduce yourself
- Start a hobby and meet people with that same hobby
- Go to the library and meet people who love to read and spend time in a book club
- frequent the same gas station and rather than paying outside with your card, go in and learn people’s names at the gas station
- 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.
- Learn names – theirs, their kids, their grandkids, their friends, their parents
- 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….)