Last night, we started our 14th evangelistic series in 7 years. This is probably my 40th+ in my years of ministry. We’ve been able to see a number of really good things happen because of evangelism, not the least of which has been over 1,000 baptisms.
Some people think evangelism is dead and doesn’t work anymore. I don’t agree. This post is a simple answer why I think that. I call this reasoning Evangelism Intelligence.
People travel through life with a variety of circumstances, issues and experiences. But when it comes to making decisions for their life, they tend to follow this four-fold path to decision making.
CHAOS –> STRUCTURE –> PRINCIPLES — LIFESTYLE
We tend to make decisions to move us from Chaos based on a structure that helps us see our way out of chaos. From there, we begin to live according to the structure and begin to understand life principles that we slowly move into to make decisions by. Then after years of principled living, we find we just naturally make those decisions because those principles have simply become part of us and we no longer think about them anymore.
People who have been in church for 7 years or longer tend to live by the principled approach. They no longer need the structure that provided them an entry point into church – evangelism. People who live in chaos, are generally the ones who come to our evangelistic meetings. They want to understand the Bible more. They want to know what truth is. They want to listen, learn and be led. They are looking for a basic understanding of truth – a structure – to get them out of some of the chaos they might live in. (This does not mean their lives are in chaos, but possibly their theology, their understanding of life, or simply looking for a more structured approach to seeing life)
Our evangelism provides structure. Our evangelism gives a way out of theology chaos, life chaos, marital chaos, and all kinds of life chaos. People who live in principles or even in lifestyle tend to look back on the structure and want everyone to be like them. But we are all at different stages of life. People need structure. Then they can move into principles. (More on this later) People who live in the principles or the lifestyle don’t like our evangelism, nor the advertising for it. I say, “That’s fine, it’s not targeted at you. It’s targeted at people who need and want the structure it provides. Eventually those people will get there after a few years too. Have patience with them.”