In a blog post, Carey Niewhof shared 5 Important Ways Evangelism is Shifting in a Post-Christian World. These five shifts are spot-on. This means that many of the practices and traditions are no longer working. So, we need to rethink what evangelism looks like.
Here are four do’s and don’ts to consider with it comes to evangelism.
1. Questions, not Answers
Those who are exploring faith, have questions. Lots of questions. The last thing they want is someone with an authoritative tone shutting down their exploration with an obvious “answer.”
A relationship with Jesus is not formed by a Pop Quiz. Those who are exploring faith, want someone to journey with them. Be open to the questions. Ask your own self-awakening and curious questions. And don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers.
2. Talk, not Lecture
One of the main ways people come to know Jesus is through relationships. One of the ways we can build relationships is by having authentic conversations with people. When you talk about faith, be open about your story, including your struggles and what God has done in your life. People who are exploring are not looking for a lecture, they are looking for a relationship with someone who has explored (and exploring) the
3. Explore, not Deliver
When it comes to evangelism, we are not delivering them to conversion. We are guiding them in exploring a relationship with Jesus Christ. Being open to questions means being willing to explore the mysteries of faith. Being willing to talk with a someone means we are mentoring or becoming spiritual friends. We can leave the converting to God.
4. Humble, not Arrogant
People who are exploring faith are drawn to those whose lives reflect the faith they talk about. Those exploring are not going to seek out arrogant Christians who “have all the answers.” Instead, they are going to be attracted to humble, mature Christians who will dwell in the questions, talk honestly, and explore with them.
The final shift Niewhof points out is that it takes time.
Evangelism takes time.
Discipleship takes time.
Relationships take time.
When we make a commitment to do evangelism, we are making a commitment longer than a Sunday afternoon. It is a commitment to build a relationship with someone else so that they can meet Jesus.
What are other ways to do evangelism in a rapidly changing culture?