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Introduction

Evangelism has become a dirty word. So dirty that some Christians dare not speak of the “e-word.”

Too often when we think of evangelism, we concur up images of standing on the street corner handing out tracts, street preaching, yelling at passer-bys, or aggressively converting people to our way of being Christian. Personal space and experiences are not typically respected. Unfortunately, these kinds of things do not always represent the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Yet, at the same time, mainline churches have been in a state of decline. We look out at the empty pews and wonder, “How will we fill these pews?” We know we should invite people to church. We know we should be engaging our community. We know we should be doing more. But what? How?

The following video presents a few ways not to.

Watch

Reflect

  1. Would you describe the evangelism techniques used in this video as positive or negative?
  2. Thinking about the techniques used, would they work to attract you to church? Why or why not?
  3. If you are new to the church, what brought you to the church? Why do you stay?
  4. When was the last time you invited someone to come to church with you?
  5. Read Matthew 28:16-20. What does Jesus commission the disciples to do?
  6. Why does Jesus give this command?
  7. How do you (or your church) make disciples?
  8. What role does evangelism play in making disciples?
  9. What are more positive ways to share Jesus with others?

Ponder

In their book, Get Their Name, Bob Farr, Doug Anderson, and Kay Kotan write about two mission fields. The first is strengthening the connection of people within the faith community in their love of one another and their love for God. The second mission field is taking God’s love outside the church walls to people they do not know and/or who do not know about God’s love.

To do both requires a balancing act.

And it is an act grounded in love. Love for God, love those in the church, and love for those outside the church.  And God loves all of us.

Because God is love, we love others. Both those in the church and those who are not in the church. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to share God’s love with others. This is how we make disciples for the transformation of the world. This is why we do church and why we share our faith with others.

And as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an abundant people. We are abundant in gifts such as money, talent, and time. But we are also abundant in the life-changing love and grace offered to us by Christ. Why would we keep this to ourselves?

And there are better ways to share our faith and enthusiasm with others than those shown in the video.  One of the main ways that people come to know the good news is through other people. People just like you and me. Through building relationships with those in the church and outside the church, we are able to share our faith.

Pray

Lord, God, you have called us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. May your Holy Spirit guide us to share your good news with others in ways that are positive, hospitable, and loving. Amen.

Engage

As a group, brainstorm what your group or church could do to reach out to new people in positive ways. As the group works, encourage them to consider how being relational brings people to a stronger relationship with Jesus.