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New Wineskins for 21 st Century Wine Evangelism in An Age of Evangelization What is evangelism? 1 st -4 th centuries – personal, individual sharing of a relationship with Jesus Christ 5 th -13 th centuries – virtually unheard of; the spread of faith was political/military

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new wineskins for 21 st century wine

New Wineskins for 21st Century Wine

Evangelism in An Age of Evangelization

the evolution devolution of evangelism

What is evangelism?

    • 1st-4th centuries – personal, individual sharing of a relationship with Jesus Christ
    • 5th-13th centuries – virtually unheard of; the spread of faith was political/military
    • 14th-16th centuries – institutional/empiric – invitation shifted from “Christ” to “Church”
The Evolution (& Devolution) of Evangelism
the evolution devolution of evangelism3

What is evangelism?

    • 17th-19th centuries – factional/theological – shifted from “Church” to “church”
    • 20th century – personal/universal – “do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior?”
      • Church identity shifted from community to individual.
    • 21st century – institutional representation – evangelism = marketing
The Evolution (& Devolution) of Evangelism
challenges to modern day evangelism

Confusion

    • 83% of United Methodists equate evangelism with “inviting people to come to church”
    • 57% of United Methodists have a “strongly negative” or “negative” emotional response to the word “evangelism” (only 12% have negative reactions to the term “faith sharing”
    • Only 4% of UMs remember ever having been taught HOW to share their faith
Challenges to Modern-Day Evangelism
challenges to modern day evangelism7

Ignorance

    • 9% of United Methodists would like training and guidance in sharing their faith with others outside the church.
    • 76% of United Methodists say they don’t think it is their responsibility to share their faith with others – faith is personal and private
Challenges to Modern-Day Evangelism
five facets of modern evangelism

Restrictive Evangelism – Invitation based on a construct of “who belongs/who doesn’t” belief system – strong division between “sacred” & “secular.”

  • Remedial Evangelism – Turn-or-Burn, escape-the-wrath-to-come, do-you-know-where-you’ll-spend-eternity invitation.
  • Revisional Evangelism – Invitation into a narrowly defined, pre-determined relationship with God/Jesus/the Church.
Five Facets of Modern Evangelism
five facets of modern evangelism15

Representational Evangelism – Relying on non-personal messaging – marketing, tracts, billboards, flyers, websites, newsletters, etc. to do our evangelism for us.

  • Relational Evangelism – Interpersonal invitation for mutual sharing and reflection grounded in relationship.
Five Facets of Modern Evangelism
five foci of modern evangelism

Restrictive Evangelism – Who we will allow in (Us)

  • Remedial Evangelism – Who we want to save (Us)
  • Revisional Evangelism – What we want people to know and believe (Us)
  • Representational Evangelism – How we can get people to join us (Us)
  • Relational Evangelism – Who we care enough about to introduce to God/Jesus
Five Foci of Modern Evangelism
three types of modern evangelism

Invasive Evangelism – Dualistic (“churched/unchurched,” “saints/sinners,” sacred/secular, “us/them”)

  • Evasive Evangelism – Indirect/come to us (about programs, services, events, having needs met, coming “to church.”
  • Pervasive Evangelism – Direct and personal (journey in community, walking together, interactive, developmental)
Three Types of Modern Evangelism
the future of evangelism
Alpha

Omega

  • Personal & relational
  • Incarnational
  • People trained, equipped, supported
  • Focus: building the body of Christ for the transformation of the world
  • Impersonal & uni-directional
  • Institutional
  • People left to own devices
  • Focus: expanding the scope and reach of the church for the transformation of the world.
The Future of Evangelism
six wants of spiritual seekers
We want conversation, not a lecture

We want questions, not answers

We want safety and respect, not disapproval

We want stories, not “Four Spiritual Laws

We want welcome and patience, not pressure and deadlines

We want guidelines, not rules

Six Wants of Spiritual Seekers
where do we start

Focus on Faith Sharing rather than Evangelism

  • Teach people the art of conversation
  • Help people learn to tell their own story
  • Talk about talking about the faith
  • Build faith sharing into group processes
    • “Where have you experienced the grace of God in your life this week?”
    • “Where have you extended God’s grace to others this week?”
    • “And how is it with your soul?”
Where Do We Start?