Outreach in Today’s Culture

Evangelism and Outreach in Today’s America

As a young person, Christian apologetics held a strong appeal for me. I thought “having all the answers” would enable me to beat my non-believing friends into a relationship with Jesus. As a youth pastor, I’d often take young people on evangelistic training missions. Armed with scripture booklets and arguments, we’d randomly accost strangers with …

Why Christian Apologetics Matter Read More »

I think you and I have a problem with Jesus and new wine. At least, I do. I’ve heard (and preached) dozens of sermons about the new wine of the Spirit, always ending in a call for revival. But a revival of what? Our old wineskin? Too often the cry for revival is a plea …

A Problem of Wineskins Read More »

This is the unhappy story of unchurched Harry and Mary. Harry and Mary came into our lives as a useful metaphor for those we would seek to evangelize. Useful for a while, that is. The law of unintended consequences jumped in and made a mess of things. Churched vs unchurched eventually supplanted actual talking to …

Unchurched Harry & Mary, a Sad Saga Read More »

Inviting someone to church is not evangelism. Bringing them into a friendship with Christ is. The Bible describes our task as reconciling others to Christ. The suggestion is that of a broken friendship renewed. It’s less about conversion and more about a growing friendship. Since most people believe in God as children, even adults who …

God Talk in Everyday Conversation Read More »

I know it sounds corny, but it’s accurate. What I call “friendship evangelism” has always worked. Annual polling of our congregation consistently revealed 85+ percent came to Jesus through conversations with a friend. The Art of Neighboring I recently found new evidence of this after reading, The Art of Neighboring. It is a guidebook for …

Friendship Evangelism in a Post-Christian Era Read More »

I recently picked up a book with evangelistic intent, but soon lost interest. The author kicked off with a funny story then launched into a host of heart-warming spiritual experiences and a couple of instances of answered prayer. So far, so good. Then came the evangelistic blast. The book grew preachy and I tossed it …

Evangelism: Follow me as I follow Christ Read More »

The first Sunday in the new year was a disappointment. The world is in trouble with the announcement of two new strains of COVID-19 in the last week. One of these may emerge as COVID-21 if it doesn’t respond to a vaccine. Meanwhile the church seems asleep on mission. I spent most of Sunday listening …

A Sunday Bummer: Online Preachers Miss the Point Read More »