“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19.
Welcome to the Soulwinnersr.us website. I’m going back to the Evangelism Question series to address some evangelism questions we might have. I want to qualify that I’m not an evangelism expert, and you and I may fluctuate and differ in our opinions related to evangelism methods.
I want to propose, however, developing a plan, or plans of action for evangelism that are the most effective. The title of my second Evangelism Question post is “Evangelism Question 2: Establishing and Adopting Evangelism Best Practice?”. "Best Practice” is a term we used in my seemingly long ago 29-year career in mental health. Merriam Webster defines it as the following:
“‘Best Practice’ is a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption.”In other words, for me working in mental health Supported Employment, my higher ups, which was the Ohio Department of Mental Health, established and adopted Supported Employment Best Practice procedures, which were tested and approved throughout Ohio and the United States as the best way to help people with mental health problems get and keep jobs. I had to trust that they knew best, and I tried my best to follow the outlined Supported Employment Best Practice procedures.
More recently in sports we hear of analytics being used in making a vast variety of decisions. Analytic specialists are hired to analyze every aspect and procedure used in every corner of building the sports team, including hiring staff, and acquiring and training athletes. It’s thought that to put the best product on the field, it’s beneficial to go about it in a very systematic way. Sports teams usually have millions of dollars at stake, and most have concluded that analytics is a way to get the most bang for their buck.
You might tell me, “Arlen, evangelism can’t be treated the same way as a sports team, a mental health center,
or a business." "Where, Arlen, is the Holy Spirit in all this?” I’m not advocating throwing out the Holy Spirit in establishing Evangelism Best Practice. And I’m not advocating using analytics as churches did in the recent past to make them more seeker sensitive. Jesus, after all, didn’t instruct the church to be seeker sensitive to make them as comfortable and non-offensive as possible. He in fact said that many people WOULD be offended and uncomfortable when presented with the Gospel message. But in Matthew 28:19 Jesus DID instruct the church to “make disciples of all nations”! And I think we should use every tool at our disposal to make disciples.
Is it only me, or do some of the rest of you feel the church does things haphazardly under the guise of following the Holy Spirit? Or perhaps because it’s steeped in traditions that are not easily replaced?
I’ll give you one example. Why is it that when we get past school and college, and away from our jobs, that being a part of a team in a church to “make disciples” is mostly ignored? We go to church, listen to an encouraging sermon about the wonderful blessings we have in Christ . . . which is true . . . but we’re usually never encouraged and trained to take the gospel into the world in which we live? For the most part we leave our church buildings or gatherings uninspired to go out and make a difference in the lives of people!
I don’t have enough influence in church institutions to personally make them change their approach. But I want to be part of a movement, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to start the church to thinking about Establishing and Adopting Evangelism Best Practice.
See you next time,