Ever wonder what evangelism victims are thinking as you drone on about sin and hell? By Jeremy Myers 22 Comments A while back I wrote about how confrontational evangelism turns way more people away from Jesus than toward Him. Below is a Facebook account of exactly what I was talking about. Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Comments Want to learn more about Scripture and Theology? When you choose to receive my blog posts by email below, you will also receive my future eBooks for FREE.As a bonus, you will immediately get access to one of my most popular eBooks: The Skeleton Church. Enter your email address below to get started. Comments Justin Wiles says July 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm I find it interesting that there’s always such a strong reaction in online comments whenever something dealing with Christianity is brought up. Maybe lot of people see it as an opportunity to vent about their experiences with Christians. I agree though, I have never seen confrontational evangelism work. Groups would come on campus and set up in a busy area and all they really got was people making fun of them or yelling back. I don’t even think you have to be confrontational to tell the truth about sin and Hell to be honest. Dr. Jack Hyles did a sermon called “Why Hell?” where he compared Hell to a trap he once set up to catch a giant rat. While his intention was to catch the rat his dog Pookie got caught instead. He then talked about how concerned he was about getting the dog free. Isn’t this how we should share the truth of God’s word with others? It’s true that Hell was made for Satan and his angels and we humans, like Pookie, got caught in the trap due to our rebellion, but the emphasis is all about how God loved us and wanted to set us free and what he did to save us! That’s how I would present it. Reply Jeremy Myers says July 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm I have seen those campus evangelism groups as well. All that was accomplished, it seemed, was to make a lot of people mad. I like that analogy with the rat and the dog! Thanks. Reply jonathon says July 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBXnxkJysr4 Street preachers seem to come in two flavors: * The person that interrupts pedestrians, haranguing them about something. These are forgotten the day they fail to show up at their street corner; * Pedestrians that interrupt the street preacher, thanking him/her for prayers, and other deeds done by the street preacher. These are memorialized by civic and government institutions; In between, are those churches who make a presence at street fairs, and similar events. They converse with those that stop to talk. One church gives everybody that passes their booth a sixteen ounce bottle of water. One year, a church gave everybody a CD with a dramatized Bible in MP3 format on it. (Everybody in the congregation participated in the production of the CD. Voice acting, audio engineering, scheduling recording sessions, CD production, etc.) In “Confrontational Evangelism”, such as that described in the FaceBook extract, the individual has not earned the right to witness to the suspect. Unfortunately, all too many graduates of _Evangelism Explosion_, _The Way of the Master_, and similar courses never learn that basic requirement. That requirement is the difference between the street preacher that is scorned by all, and the street preacher who gets a bridge named after him, upon his demise. Reply Jeremy Myers says July 19, 2014 at 3:07 pm Right! We must “earn the right to be heard.” And of course, we don’t earn this by trying to earn it. Instead, we earn it simply by loving and befriending others with no strings attached and no hidden agenda. Reply Lutek says July 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm When I see evangelizing of any sort, I often think “All talk, no action”, or, “Physician, heal thyself”, or “First, take the beam from your own eye”, or “The blind leading the blind.” That’s being too judgmental and hypocritical on my part, I know, but those are my first thoughts, and they’re probably kinder than average. The gospel that Jesus wanted spread was about the Kingdom of God, not about himself. That’s done primarily by demonstrating it, living it, not talking about it. If you do the deeds, you don’t need the words. If you don’t do the deeds, the words are meaningless. Reply Liberty says July 13, 2014 at 9:16 pm Here I am thinking “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things”. Can anyone here suggest how it’s supposed to be done? Reply Sam says July 13, 2014 at 10:49 pm Trouble is the “evangelism” so many see and hear is not good news about good things. There are numerous references in previous posts and comments as to better approaches to evangelism, approaches that allow most people to really “see” and “hear” the good news. Reply Jeremy Myers says July 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm For me, I just seek to love others. When we consistently do this, they really are happy to see us coming…. Reply Nancy Crompton says July 20, 2014 at 9:57 am All I do is love and befriend people. Most of the people that I come in contact with on a weekly basis are my customers who almost always become my friends. I love these people along the way. I hug them. I listen to them. I show them I love them and they just might believe that God loves them too. Witnessing, is hopefully what these people are doing; witnessing God’s love for them through me. Reply Ward Kelly says July 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm “A tiny group of believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.” – K.P. Yohannan Brother K.P. is the founder of Gospel for Asia which trains native missionaries to spread the gospel throughout Asia for a fraction of the cost of sending American missionaries over there. It is his contention that much money is being wasted on evangelization in this country. We have numerous 24 hour Christian networks, book hawkers, millions of bibles, programs tailored for every need….but in the end most churches are just passing their congregants back and forth. I think the approach I often see Jeremy and others on this site is what is most desperately needed and that is to honestly invest in people’s lives, and love them in Christs name. We (the church) get too caught up in worldly marketing tactics to try to reach people…clanging cymbals. I went to the local mega-style church yesterday and they gave the perfunctory “greet someone” moment. A guy came up to me and shook my hand, and said “God bless you” all while never looking at me. If we treat our brothers in Christ so callously, how do we treat the lost? Read “The Gospel Blimp” a short story in a book by Joseph Bayley by the same name. Jeremy if you have not read it yet send me an address and I’ll mail you my copy. The story exemplifies what we are talking about precisely. Reply Jeremy Myers says July 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm I have not read that story. My address is on it’s way! Thanks. Reply Brian P. says July 14, 2014 at 2:59 am Fascinating. Including the comments. Reply Mark Richmond says July 14, 2014 at 7:26 am You know people can be awkward and insensitive and obviously that includes evangelism. I had many people awkwardly witness to me and felt irritated . But you know what? I was grateful in the long run that someone cared enough to witness in the first place. Yea it can be done better- but this idea that at all costs FEELINGS need to not be hurt- then we may as well pack it in baby- why? Because the gospel IS OFFENSIVE. I can see where I got irritated and yet after I was saved I realized the Spirit used it all to lead me to Him-even the awkward and stilted and even the rude-because it put God in my mind and as a non believer that’s the last thing I wanted in my mind. So my view is different and yet it’s better to be more polite as far as it goes without diluting the message. Reply Jeremy Myers says July 27, 2014 at 10:02 am You are right, Mark. Although I think the offense of the gospel is not an excuse to be offensive. I think the offense of the gospel is primarily toward religious folk who think their good works and religious activity gets them into good standing with God. Reply Laurie says July 14, 2014 at 8:29 am I would argue that’s not even evangelism. We need to start calling things there proper name and if someone is confronting another in a Walmart and telling that person they may go to hell something is wrong. Either (1) we are missing a huge part of this story or (2) it’s not true evangelism. 1 Cor 13 needs to be our guide. Without love, we have nothing. Reply Jeremy Myers says July 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm Yes! Without love, we’re just a clanging gong (which is annoying). Reply Tony Papilli says July 22, 2014 at 8:22 am I still hold onto the simple phrase that I heard from Chuck Swindell when it comes to sharing Christ. “People want to know how much you care, before they want to know how much you know.” Timeless words indeed! Reply Jeremy Myers says July 27, 2014 at 10:03 am Right! I have heard him say that well, and it is exactly right. Reply Craig Chambers says July 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm I agree we should not force the gospel on someone. However I go out to festivals and flea markets and set up a booth. I have a sign with my ministry name its obvious that mim a christian and i talk to people i share the gospel and i dont say so you want to believe now, or something like that I just share the gospel with them and they leave I dont always know if they got saved or not and I do invite them to a bible study . I live in a rural area and am disabled so this seems the best way to befriend people. I dont know if what i do is confrontational or not. Reply jonathon says July 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm They approach you. If you do any of the following, you run are being confrontational: * Threaten them; * Argue with them; * Use demeaning language; * Insult them; In brief: * Be polite; * Be nice; * Be sincere; * Communicate; * Have a dialog; * Be prepared to agree to disagree; Reply Jeremy Myers says August 3, 2014 at 9:41 am Craig, I see these booths all the time as fairs and festivals. Sometimes those running the booths are confrontational and abrasive. I think that is not a good way to go. If, however, you make yourself available to talk with anyone who has questions, then what you are doing sounds fine. Especially if you follow the suggestions Jonathan has provided (Thanks, Jonathan!). Reply Craig Chambers says August 3, 2014 at 11:51 am Yes, I do make myself available and am nonabrasive. Im not a turn or burn evangelist I talk to people i often ask people as they walk by if i can give them something to think about. If they are agreeable i give them some literature and often strike up a conversation. If they want to talk about something else thats fine too. I dont give an “invitation” to believe typically Thats the Holy Spirits job. I know people have gotten saved and they didn’t tell me they believed alls i can see is there excitement. which is fine i dont count how many the Lord uses me to reach. I do invite people to a bible study if they want to hear more. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. 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