Posted by: sdunnpastor | January 27, 2012

FIVE REASONS WE NEED TO REBRAND EVANGELISM

Greg Stier of DARE2SHARE, a ministry for training you evangelists, has something very provocative to say.  We would be interested in your responses – STEVE

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5 Reasons We Need to Rebrand Evangelism
Greg Stier: “Sadly, the 2,000 year old practice of evangelism has 2,000 years worth of baggage that comes with it.”

 

Let’s play a word association game. When I use the word “evangelism” what comes to mind?

A bullhorn?

A “Repent” sign?

A pointed index finger (resulting in a flipped up middle finger)?

Too often, too many of us have negative views of the word evangelism. Sadly, the 2,000 year old practice of evangelism has 2,000 years worth of baggage that comes with it (i.e. the inquisition, burning heretics at the stake, Jim Jones, etc.) In the early church, the baggage was merely carry-on. But today, there is so much baggage associated with evangelism that we are forced to check it and tempted to chuck it.

But we shouldn’t. Jesus himself modeled the right brand of evangelism, which was equal parts awkward and awesome, drenched in both love and boldness. He commissioned his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone. The baton of that responsibility has been passed from generation of believers to generation of believers, and it is now firmly in our hands. It’s our turn to run with it. But as we do, we should do it with an eye toward changing people’s perspective of evangelism from manipulative and obnoxious to patient, powerful, and persuasive.

Here are five reasons why we need to rebrand evangelism:

1. Evangelism literally means “to bring Good News.”

Christians are called to be the good news people, not the bad news bears. When we evangelize, we are to do it with a smile on our face and a twinkle in our eyes. It’s like getting the privilege of telling a friend that the Lotto ticket they had purchased was the big winner or sharing with a cancer-ridden family member that scientists have discovered the cure. Biblical evangelism reeks of breathless excitement and joy, not judgmental, frowny-faced coercion.

2. It has been typecast for “the professionals.”

Too often, we think of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Luis Palau, and other evangelists as the most qualified Christians to do the work of evangelism. But the rebranding of evangelism begins when it moves from the professionals to the people. When the gospel begins to spread like a contagion is, not just when another evangelistic festival comes to town, but when the everyday Joes and Jolenes take the good news to their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates.

To rebrand evangelism we must put the work squarely in the hands of “the average Christian.” In the words of Jim Groen, “The first reformation took place when the Word of God got into the hands of the common people. The second reformation will take place when the work of God gets into the hands of the common people.”  read the rest …

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