bits from bob....

Effective Evangelism

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

In my experience, the most evangelistic Christians are often those recently converted. I recently read that the average new Christian runs out of evangelistic effectiveness after two years. The author said this occurs because either the new Christian drops the old friends, or more likely, the old friends drop the new Christian. Contact points for evangelism become less effective or are lost. One must either seek new contact points with the same friends, or contact new friends with whom to share the gospel.

I remember one young man whom I baptized. We will call him Larry. He had a history of drug use. I met him through his mother, whom I baptized after a series of Bible studies. I had met his mother through a friend who had come to Christ. I met that friend through a member of the church where I was ministering. The gospel connection chain was working well. Larry really tried to change his life, and in many ways, his life did change. He and his wife had a better marriage. He was a better father to his infant daughter. He was more responsible. He got a job. He and his family began attending church. He set up Bible studies with some of his old friends. I would like to tell you that this story has a happy ending, but unfortunately, the influence of Larry's friends on him was greater than his influence on them. He did not remain faithful to his decision for Christ. The conflict between Christianity and the world is real.

Evangelism requires that Christians have contact with non-Christians. Many church members who have been Christians for a number of years do not have such contacts. Christians tend to isolate and insulate themselves, cutting themselves off from close relationships with non-Christians. As a result, many Christians do not have friendship bridges strong enough to carry the gospel. On the other hand, new Christians often have contacts with non-Christians, but run the risk of being overcome by the world from which they have just been delivered.

The church must rethink evangelism and develop meaningful methods for effective evangelism. Such methods will address the need to protect and strengthen new Christians, will seek ways to develop relationship bridges with non-Christians, and will help all Christians become naturally evangelistic as a lifestyle (as you are going) rather than seeing evangelism as a special activity or event.

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Last updated May 4, 2011