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    Greg Laurie:  “We’re Just No Good at Evangelism”

    Greg Laurie:  “We’re Just No Good at Evangelism”

    According to Greg Laurie, "If there's one thing that Christians and non-Christians have in common, it's this: we're both uptight about evangelism."

    Here are some quotes from Laurie from a recent article at The Christian Post:

    "Far too often we don't know how to cross over [to our culture]. Far too many Christians today are unnecessarily offensive, hopelessly lame, and generally inept at communicating... We're just no good at evangelism."

    "We have something even more significant than a cure for cancer. We have the cure to sin, and guilt and the cure for hell and the hope for heaven...How much more urgently do we need to get this message out?

    "How can I be passive about sharing my faith? How can I say I'm too busy to do that?"

    "It's fine to try to be cool, it's fine to try to relate ... but the ultimate thing we need to tell them is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved them so much that He died on a cross for their sins and rose again from the dead and if they will turn from their sins and put their faith in Him, they can be forgiven. This is called the Gospel."

    Do you agree?  Are we just 'no good at evangelism"?  If so, why is that?

    You can read more here...

    Todd

     

    Comments

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    1. Peter Hamm on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Yeah, we stink at it. Is it because we so often try to tell the story in the way that we think we want to hear it, instead of trying, as Jesus did, to tell the story in the way that best communicates with the hearer.

      There’s other reasons, too. That’s just one that comes to mind right now.

    2. Richard on Tue, July 06, 2010

      I’m not so sure about that.  How many of Jesus’ parables didn’t people understand?  In John’s gospel, what Jesus said about eating his body and drinking his blood was so offensive, most stopped following him.  The cross was a stumbling block to many.  So I’m wondering about the whole “Jesus communicated in the best way for the hearer” thing.

    3. Peter Hamm on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Richard,

      True that, but he also told farming stories to farmers, stuff like that.

      When he explained that he was the messiah to the woman at the well, he made it pretty plain. He didn’t offend her, while at the same time he didn’t condone her sin. We rarely find that balance.

    4. Jerry on Tue, July 06, 2010

      The reason so many don’t share the good news? Because they know they stink at it. It makes them feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable that they’re not quite sure about their own faith, that is. They know any effort to convince someone else to do something they themselves are not sure about, will come across weak and insincere.

      Everyone needs to remember that we’re seed planters. Though it would be wonderful to have everyone accept Jesus when we share the Gospel with them, it just isn’t going to happen. We have planted seeds though, and sometimes it takes years for those seeds to sprout, take root and grow.

      We also need to understand the definition of success when it comes to sharing the good news of the Gospel. First let’s say what success isn’t; success isn’t dependent on how many place their trust in Christ in your presence. It’s not how many you personally win, like putting numbers up on a scoreboard. It’s not about you and what you do at all. God gives the increase.

      Success is being obedient to Jesus’ words to ‘Go into all the world and preach…” The moment we share the love of God with another human being in obedience and love, we’re successful!

    5. CS on Tue, July 06, 2010

      One big reason why evangelism isn’t as prolific as it should be is because many people can’t even explain the core of the Gospel correctly.  Ask your average, self-described Christian in America today to summarize what it takes to be a Christian and they cannot articulate it.  How do you hope to see people become disciples when they don’t even understand how they became disciples themselves?

      And, they also don’t take the time to proclaim it (as Laurie indicated should be done), but instead try the soft-sell, “friendship evangelism,” approach.  The one that never mentions the horrors of sin or gets to the weightier matters of salvation.  The cross must be preached to them.

      Jerry, you hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph, too.


      CS

    6. BC on Tue, July 06, 2010

      What CS said.  We go door-to-door two Saturdays a month in suburban Bible belt - everybody already has a church, none of them can explain the gospel, they’re all good people, they’re all sure they’re going to heaven.

      I’m exaggerating of course.  Not all, but that is the majority response we get.

      The encouraging thing is that for every twenty doors we knock on, we get to present the gospel in full to three people/households - the Law, the penalty of death, the judgement of hell, a wonderful Savior who took their place and bore God’s wrath for them, the call to repent and believe.

      “Decisions?”  We have no way of knowing.  We urgently and lovingly ask those who have heard a full gospel presentation to repent and trust Christ alone, but we don’t press for any formulaic “sinner’s prayer” or decision.

      It’s truly a blessing just to be out there.

    7. Peter Hamm on Tue, July 06, 2010

      CS,

      Please don’t always categorize all “friendship evangelism” as “gospel lite”. It isn’t.

      That said, I totally agree with you that too many Christians can’t describe the Gospel correctly or appropriately, and I also loved Jerry’s last paragraph.

      By the way, BC, I love that “good people go to heaven.” Actually it’s true. Truly good people go to heaven. However… last I checked… there was only one of those people. I think I’ll ride along with Him.

    8. Jerry on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Thanks, CS.

      It is unfortunate to have so few in the “Bible Belt” understand the gospel to the level of life change. People want the forgiveness part, but few seek to know any more than that. They ignore the part the says “...go, and sin no more.” They don’t seem to want to be obedient. They want to put God in a vending machine, put in their little ‘forgive me’ prayer, wait for forgiveness to pop out and expect God’s blessing on their lives. Worship service for them is just what you do on Sunday morning like you go to the football game on Friday night. They get involved and it affects them for the moment, but it doesn’t change their lives. Perry Noble has a great equation I saw on his blog site:
      Meeting Jesus = Change.  Steven Curtis Chapman had a good song about it, too: “What About the Change?”

      So, how is your life different since you met Jesus? Are you walking in a new life and have you let go of the former? Are you using the skills God gave you for His glory and not yours? Have your friendships changed? These might be good questions to ask people that say they are believers and you want to know if they really are. “So tell me, how has Jesus changed your life?”

    9. Jerry on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Peter, loved your “Good people” comment! You are so right, if all the good people were to go to heaven, God would be there with Jesus and that’s it.

      I was listening to Greg Laurie this morning on the radio,  and he said, that “heaven is not for good people. It is for forgiven people.”  I couldn’t agree more!

    10. Christopher Fontenot on Tue, July 06, 2010

      I asked a professing Christian lady this question: “If someone came up to you and asked what do they have to do to go to heaven, what would you tell them?” 

      Her answer: “Believe in God and do good.” 

      Try that question with your “Christian” friends and see if they can explain God’s plan of salvation.  Either they are not a Christian or they attend a church pastored by a man who does not care enough to preach the meat of God’s Word in order to equip the saints with the reasons for the hope that is in them. 


      Ask yourself, “When was the last time a Christian attempted to share their faith with you out of the blue?”  Then ask yourself, “How often have you been approached by a mormon or jehovah’s witness as they try to spread their false gospel with the world?” 

      Jerry….you must remember that it isn’t a matter of “accepting Jesus” but a matter of surrendering to Him and His Lordship.  Jesus isn’t sitting around wringing His hands just hoping that you’ll “pick” Him nor is He standing at the door of your heart waiting for you to open it.  He kicks the door in and invades the heart!  He is sovereign in salvation….not man.  You hit the nail on the head with that post.  That is the truth of the gospel and our obedience in God’s plan of salvation as He works through us to plant or water the seed of His message of salvation.  I think I’d enjoy witnessing with you.

      Peter….you are always selective in your examples.  Luke 4 shows us Jesus preaching to the people of His home town.  He spoke the hard truths without compromise and how did the crowd react?  What happened to the “numbers” of people who were His disciples once He began to tell them the hard sayings of the cost of discipleship? 

      BC…CS…..spot on!!

    11. Peter Hamm on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Christopher, point taken…

      No doubt Jesus’ fellows in his hometown knew him already, so we don’t have a complete picture.

      But don’t you think maybe that the way the Gospel is presented in Acts by believers to others is a better “model” to follow than Jesus’ preaching anyway? There are many things that Jesus said that we could never say, like “I am the bread of life”. Obviously I’M not… JESUS is.

      And in Acts I find the Gospel presentations to be pretty straightforward, if not always complete (only because we only have the record, not a video of every word that was spoken).

      In other words, just because Jesus’ words and instructions were at times difficult, doesn’t mean we have to bend over backwards to make sure our words are.

    12. Scott on Tue, July 06, 2010

      When I don’t share my faith it is because I’m a sinner who fails to love Jesus enough.  I prefer something or someone over Him. 

      A disciple lives like Jesus and gives up what Jesus gave up.

    13. Jerry on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Christopher, I strongly agree that Jesus isn’t sitting around wringing His hands just hoping that you’ll “pick” Him.

      That being said, if someone doesn’t “accept”  the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, lived a perfect life and died in our place for the sins we committed, they will never submit to His Lordship. I think there are actually the two parts, three really. Faith (acceptance of who Jesus is), Repentance (changing of direction) and Submission (action to do what Jesus commands).

      And yes, it would be enjoyable to witness with you, too.

    14. CS on Tue, July 06, 2010

      Peter:

      “Please don’t always categorize all “friendship evangelism” as “gospel lite”. It isn’t.”

      You’re right in that there will be some people out there who manage to give a Gospel presentation under the umbrella of their relationships.  But I’d bet that you’d also admit that this is the exception to the rule and that there are more problems than not with this sort of attempt to share the Gospel.

      Here are my reasons why I dislike it so:

      -People never get to a point of sharing it for fear of losing a friend (as Laurie indicated).

      -Those with whom the relationship is built feel hurt by the underlying reasons for why the relationship was built (bait-and-switch).

      -People wait for a feeling / sign / indication of when to share with a friend that never comes.

      -The person with whom the relationship was forged dies before the bonds can be established to the point of where the Gospel could be shared.

      -There’s a huge elephant in the room that inhibits the relationship from being connected as well as it could be under normal circumstances.


      CS

    15. Peter Hamm on Tue, July 06, 2010

      CS,

      I know you’re not exactly a fan of Willow, but their Contagious Christian course addresses all of those concerns. And then some…

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