Pasted below is an article by Dr. Kevin Shrum entitled, What Evangelism is Not. This part of the article holds some very good points for anyone to consider. I’ll address the latter portion tomorrow. A link to the entire article is at the end.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Evangelism is not…
1. Evangelism is not denominational renewal, reconstruction or even de-construction. Sometimes these are necessary to advance the cause of evangelism, but they are not evangelism. Denominations and ecclesiastical structures need occasional, healthy upheaval. But unless we’re careful we may end of thinking that one more meeting and a new way of doing things constitutes evangelism. Structural re-organizations may end up being commensurate with re-arranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
2. Evangelism is not inviting people to church or an evangelistic event. Inviting people to events is important, but it’s not evangelism – it is pre-evangelism.
3. Evangelism is not imposing our will or beliefs on another person. We make no apologies for attempting to persuasively make the case for Christianity. But in the end, only God can change the human heart.
4. Evangelism is not personal testimony. A personal testimony does not save a sinner. The gospel does. It’s quite right to support a gospel presentation with what the gospel has done in one’s life. Yet, we must never confuse the gospel itself with a personal testimony.
5. Evangelism is not social work/justice or political involvement. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking social justice, feeding the homeless, clothing the naked, and addressing institutional-political injustices. However, social justice, food in a hungry belly, and a jacket on the back of a homeless man does not prepare that soul for eternity. Good deeds compliment the gospel enterprise; they do not replace it.
6. Evangelism is not doing apologetics in order to win an argument. Apologetics is a necessary part of the Christian mission. Apologetics can help answer questions and remove intellectual objections, but only the gospel of Jesus Christ can change the heart.
7. Evangelism is not the results of evangelism. It is very easy to get caught up in numbers in the church business. And numbers are important. Even Jesus told three successive stories involving numbers in Luke 15 – one lost sheep, one lost coin, and two lost sons. But souls are not notches in our belt or numbers on our denominational charts. ”One” represents a precious soul for whom Christ died. This means that we are to communicate the gospel regardless of the results – God alone takes care of the results.
8. Evangelism is not church planting. Church planting is biblical and necessary. Many church plants succeed at a higher rate of growth than already established churches. But it’s not because of the magical words – church plant. The reason church plants grow fast for a season is because the believers of that new church have been reminded of the basics of one person sharing the good news with another person.