Why Has Evangelism Declined?

cyanbytecyanbyte (Posted by) Level 3
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Over the next six months you will find us talking more and more about evangelism. As an integral prioritist (my phrase), I believe both mission and evangelism are important for both individual followers of Christ and to churches, but I also believe evangelism will fall off our radars if we aren’t intentional to prioritize it. On June 23-24 we will be hosting Amplify: The Wheaton Evangelism Leadership Conference where we will bring together 1,000 church leaders to create churches growing and transforming through evangelism and transformed lives. I’d love to see you there.

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Decade - Lull - Passion - Evangelicals - Root

We have entered a decade or two lull in evangelistic passion among evangelicals now. This is ironic since “evangelical” and “evangelistic” come from the same root word which means gospel, good news, or evangel. I think there are several reasons for this.

First, there's been a bit of a backlash to past models that seemed reductionistic and mechanistic.

Idea - Evangelism - People - Questions - Today

Some are bothered by the idea that evangelism is boiled down to asking people to answer two questions: “If you were to die today, do you know for sure you'd go to heaven?” And, “Do you know for sure you are going to be with God in heaven?”

Over time, people increasingly felt these were reductionist and mechanical, so (for good or for bad) they moved away from them.

Christians - Jokes - Way - Evangelism - Evangelism

You’re more likely now to find Christians make jokes about the way they used to do evangelism than actually do evangelism. Instead of starting with our questions, we should start where people are and walk them to the gospel.

Second, many believers don’t have confidence in the gospel.

LifeWay - Research - Study - People - Church

A LifeWay Research study found about half the people who regularly attend an evangelical church give a pluralistic or a universalistic answer to questions about the need for people to...
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