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The Bad Name of Evangelism

Via Shane Raynor on Twitter and the Wesley Report, I found this article on UMPortal about early Methodist evangelism. What struck me, was how many of the ideas there could be found in Acts.

Here’s a key quote:

She [Rev. Laceye Warner of Duke] defined evangelism as preaching the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ and “living it out.”

I think we can trace the bad name of evangelism to two things:

  1. We have separated evangelism from discipleship, i.e., we equate evangelism with persuading people to say a particular prayer
  2. We think evangelism is about talking people into joining our particular church

While the symptoms are varied, including much obnoxious behavior, I think at least most of the symptoms can be traced back to one of those two points.

A return to the long term, often difficult work of making disciples would be rather valuable, I think.

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