When it comes to progress in evangelism, I like to celebrate as much as any other believer. I’m not one to criticize any effort especially when, looking at current trends, so little is being done. Still, I’m not content to simply celebrate, I want to evaluate as well. I want to ask the questions of myself and my students that will help us maximize our effectiveness as we share God’s story, the gospel, with our families, friends, and neighbors.
A case in point is what happened just yesterday. One of my students, who hasn’t been able to visit his home church for a while due to distance, was happy to see that five new families had started attending the church since his last visit. One of them had been attracted to the service by the sermons that they could hear broadcast through the loud speakers attached to the church building. We celebrated with him, but afterwards I asked, “What if we knew our neighbors and had assessed their spiritual needs so that the messages that they heard were not only touching but truly touched them?”
I feel there is a tendency to assume certain conditions are present as we address nonbelievers, but although those conditions may be felt generally throughout the society, each individual’s needs may be radically different. That’s why, when we share God’s story with individuals, it’s so much better to know where they are coming from before we try to direct them in the way that they should go.
That same class, I had the pleasure of directing my students to the Engel Scale of Receptivity. This tool will enable them to quickly assess the spiritual need and accommodate their message so that this who receive it can understand and take positive steps toward discipleship. I hope you find it useful as well.
Its my prayer that these steps of evaluation, combined with useful tools, will encourage all of us to continue to share the gospel in an increasingly effective manner.
How about you?
- Have you taken time to evaluate your involvement in the work of evangelism? What have you found?
- Are there any tool that you have found to be helpful in sharing your faith? Let us know where to find them!