Sunday, July 12, 2009

Public evangelism "works"

Lately, I've been seeing a number of news articles about evangelistic meetings that start something like this:
They say that public evangelism doesn't work -- but in Bug Flats, Montana, a recent evangelistic series baptized 20 people!
Okay, I'm happy for the church in Bug Flats -- really I am. And I do believe that an evangelistic series can be an effective means of outreach to the community.

But when people say "public evangelism doesn't work," what they usually mean is that:
  • It's expensive.
  • It generally reaches people who already have some kind of connection with the church.
  • All by itself, it does a poor job of integrating new members into the church . . . .
And guess what?

None of these concerns are addressed!

So . . . if we really want to convince skeptics that "public evangelism works," what we need is more information in those articles -- information about cost, and audience, and follow-up. For instance:
They say that public evangelism doesn't work -- but in Bug Flats, Montana, a recent evangelistic series baptized 20 people, half of whom had no previous contact with the church.

Led by the local pastor, the four-week series cost only $25,000 -- roughly half the cost of a typical series. It was followed by a weekly study group, and a new Sabbath School class for new members and their families.
It's worth a try.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Except we don't want to let everyone know that we spent $1250 getting each person into the baptismal tank.

I believe that evangelism needs to be the culture of the church instead of an "event." As Christians we need to be evangelizing in every aspect of our lives. We cannot just wait for an evangelist to come in and hold public evangelistic meetings and expect to win souls.

That's probably what you were getting at, but just felt like throwing my two cents in.