Blog Posts on Evangelism

Remember Saint Patrick

David Mathis
Remember Saint Patrick

Saint Patty’s Day is for the pagans.

You might say it that way, and then carefully wash your Christian hands of all the carousing and empty revelry that makes all things Irish into an excuse for a godless spring party. But you might say the same thing, and mean it not as a call to circle the wagons, but to charge the hill.

Deep beneath much of what the day has become is the inspiring mission of Patrick pioneering the gospel among an unreached people, despite the frowning face of the... Continue Reading

The Problem with Jesus

Carl Laferton
The Problem with Jesus

When it comes to outreach, we have a problem with Jesus.

Not a problem with who Jesus is, of course. Jesus is the answer to all our deepest questions and longings. He is the compassionate one the broken search for, the forgiving one the flawed need, the strong one the weak can cry to, the challenging one the self-righteous require.

In evangelism, as in all ministry, if we’re not talking about Jesus, we’re missing the point and we’re missing the power.

Imagine Jesus

So what’s the problem?... Continue Reading

Five Steps for Relating to Theological Liberals

Dave Abernethy
Five Steps for Relating to Theological Liberals

Lib-er-al-ism
n.
1. The desire for the Christian faith to be free from the word of God in mood, methods, morals, or message.

For many of us happily immersed in the world of conservative evangelicalism, liberalism is a highly suspect word. Strictly speaking, though, liberalism (the desire for freedom or liberation) is amoral. That is, the morality of freedom is entirely contingent upon the subject from whom we desire to be liberated.

To be free from sin, from... Continue Reading

Why It Matters What Outsiders Think

David Mathis
Why It Matters What Outsiders Think

There is a place for a holy disregard for what unbelievers think. But it is small.

We shouldn’t be caught off guard when they “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18) of God as creator and sustainer, as speaker (in the Scriptures), and as redeemer (in the gospel). We need not be bewildered when the world is the world. It’s to our shame when we forget that “we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in... Continue Reading

Good News, Everyone’s Invited

Jonathan Parnell
Good News, Everyone’s Invited

Not everyone will believe the gospel, but everyone should be invited.

We know from Scripture, and experience, that not everyone will trust in Jesus and be saved. In fact, many will not. Many today sitting in churches across this country are cold to Christ, harboring impenitent hearts, deceived into thinking their works will get them to heaven. And even more not in churches. They will refuse Jesus, so why should we invite them to trust him?

Why should the gospel go to everyone?... Continue Reading

A Reason to Be Really Offended

David Mathis
A Reason to Be Really Offended

Our message is not you can do it.

It’s not you’re good enough, smart enough, and people like you.

What we preach is that you are a glorious creature gone tragically bad, that you have rebelled against the God who made you, but that he did the most difficult thing imaginable to win you back and lavish you with his eternal goodness.

It is wondrously good news. But unavoidable is the offense, that insulting supposition, that bad news that sets up the good. Did you catch it? You’ve... Continue Reading

Giving the Gospel Graciously

David Mathis
Giving the Gospel Graciously

I’m terribly sorry I just evangelized all over you.

That’s how we can feel after spewing a full stomach of precious information on an unsuspecting stranger or friend. It can seem like sharing our faith requires shoveling coal into the engine, getting the big gears going, and building up a serious head of steam to push us over the hump. No wonder evangelism is a sensitive subject.

Sex and Evangelism

Mack Stiles is happy to try coming to the rescue — not that he’s any kind of... Continue Reading

Epic of the Ordinary: Christian Mission for You and Me

Jonathan Parnell

The Book of Acts is clearly one of the most action-packed segments in the storyline of Scripture. The title, “The Acts of the Apostles,” cues us in on this clue from the start. As many commentators have suggested, a more accurate title would be something to do with the acts of the Holy Spirit, or perhaps “The Action of the Ascended Christ by His Spirit Through His Church.”

The book opens with Jesus ascending as human to the throne of the universe,... Continue Reading

The Mission of Saint Patrick

David Mathis
The Mission of Saint Patrick

Don’t forget to wear your green today. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day.

Before thumbing your nose at all the carousing and empty revelry that much of the day has become, it’s worth taking at least a brief glance at the inspiring Christian origin of, and missional impulse behind, what we now mark as Saint Patty’s.

While the day has become a celebration of all things Irish, the original feast was about gospel advance. It was not about parades, but pioneering the church among an unreached... Continue Reading

Bigger Fish to Fry: Politics and the Priority of Disciplemaking

David Mathis
Bigger Fish to Fry: Politics and the Priority of Disciplemaking

Jesus’s mission is bigger than next Tuesday’s election. Way bigger.

The Great Commission summons to make disciples — both reaching out for more quantity and going deep for more quality — should relativize the stock Jesus’s followers put in any political endeavor. Christians shouldn’t be dead-set on winning elections, but on making disciples. We put our best eggs in the disciplemaking basket, not the ballot box. We expect defeat in the short run... Continue Reading