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Quote :: Evangelism

"The word 'evangelical' has died the death of a thousand qualifications. It has become so inclusive as to be in danger of being totally empty." - R.C. Sproul quoted in National & International Religion Report, Apr. 29, 1996, page 8

"Non-Christians will insist that we should keep our religion out of the way of their politics. But the reason for that is not that Jesus has nothing to do with the public realm; it is that they want nothing to do with Jesus as Lord." - John Howard Yoder in The Death Penalty Debate

"Evangelism is not simply a matter of bringing individuals to personal faith, though of course that remains central to the whole enterprise. It is a matter of confronting the world with the good, but deeply disturbing, news of a different way of living…the way of love." - N.T. Wright in For All God's Worth

"I am the light of the world, the founder of the Christian religion said. What a stupendous phrase! And how particularly marvelous today, when one is conscious of so much darkness in the world! Let your light shine before men, he exhorted us. You know, sometimes…someone asks me what I most want, what I should most like to do ini the little that remains of my life, and I always nowadays truthfully answer - and it is truthful - 'I should like my light to shine, even if only very fitfully, like a match struck in a dark, cavernous night and then flickering out.'" - Malcolm Muggeridge in 'Jesus Rediscovered', Christianity Today: February 9, 1998

"People in the United States are greatly given to self-praise, yet the reality is that we have the most miserable cities in the modernized country and not return ashamed of our U.S. cities. If the city is a measure of our citizenship and democracy, then we are the dregs of all comparable nations. We as citizens have made pestholes of our cities." - John McKnight of the Urban Affairs Center at Northwestern University (quoted in Salt of the Earth, Mar/Apr 1997, page 32)

"Spiritual growth is named more often than evangelism, supporting community causes, strengthening the local church, and influencing legislation, as the top priority for Christians." - Emerging Trends, Summer 1992

"Forty-five percent of adults in America believe they have a responsibility to share their religious beliefs with those of other faiths. About three in ten adults have actually done so in the last year." - Barna Research Group findings as reported in Simi Valley Star, 6/29/96

"Many Christians dislike being around people who smoke or drink or curse. They are wary of inviting unchurched people into their homes: 'They might light up a cigarette, you know.' They would rather play sports in church leagues and be around Christians all the time. Such an approach to life eliminates most opportunities for evangelism.'" - Ed Dobson in Starting a Seeker-Sensitive Service (Zondervan, 1993)

"Evangelism in America, or in the Western world today, has reached the level of diminishing returns. People do not see anything to be converted to. They look around at these Christians telling them to agree to these little statements and say the enclosed prayer. They say, 'But you aren't any different from anybody else. So what am I supposed to be converted to?' We have to see changed lives." - Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline (in Christianity Today, Oct. 12, 1992)

"Out of the 350,000 local congregations that blanket America, some 60,000 report not even a single convert in a year's time." - Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct-Dec 1992

"What is the best way to respond to people who are indifferent to Christ'? Here are some alternatives to consider:

Acceptance. When you meet someone who is indifferent to spiritual things, it is important to accept them as they are. Don't categorize or label them: instead give them permission to be what they have chosen to be. This doesn't mean you have to agree with them or approve of their actions. It means treating them as God would. Cherish them and enjoy relating to them as people of equal value in God's sight.

Identification. Be open about your own faith. Don't hesitate to mention God in your conversations or to ask permission to pray for someone who expresses a need.

Listening. Though we sometimes think of our society as 'valueless,' realize that everyone operates out of a set of values. Discover what other people think and believe by listening to them and asking them what they have believed in the past and what they believe now.

Prayer. Praying for specific individuals will make us more sensitive to them and their needs. Intercession reminds us that evangelism is not a purely human endeavor.

Witnessing. Your most powerful testimony is your own life. All too often people see little evidence that following Jesus makes any real difference in how a person lives. Generosity, trustworthiness, and sensitivity to others make the gospel credible. Create interest in spiritual things by your words, realizing that witnessing is more than just presenting the plan of salvation. 'Until Christ's historic death is understood in terms that create contemporary and personal meaning, indifference will remain.'

Patience. Realize that any movement toward god is something to rejoice about."

"Evangelism needs to be audience-sensitive rather than message-driven. We must resist the tendency to 'play God' and concentrate on lifting up Christ as Lord with our lips and our lives." - Source unknown

"It is the temptation of this pragmatic age to presume that technique is the secret of evangelism." - A. Skevington Wood (#9, Feb. 4, 1957)


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