Thursday, January 22, 2009

Attractional Methods of Evangelism Part 2

I have found for myself at times, and also for many others I have talked, a desire to find the "Silver Bullet" of attractional evangelism. That is to say, the one thing that we can do as a church to reach more people for Christ. The one secret. The one golden nugget that can be applied.

As I have learned, though I sometimes forget, there is no silver bullet method that can be applied that works all the time in every situation. Contexts are different. Our mission fields are different. What works one place will not work somewhere else. Even within our own mission fields, what works one year may not work the next.

That being said it is important to try a variety of methods for attractional evangelism to determine which one is most fruitful. Try newspaper ads, radio ads, mass mailings, new neighbor mailings, ads at the movie theater, cable tv ads. Do as much as you can afford to do. The sooner you figure out what seems to bear the most fruit the more effective you will be in using attractional methods of evangelism and the more money you will save. The key is to try as many different things as possible.

You might do this as part of your launch if you are beginning a new church. Thi is typically when you have the most resources to try different methods. As you launch and thereafter track how people came to the church using a comunication card or a tear off in the worship program or whatever way your church uses. Narrow the field of methods to those that worked best and then pour into them remembering to evaluate them from time to time.


Tony said...

You are presumably also thinking of incarnational evangelism too? The key to lasting adult conversions, according to research such as that we have listed here is long term relationships. In a majority of such conversions, there was a period of over two years, when the most important factor was an ongoing relationship with a Christian. Additionally, many of the people reported that their spiritual journey started because of a life problem.

Barna research shows that 1 in 3 people at any one time is going through a moderate to severe life issue. I can certainly believe this. In our small fellowship, last Sunday the preacher offered prayer for people going through this sort of thing. I did a mental count, and realised that every person there, without exception, had in the last 3-4 years suffered some personal issue that was very stressful - bereavement, serious illness, tragedies affecting close family members eg adult children.

So, any attractional approaches should take these factors into account.

As the recession bites, there are going to be many hurting people, just wanting even to chat and have a cup of coffee during the week.



Robb said...

Hey Tony,

Thanks so much for your comment which I believe is dead on. I am absolutely thinking of incarnational evangelism as well and believe it to be the most effective way to help people begin the journey of faith. I plan to hopefully do a series of posts on incarnational evangelism next week.

As the cliche says "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." I like to say cliches are cliches because they have some truth to them. Also, I think we are going to see more and more people who become connected to community before becoming connected to Christ.

Thanks again for your thoughts Tony!