In the last ten years I’ve been asked over and over what evangelism looks like when it gets connected to kingdom. Those many questions spring from a widespread disaffection with an evangelism that is focused too narrowly on getting people to make a decision. The number of young adults who have made that decision but who are not functional disciples ought to alarm us about what we are accomplishing in our evangelism.
There is a low enough correlation between “having made a decision” and being a disciple to make us want to rethink our entire approach to evangelism.
Evangelism feeds into how the Christian life is understood. If evangelism feasts too much on no more than forgiveness of sins or the absorption of God’s wrath, the Christian life that flows from that has to be constructed on a completely different basis. Jesus shows a more organic way: following him is both the evangelistic call and the Christian life.
In my new book, One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow , which should be available at Amazon and in local bookstores within the week, I focus on the summons of Jesus to follow him — and that’s what I would call a “Jesus kind of evangelism.”
But this changes things, in fact, it changes everything. Jesus wants Us, not something from us. He wants us to surrender who we are and what we do to him so that we can become the person he wants and do the things he wants.
We either give our One.Life to him or we don’t. There are no other options. Old-fashioned evangelism too often leads only to an admission, but not to surrender.
Too much of evangelism is focused on trying to get people to admit that they are sinners; Jesus’ approach was not on that. His focus was clearly on getting people to join themselves to him, to trust him, to follow him, and to make him Lord (and Savior).
Take the One.Life challenge.