No More Ranting!
Instead of ranting this week, I want to just have us
think about something I have been thinking about for
You know, growing up in the Baptist church and then
spending time doing campus ministry work at UNC
Chapel Hill and now having been in ministry almost
12 years working in and with all different
denominations around the world and now ministering
with the Vineyard, I feel like I have seen a lot.
Not all, but definitely a lot.
I have seen all kinds of different styles of
evangelism. Some of my first experiences with
evangelism was first with door to door evangelism.
This is not my favorite, though it worked well in
the small town that I grew up in.
There was Evangelism Explosion. “Do you know where
you would spend eternity if you were to die today?”
Pretty confrontational if done to people that do not
Then there were the Four Spiritual Laws. I knew I
had it all together when I learned these! I mean,
what else could there be?
After a while, all of this got kind of boring. We
did Crusade evangelism, setting up tents and
meetings. There was revival evangelism and all of
the excitement and emotion. There was personal
evangelism where we spent time trying to cultivate
relationships, just to drag someone to church.
And then there was: Servant Evangelism! I read Steve
Sjogren’s books, (which, I NEED to state here that
they were and still are some of the finest thoughts
on evangelism I have ever written). These books
changed my life. I mean, a true revolution went
right through me. All of a sudden, compassion burst
into me. I started caring about people and not
simply the number of people I had gotten to do what
I wanted them to do. (Isn’t it sad what we made poor
people do? You know, like: “Say this, think this,
pray this, do this, don’t do that, jump through a
hoop, lie down, beg and of course play dead.” OK, I
make a little jest here, but isn’t it the same thing
as we do to our pets?) You know the whole thing just
felt like manipulation and it was all to formulaic.
If we did or said certain things, people and God
will do what we want them to.
Back to what I was saying, before I was so rudely
interrupted by myself. LOL.
Anyways, I got stunned by authors like Mother Teresa
and Henri Nouwen.
But, Steve Sjogren really started it all in me with
a single concept. “Dolphins and Sharks.”
Dolphins & Sharks
Put in a nutshell, dolphins are those of us that
share the story of our faith in kind, compassionate
way. Dolphins are very sensitive to the neds of the
person they are sharing their faith with, therefore,
they attempt to share their faith in ways that show
God’s love in practical ways. When the term
“practical” is used, that denotes relevance.
Sharks on the other hand, attempt to share their
faith, oftentimes with good intentions, but more
times than not, end up either offending the seeking
person or turning them off due to length of message,
lack of relevance, lack of relationship, lack of
sensitivity (discernment) or even because the
seeking individual recognizes a lack of sincerity.
These lacks are often seen due to the person sharing
either doing so without the leading of the Spirit,
or out of performance to gain statistics or possibly
out of sheer drive of duty. None of these are the
appropriate reasons to share the gospel. There are
many faith backgrounds that do the work of
“evangelism” for their various faith backgrounds,
world religions, sects and cults. Heck, even AMWAY
What makes us different is that we don’t have to
share our faith, we have to share it!
OK, that didn’t make sense did it? Or did it? You
see Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we don’t have to ever
share our faith. It is not a part of the free gift
of grace. We don’t have to do anything to receive
the gift of salvation, which might I add right here,
I don’t believe salvation is the end point, I
believe that confessing Jesus as Lord is simply the
beginning to a life of salvation and the finish will
be when we leave the earth.
We have to share it!
Have you ever been in love? Young love is something
isn’t it? It is just fun to watch. Well, sometimes.
I had a friend in college who used to drive me
crazy. She used to come in and tell me over and over
what her boyfriend wrote to her in her love letters.
This would annoy me. Finally I would yell: “LEAVE ME
ALONE! GO READ YOUR LOVE NOTE TO YOURSLEF!” She
would! One day when she left, my phone rang minutes
later. It was her! She was calling to tell me
something else that she forgot that she just found
in the letter!
Have you ever been around someone like that? They
have to talk about their love. It drives them crazy
That’s the difference. I share because I love and I
am loved. (Which coincidently is why I love to read
the Bible. It’s like a weird kind of love note.
Every time I am in it. I find Him there speaking to
me, drawing me, urging me, loving me. Intimacy!)
OK, enought with the side notes, you get the point.
Well, the point I am trying to make is that I
believe that even servant evangelism has gone to the
sharks. I mean, It’s not the latest new fad. I am so
sick of fads. It’s not a program, it’s a way of
life. I am not saying that we need to stop going and
sharing our faith entirely. Not at ALLL!!! I am
getting ready to start sharing this wonderful love
story with everything that moves!
What I am saying is that it might be time that we
even rediscover the reason and heart-beat behind all
that we do, even evangelism. And let’s learn five
things really quickly:
1. People don’t care what you know until they know
that you care!
2. Evangelism is show and tell. You can’t
participate unless you do both! The better you know
someone, the more you will have to show rather than
tell. The less you know someone, the more the
message will be important. (Google search the
3. There are a million different ways to do it. Try
them all, a few are: Power Evangelism (I will
discuss this in the article below), Servant
Evangelism, Witnessing, Open air preaching, handing
out Christian tracts, Friendship Evangelism,
Life-style Evangelism (The weakest evangelism to use
on people who are not close to you. The most
powerful on those that are closest), Program
evangelism (Four Spiritual Laws, Visitation
ministries at churches, Evangelism Explosion, etc.)
and Revival and Crusade evangelism (Very popular in
the 70’s and 80’s).
4. The Father is always working and the Son can do
nothing of Himself, he does what the Father is
doing. (John 5:19 and more) In otherwords, God is
busy with people. We need to be sensitive to wear
His Holy Spirit is moving and join Him there. This
is the key to the whole thing. I mean, if the Spirit
is the one that draws all men, then wouldn’t it be
smart to at least know Him as we go, include while
we are going and praise Him for what He does in the
end whether men accept Jesus immediately or not?
5. With that said, the last is get intimate with the
Spirit. Pray and praise before you go, as you go and
when you return. Ask Him what He is doing and don’t
move until you see something.
These five points might just help us dolphins to get
back in there. And by the way, people love the
message right now. Don’t let anyone kid you. The
world is white unto harvest. I am having so much fun
covertly sharing Jesus every day. I feel like a CIA
agent or something. I am having so much fun joining
So, just LIVE it and guys do me a favor, stop trying
so hard. Please, it’s killing you. Be a virus with
the Love for our Lord Jesus and it will infect the
world and change them from the inside out! Success
is not measrued in the immediate responses of men,
but in the satisfaction of our wonderful loving
P.S., if you don’t agree with me, please let me
know. This whole idea set is growing and I love to
have help as we explore it.
Original post by Dustin and software by Elliott Back
Popularity: 2% [?]