October 28, 2012

Evangelism: What are we doing wrong? Pt. 1

Cost-effectiveness_map

Image Credit: World Christian Trends by David B. Barrett & Todd M. Johnson

As I wrote early last week, I'd like to spend some time talking about "evangelism" here. I said then that, "Those that give the term the bad rep' most often are going about the practice of evangelism poorly." The image above is a testament to that. This is a map of "cost-effectiveness of mission" that compiles financial data for the year 2000. In that year, it cost the collective church in the U.S. $1,551,000 per convert. The U.S. is listed by Barrett and Johnson (the authors of this??data) as one of the least cost-effective nations in evangelism.

Does a soul have a price? The human life and soul are priceless! But this is enough evidence, to me, that we are doing something wrong. All the programs and projects that we accumulate to share the good news of the Kingdom appear to have poor results. So, what are we to do? What is an appropriate response?

First, humility. We have a lot to learn from others.??I??wrote recently??that it's time we started looking to others for guidance in such subjects as mission and evangelism. This map attests to that as well. Second, relief.??I think we can take a deep breath and realize that we don't need to be guilted into purchasing the gimmicks and products being hawked to the church for the sake of evangelism. Chances are, there isn't room in the church's budget anyways.

In the next few posts, I'll continue to unpack further what we ought to do and not do. See you soon.

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