I mentioned in my last post that Andrew Heard had some interesting/stimulating/provocative things to say regarding myths that surround evangelism. I’m not saying I agree necessarily with all of these but I thought they were thought provoking and raise some good questions. So here are Andrew Heard’s 8 myths about evangelism:
- Every Christian will evangelise – They won’t. Some won’t ever. They’re immature, and some are long-term hard-core rebels in this sphere.
- Training is the answer – Truth is it doesn’t last, and the hard-hearted still won’t do it. Only the keenies (who don’t really need it) embrace it.
- Follow-up is key – a 7 week course simply won’t cut it. It is simply insufficient. People start so far back that one course, for many, won’t do the job.
- Big events are key – in reality they see very little fruit. They’re valuable in creating ‘noise’ and momentum, but don’t put all your eggs in this basket.
- The right course or resource will do it – A good course will help, but there’s a whole load of other factors in the background that lead in to it. Not as simple as having the ‘right’ course.
- Ministers can run evangelism – There’s too many other things on the minister’s plate – a structure is required rather than one man running round like a headless chicken.
- A new post-modern theology is required – Nope. It’s the Emperor’s new clothes.
- Personal is better than the event. Not necessarily – too simplistic. Need both-and, not either-or.
Andrew’s big point is that structures are necessary to facilitate a body of people achieving something. He describes the attitude that just seeks to change the heart as ‘beads and sandals’ Christianity. It’s an ideal, but it’s the real world, and real fallen sinful people we’re working with. What’s needed is not the next big thing, or the magic bullet, but a thought-through structure that incorporates the personal, social, and structural factors to mobilise the body. What do you think – is he right, or wrong?