Unfortunately, evangelism has a troubled image these days. It’s become a dirty word for Christians and non-Christians alike. Unbelievers disdain evangelism—often equating it with dogmatic legalists winning heavy-handed, judgmental, presumptuous, religious arguments. Being evangelized means being lectured—harangued really—in distasteful ways for everyone involved. At least that’s the popular, media-driven perspective. While most Christians don’t think of evangelism that negatively, they still perceive personal evangelism as an onerous, uncomfortable task to be avoided at all costs.
Effective personal evangelism isn’t about memorizing answers to complicated religious questions, winning arguments with religious intellectuals, or convincing people to do something they really don’t want to do. Evangelism is about connecting people to Jesus and connecting Jesus with your community—spontaneously, joyfully, and honestly. It’s not drudgery, some bitter religious medicine you have to stomach occasionally to absolve false guilt for not being more open about your faith. The joy of personal evangelism needs to be recaptured by believers as characteristic of our highest privilege—sharing the good news of Jesus with people we care about. We’ve got to rediscover what it means to talk with people about Jesus—conversationally, rationally, and sometimes incrementally over long periods of time—until we have successfully communicated the gospel. Personal evangelism is supposed to be like that—unscripted—engaging people where they are, as they come, authentically connecting them with the gospel.
Jeff Iorg, Unscripted
I have just completed a series of lessons based on Jeff Iorg’s book, Unscripted. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.