This is a unique time for the Christian church in the West. At one time, humanity lived in a pre-Christian world. This was the time of the Roman Empire, before Christianity existed. Then humanity entered the world of Christendom. This was a time when the Christian church and its leaders were part of the ruling elite. Christianity was represented in government, courts of law, and schools. But now, for the first time ever, we are in a post-Christian world.
This is why evangelism is so scary and awkward. The methods of evangelism that worked so well in the past no longer seem effective today. What worked in the age of Christendom seems ineffective in our post-Christian age.
Worse, the culture of our post-Christian age has a negative view of personal evangelism. Our society sees evangelism as offensive, inappropriate, and insensitive.
This leaves us in a difficult dilemma. If we don’t tell our friends about Jesus, we feel like we’re not doing what Jesus wants us to do. But if we try to tell our friends about Jesus, our efforts feel clunky, awkward, and weird. As a result, we rarely evangelize. We’re worried we’ll lose our friends or offend our family members. We don’t want to become “that uncle” at the Thanksgiving dinner.
Chan, Sam, and Ed Stetzer. 2020. How to Talk about Jesus (without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.