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Evangelism, The 2015 Challenge

By Don Loftis | 08.05.15

The perception of churches and religious influence has changed a great deal in the past 25 years.  Many view us as archaic and irrelevant.  In a culture that questions the existence of truth, many believe the voice of the pulpit should be silenced in matters of moral thought, giving way to a society of total tolerance.  Still others see churches as groups who have turned inward, retreated to their buildings, and only forage into the community to raise funds.  Such attitudes, even if we don’t like them, do exist and pose some challenges to our outreach  efforts.

First, we must create visibility and engage our communities in ways they will notice. While fall festivals, shirt/supply giveaways, and free watermelon are a long way from a “gospel invitation,” they have opened the door for our Break Night Bible classes and increased attendance for worship services at the Towers on Sunday.

Secondly, we must minister with relevance. Genuine service projects must speak to the needs of the community rather than the dreams of the church.  Our benevolence ministry has enhanced Christ’s reputation within Old Hickory.  Preaching and class curriculum must have an awareness of this principle too.

Finally, our communication must be current. We must use the right technologies, if we expect anyone to hear. This is true even if some of us are lost in the “technological maze.”

The day of inherent respect for the preacher or community interest in the annual Gospel Meeting is past.  Our message cannot change and our goals remain the same.  However, our approaches and methods must be adapted to reach a radically different emerging culture.

 


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