Thursday, March 29, 2007

Learning Evangelism from the “Great Soul Hunter”

Our state Baptist paper just ran a short piece I wrote with this title. It arose from discussions in my Johannine Literature class. I continue to be intrigued by watching how Jesus handles people, particularly in John’s gospel. This brief column deals with Nicodemus and the woman at the well. The theme could be continued with Jesus’ dealing with the crowds in John 6 and 8.

6 comments:

Jeff Lash said...

I enjoyed reading the article. Certainly I have been guilty of being paralyzed and kept silent in the past because I didn't feel I had learned the right "steps" to sharing Christ with someone. After some growth in my faith the Lord help me realize exactly what you are saying. So many things within Christianity and the church today have become programmatic and we are sending the wrong message about faith in Christ, about living a Christian life. I think, in the end, these methodologies and programs end up discouraging people more than encouraging them because they find that rarely measure up to the hype. I think it is damaging to the body of Christ.

Ray Van Neste said...

Methodologies can be helpful in getting someone started but become a hindrnace when they become a straitjacket, being seen as the "only" approach.

Jeff Lash said...

Definitely...and I certainly don't have it all figured out. I believe the Lord can and does use different approaches and methods of evangelism. I found Robert Coleman's book to be very helpful and challenging in regards to evangelism. My concern is that certain programs of evangelism are taught/preached singularly which leaves people only with what they know. So if they are taught 5 steps to evangelizing, then that is the only way they are equipped to share with someone. These "easy" steps seem to turn evangelism into a mathematical equation. It seems more about accomplishing a mission than it does about being concerned for the life and soul of the individual. No doubt I have a lot to learn in this and many other areas...

Ray Van Neste said...

I'm with you Jeff.

jeri said...

Ray,
I dont know how I found your blog, but I did. I was excited to show James. I try to have him call often, but as we have talked he is not someone who remembers often. Although he does remember his greek homework and the new stuff he learned last week. As we have read through your blogs, this article caught my eye. You have always been someone, through my short time of knowing you, that has been a true picture of grace to James and I. You summed up who we are to be in the Christian life, our words can only go so far, but our actions and faith in our Father is what carries us from day to day and keeps us fully dependant on him. I am so blessed to know you and that you will always have such an amazing role in our life and in our family. Thank you for your words of encouragement. We would love to hear from you and your family. Love, Jerilyn Waddell

Ray Van Neste said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Jerilyn! It is great to hear from you and James. My wife would say similar thigns about what I remember! We would love to be in touch with you two. My email address is rvannest@uu.edu.