Author: Keith Cook
Category: Proclamation Evangelism
To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.
A response to our lead articles this month:
Nothing Rhymes with Orange. False. Nothing and Orange do not Rhyme - Rev Richards Gibbons
Preach The Gospel Wherever You Go - Use Words if You Have to - Rev Derek Simpson
Toward a Biblical Approach to Understanding Proclamation Evangelism - Thomas Johnston
Excited to be responding to the articles on Proclamation Evangelism and Proclaiming Christ. As an evangelist, and leader of the Proclamation Evangelism Network, it is an honor and privilege to add to what has already been written. It is refreshing and inspiring to see pastors and educators echoing the need, value, and possible ways to effectively and Biblically do the work of the evangelist in this modern age. May God bless us as we continue to be on the go for Jesus.
How To Use Tried And True Methods, follow Biblical Mandates, and do effective proclamation evangelistic missions in this day and age.
Modern day proclamation evangelism and personal outreach methods are very effective and extremely creative. Every day someone dreams up a new way to share Jesus with someone else; a new iPhone app, a clever gospel booklet, an innovative and fresh way to draw teens to listen in mass at a soccer stadium. It is a very exciting time to be involved in and championing evangelism.
Yet many who are not actively involved in evangelism understand or appreciate the complexities of the ministry of proclamation or personal evangelism. The occasional abuses by some well meaning yet short sighted practitioner of evangelism have been magnified and demonized to try to put a damper on the fires of evangelism. But the fire still burns in the heart of every true believer to do the work of the evangelist. Even if they do not know how, or why, they still know they should, and if God was willing they could do whatever He wanted them to do in evangelism.
When you say the word evangelism today many people laugh at you, criticize you, or pity you. And when you say proclamation evangelism the scorn, pity, and head shaking is even more intense. But the ministry of proclamation evangelism has a very royal and strategic place in God’s redemptive plan for man. Many well meaning believers, pastors, bloggers, and even educators are culturally pilling on to bury the ministry of proclamation evangelism in our modern culture.
They say it is outdated, old fashioned, culturally insensitive, not effective, shallow, not worth the time - money - energy. They believe that the churches resources and energies could be better spent just loving on people and living right. Yet deep down, in any real servant leader of Christ, there is a spiritual discernment that just loving others and living right will not be enough to fulfill the great commission and in fact by just living right and loving people we will be in danger of not producing modern day disciples of Christ but will produce lazy Christians who lack wisdom, discernment, and who are neglecting the real needs of others around them and who are living well below God’s will for their lives.
Often critics of proclamation evangelism are hiding behind fear, laziness, lack of knowledge, loss of first love, and the sin of disobedience to not do or help with proclamation evangelism. Let’s face it, doing evangelism correctly takes work. It is easier to play church with believers than to actively confront the lost secular mindset. It is difficult to run headlong into political correctness, humanism, intellectualism, and tolerance every minute of every day. It is easier to sit around praising God, running from one Jesus party to the next. It is more "soulishly" exciting to do good works and feel good about oneself afterward. There is great pride in building up ones Biblical knowledge to know something that someone else does not know. But all the human, soulish, and possibly even at times, carnal, expressions of doing ministry do not proclaim Christ publicly.
But it is also sobering to be reminded that not everyone believes in Christ. It is even more sobering to realize that, contrary to public opinion, or a Gallop Poll, not believing in Jesus really does result in someone not going to Heaven. Saying that is not being bigoted, judgmental, using hate speech, or being mean spirited. It is being Biblical and it is the foundation of the Gospel message, and based on eternal truth. Wishing, voting, forgetting, avoiding, neglecting, hoping, or pretending does not make the reality go away.
As a proclamation evangelist and trainer of proclamation evangelists, I can honestly say that I know that evangelism is not done, nor should it be done, one particular way. Doing evangelism is not always effective using one particular method. There is a time and place for: One On One Evangelism, Local Church Evangelism, Event Evangelism, Personal Evangelism, Friendship Evangelism, Mass Evangelism, Proclamation Evangelism, Sports Evangelism, Music, Arts, Drama, Street, Door To Door, Prayer, Neighborhood, Inner City, Community wide, Social Evangelism, Acts Of Kindness - Season Of Service - GoCare - Compassion, Affinity Evangelism, Marketplace Evangelism, Social Media Evangelism, Literature Evangelism, Media Evangelism, Long Term Evangelism, Short Term Evangelism, Crisis Evangelism, Divine Appointment Evangelism, Targeted Evangelism (age, gender), and many more expressions or techniques to mention.
The key to doing effective proclamation evangelism today is:
What You Could Do!
Habakkuk on Doing Evangelism Gods Way
Keith Cook Sr, Evangelist, On the Go Ministries, Leader of the Proclamation Evangelism Network (PEN)