I can remember Monday night visitation at church. We would all meet up at the church building to pair up and take any visitor cards from the Sunday before and go visit the new families and share the gospel with them. In addition, it was standard procedure to go door-to-door in the neighborhoods around their house and talk to people we had never met and attempt to share the gospel with them. We were given tracks, taught simple presentations, and armed with some questions that should allow us to get in to a gospel conversation with a stranger.
That is not cool anymore.
Over the last couple of decades, “door knocking”has passed out of fashion and been replaced by “relationship evangelism.”Now, before you think I am a critic of developing relationships with lost people to share the gospel, let me take my stand as a fan of relationship evangelism. I am largely in favor of this shift. Often (but not always!) it better suits the culture we find ourselves in today. However, like all good things, the term “relationship evangelism”has its fair share of abuse.
Working at a seminary, I get to see a lot of students attempting to share their faith. Here are a couple of the abuses I regularly encounter concerning “relationship evangelism.”