Why something new?
The Lord has called us to obey the simple truths and practices of Scripture. The body of Christ has produced innumerable resources to learn what those truths and commands are. As would be expected by human documents and efforts, we can recognize strengths and weaknesses among the many resources and methods that exist.
Spiritual maturity comes from learning and growing from that which all of the joints supply. Most mature followers of Christ have grown the hard way, by piecemealing those lessons from all the joints, one at a time… over many, many years. As a part of spiritual maturity, the believer’s evangelistic style, tone, and methods develop through this same piecemealing. What if we could save ourselves and the next generations of believers some time by pooling some of those resources together in a concise handbook?
By God’s grace, He has helped us to combine the best points of many methods and disciplines into a simple, understandable format that brings the believer the tools he needs to grow in Christ, share his faith, and make disciples.
Typical existing resource types—their strengths and weaknesses
- Many of the evangelistic methods out there do a great job of helping the Christian to get the conversation going and present the gospel; unfortunately, however, many methods overlook the worldview of the hearers. Sometimes this is done intentionally—relying on the Spirit to work in the unbeliever’s heart through the Word of God—and other times, it’s done ignorantly, not realizing the necessity to consider our post-christian culture and the lack of understanding and even credibility that is created regarding Christianity when worldviews are left unaddressed..
- Most apologetic materials that consider and address the worldview do not offer help on the front end—as in, how to initiate, engage, and open up conversations about these differences in worldview. Honestly, some are a little too lofty philosophically, and you can’t see the cross for the clouds.
- Also, often missing in our spiritual conversations (official methods and daily living-wise) is the challenge to the believer, to “examine themselves to see if they are in the faith”; are they growing and “bearing fruit”? Are they seeking first the Kingdom, or clinging to the world? Our methods and training have often stopped short—supposing that it is “enough” to make it to the sinner’s prayer, or to hear that one was prayed years ago—and then the conversation is over. There needs to be another step in that conversation—a continuing conversation—where we make disciples of Christ, men and women who are willing to lay down their lives, pick up the cross, and follow Him.
- And even further—we need to have within the method itself, a way to show believers how to train other Christians to make disciples of others—without that, there will be no significant multiplication. See our discussion of this on the homepage.
Existing outreach methods
As well as not being able to find a comprehensive, balanced training manual for the Christian, we also could not find an ideal “method” to implement and exercise that training—a way to regularly find people to share our faith with! At least, no method that met all the requirements of consistent outreach in the midst of busy modern living. All of the following methods and ideas are great, and should be used, but they fall short of that goal:
- Sphere of influence model: doesn’t obey the command to GO. It misses many that are in the highways and byways, people that are not in your, or any evangelistic Christian’s, circles.
- Friendship Evangelism: similar to above, but added to its inefficiency is the extreme time commitment before the gospel is even mentioned—Nothing wrong with having friends, and, of course, you should share your faith with them, but it’s not how you reach the entire world.
- Tracts: great for when you have no time to talk, but very limited—and no follow up.
- Hospitality: Works well when they come to dinner, a wonderful way to share your faith… but, what if they decline the invitation?
- The Mall, and street witnessing (one-on-one or group preaching: What’s the likelyhood you will ever see them again? Yes, we can trust the Spirit to plant or water later by another, but why not be sure you can follow up…. if it were possible?