Let’s start at the bottom of the list and work our way up to the absolute least effective form of Evangelism.
Number 5: Event Evangelism.
This is also known as bait and switch evangelism. Watch out for posters and flyers that say things like “Free Movie”, “Free Concert”, or “Mega Wild and Crazy, Totally Rad, Awesome Youth Gathering.”
The free movie night is probably another showing of the Jesus film. It’s been shown since 1979! The Jesus film project website will tell you how to use it. You are invited to watch an old religious film, then after the film comes the hard sell. You’ll be told what a horrible person you are, that you are going to die and suffer in hell for all eternity, and the only way to avoid it is to give your life to Jesus right now. No, you can’t think about it. What if you walk out of this room and are hit by a bus?
The Free concert is probably some Christian garage band. You aren’t getting to see Lady Gaga. After a few songs, you get the hard sell. God wants to love you but you stink. He’s going to torture you for eternity because even though he loves you even he has to follow certain rules he made up. Give your life to Jesus now and you can go to heaven. Hurry before the rapture or you’ll be left behind.
The Mega youth event is actually a mega youth event. I participated in these back in my Fundagelical youth pastor days. Take three thousand kids and run them through a physical endurance test. The day is full of wild and crazy games (Like Spam ball, don’t ask) amusement centers and even waterslide parks at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. (Yep we rented a water park for an overnight event.) After feeding them a high carb diet and wearing them out to the point of exhaustion with sleep deprivation, (sounds like brainwashing) then comes the hard sell. You want Jesus don’t you? The kids are so physically and mentally wiped out they will say yes to anything for a little sleep. Just sign this decision card kid and you get a pillow!
These events often produce “converts” but you won’t see them around for long. Many of them committed to Christ just to get out of the building. We had whole stacks of decision cards with fake names and phone numbers. People will say and do anything to end the sales pitch.
Number 4: Friendship Evangelism.
This is a close relative to bait and switch. However, this one is also known as scalp-hunting. In this case, a Christian will pretend to like you and want to be your friend. One day, while just hanging out, you are asked THE question. Websites are full of “spiritual conversation starters.” The classic one is: If you were to die today do you know that you would go to heaven? Isn’t it nice to know that people will pretend to be your friend just so they can add a notch to their Bible when they bag another soul? Of course, when your mark finds out the only reason you hang out with them is that they think you are a pathetic loser and easy prey for Evangelism, the friendship can end in disaster. Whatever happened to real friends talking about real issues without an agenda?
Number 3: Door-to-door Evangelism.
This is known as annoying you at home while you are trying to watch Game of Thrones. I remember back in the 80s we were told to go out at prime-time on Thursday nights. The reason why was because people would be home watching television. This method has become less effective due to gated communities, video doorbells, and these little beauties:
Number 2: Tract Evangelism.
This is known as the sowing seeds method. You scatter these like seeds and congratulate yourself on spreading the word. These things get sown everywhere. You will find these little pieces of paper tucked into books, slipped under your windshield wiper and left on tables, or the ground. Some Christians even give them out instead of candy on Halloween. Trust me that house is getting TP’d. These tracts are supposedly so compelling that the mere reading of them will convert a pagan by remote control. This is perhaps the method that involves the least effort possible and still allows you to claim that you do Evangelism. Hey, I left a tract instead of a tip for the server at our restaurant. I’m doing God’s work. The worst offenders are the phony money tracts. I guarantee if you leave one of those as a tip at a restaurant, you’ll be remembered by the server. It’s a sure way they will remember you as one of those %$@#& Christians!
And the #1 least effective way to evangelize is Street Evangelism.
This is also known as asshole Evangelism. Someone goes to a busy tourist place and yells at people, often with a bullhorn, while they are trying to go about their busy day working. Street preachers may choose a busy vacation destination to ruin with their harangues. Street preachers will even show up to other Evangelism events and yell about how whoever is leading the event is a false teacher and everyone is going to hell. Many of the street preachers use bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic slurs to “speak the truth.” Most people just avoid eye contact and walk on by if they can. Do you ever wonder how many people respond to a street preacher by saying, “I guess you’re right I am a wicked idolatrous whore and I need to give my life to Jesus.” The only good thing about street Evangelism is that the street preacher gets a boost to his persecution complex. Fundagelicals love the persecution narrative.
Since we are on the topic of street preachers, here’s a video of a street preacher that was so obnoxious he was cut with a knife by someone he offended. Watch what happens. Two lesbian women, he called out as “wicked” stop to help him. They take care of him. (Shades of the good Samaritan.) The two women have to explain to him that they are Christians. Think about this:
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Which ones proved to be Jesus’ disciples?
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like the post and subscribe if you haven’t already. You can watch my vlog at Rev’s Reels on YouTube. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Join me and a bunch of other former Fundagelicals at Open Door Ministries in Westminster at the Westminster Mall every Sunday.