I'm reblogging this highly important article.
Friendship Evangelism Failing the Church - TruthWatch NZ
For decades western Christians have been regaled with the importance of non-judgemental, non- threatening, friendship evangelism. Forming relationships with the unsaved in order to ‘win them over’ is the universally approved method. Anything else is often met with doubts and mistrust. Despite the growing acceptance of what we like to call the law-to-grace method, which stresses using the ten commandments to bring people to see they are lost without Jesus, friendship evangelism is still the dominant methodology.
The problem is it is not working well. Over the decades since the 70s the western church should have seen substantial growth, given the supposed superiority of friendship evangelism, but it has not. Quite the reverse. Most studies, reported by the likes of the Barna Group, show a declining belief in Christianity, especially amongst youth. The oft-repeated and erroneous reaction to poor performance is to escalate commitment to a failing order in the hope that it will bear the fruit expected of it. If only we can do it better we will see it work. The emergent church movement and a raft of books like Kinnaman’s Un-Christian and Rob Bell’s book, which minimises the reality of hell, are at the forefront of this misguided escalation and fall naturally out of a mistaken emphasis on friendship as the only basis for evangelism.
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