Street Smart Evangelism
Bradley Price Roderick
In his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street Smart Executive, Mark McCormack presented principles for success in the business world. While evangelism should never be viewed as a business, many of McCormack’s principles are transferable to the communication of the gospel.
* Listen aggressively. Christians frequently don’t take time to hear people’s questions. We need to learn to listen. Once we know where someone is hurting, we are in a much better position to speak to his or her needs.
* Take the edge. In McCormack’s book, “taking the edge” refers to the art of using the facts of the deal to your best advantage. For Christians, this means we must know the message we want to share. Learn several ways to present the gospel so the Holy Spirit can guide you to the most appropriate method for each individual.
* Be honest. Three difficult but helpful phrases, according to McCormack, are “I don’t know,” “I need help,” and “I was wrong.” Many unchurched people are skeptical of Christians who appear to have all the answers in a neat little box. They are refreshed and encouraged to find that Christians are real.
* Be aware of timing. One common error in evangelism is missed timing. Some evangelists are so anxious to lead a person to Christ that they press for a decision before the person is ready. Others are so afraid of pushing too hard that they never get around to asking a person to accept Christ. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
* Use silence constructively. Silence is a rare commodity, and it often makes people uncomfortable. But when we let silence enter our conversation, we give the person time to think about our message, and we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in evangelism—convict the person of his or her need and of Christ’s sufficiency to meet that need.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Street Smart Evangelism” by Bradley Price Roderick was excerpted from the book Small-Group Ideas. Pg. 111. March 2011. It may be used for study & research purposes only.