As a teen, I learned many evangelistic methods for telling others about Jesus. Three that stand out are Evangelism Explosion, The Romans Road, and The Four Spiritual Laws. A few years later I added Steps to Peace with God.
The interesting thing was that not all of my friends were as excited about these methods as I was (and we were an aggressive evangelistic group). Their main concern was that these tools were too cut and dried – too stamped with “the man” and not open to The Man.
The Four Spiritual Laws, for all the truth contained therein, could often be used as a club to determine who was in or out, not to invite others into a warm and compassionate relationship with Jesus.
When the tool becomes a way to expose truth and not to hear the heart of the person sitting in front of you, I tend to think that you will have those who can understand your version of truth (con-version), and may even acquiesce to it, but will not be able to put this into practice in their own culture.
The author of the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, Bill Bright, would often tell stories of his use of the booklet. He worked on college campuses, he was outgoing and, in his own way, heard what people were saying. Before he dropped the Four Spiritual Laws on them.
Recently I came across a term that is gaining in popularity. Cultural apologetics, in many ways, deals with the culture a person lives in first, before proclaiming the “cure” of Jesus.
I think nowadays we need to help people to see their culture in a Christianly way. They need to aspire to become like Christ. That effort will spur them on to love and good deeds.
My last few years have been a search and research into a return to winsome evangelistic methods. The resources are scattered (you would expect this with the diversity that is required to just be relational with people, to listen to them and then to address the needs that would lead them to Jesus). I haven’t found a single gold nugget that is the cure all. I have found many shining examples.
What are you finding?