"Lifestyle Evangelism" vs. Soulwinning

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by DanielFive, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. DanielFive

    DanielFive
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    Here's an interesting and challenging article I ran across on the web.

    "Lifestyle Evangelism" vs. Soulwinning

    A lot of Christians attend churches where they talk about getting people saved. Very few Christians are actually seeing people getting saved. The difference is between "Lifestyle evangelism" as practiced by a lot of churches and old-fashioned Soulwinning as practiced in the Bible. What are these differences? I've listed a few:

    1. Lifestyle evangelists go on visitation.
    2. Personal Soulwinners go Soulwinning.
    3. Lifestyle evangelists give out tracts to salve their consciences and to be read later by the lost person.
    4. Personal Soulwinners use tracts to introduce themselves and to read to the lost person as they give the plan of salvation.
    5. Lifestyle evangelists drive around and wave at people.
    6. Personal Soulwinners get out and talk to people.
    7. Lifestyle evangelists choose carefully who they talk to.
    8. Personal Soulwinners talk to everybody.
    9. Lifestyle evangelists use every new program that comes along.
    10. Personal Soulwinners use God's tried and true program.
    11. Lifestyle evangelists talk about themselves and their church.
    12. Personal Soulwinners talk about Jesus and His power to save.
    13. Lifestyle evangelists think if they "live the life" people will notice and someday want to get saved.
    14. Personal Soulwinners know that "living the life" includes talking to others and telling them how to be saved!
    15. Lifestyle evangelists hang baggies on doors and have soulwinning "contacts."
    16. Personal Soulwinners look folks in the eye and have converts!
    17. Lifestyle evangelists expect sinners to come to them for information about salvation.
    18. Personal Soulwinners rely upon God to have somebody waiting for them to GO to and to GIVE information about salvation.
    19. Lifestyle evangelists wait until "people are ready" to get saved -they do a lot of waiting!
    20. Personal Soulwinners "wait upon the Lord" - they spend most of their time Soulwinning!
    21. Lifestyle evangelists use modern "Bibles" so that they can be understood.
    22. Personal Soulwinners use the preserved word of God so that the Gospel can get through!
    23. Lifestyle evangelists preach a works/"Lordship" Salvation.
    24. Personal Soulwinners preach salvation by Grace and nothing else!
    25. Lifestyle evangelists spend a lot of time accusing Soulwinners of preaching "easy prayerism" or " easy believeism."
    26. Personal Soulwinners spend a lot of time Soulwinning and seeing people saved!
    27. Lifestyle evangelists get mad at Soulwinners who are getting the job done.
    28. Personal Soulwinners get mad at sin and the devil!
    29. Lifestyle evangelists are lazy buzzards who have fallen for the Devil's lie.
    30. Personal Soulwinners are crazy nuts who want to punch the Devil in the eye!
    31. Lifestyle evangelists have a real burden to reach folks with a lot of "disposable income" who can tithe.
    32. Personal Soulwinners have God's burden to reach sinners!
    33. Lifestyle evangelists can be found knocking on doors in the finest neighborhoods.
    34. Personal Soulwinners can be found where the police are afraid to go!
    .....

    "Lifestyle Evangelist" or Personal Soulwinner - which are YOU?
     
  2. gb93433

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    If you take a look at Jesus, he never claimed to draw people to God for salvation by his life alone. So if we lay claim to lifestyle evangelism only then we are saying that we are somehow better able to lead people to the savior than Jesus.

    Plus we also violate Romans 10:14,15, "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!"
     
  3. Jonathan

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    This is a false choice.

    We are called to both live this lifestyle ('they' will know us by our actions) and to proclaim the Gospel.
     
  4. j_barner2000

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    It has to be both.
     
  5. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Guest

    Both and you're all invited to join us tonight at 7:00 p.m. [​IMG]

    Diane
     
  6. IfbReformer

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    God-centered evangelism vs. Man-centered evanglism

    A lot Christians attend churches where they
    are taught the "they need to get people saved" instead of they need to present the Gospel and God will do the saving. The reason we sometimes do not see people saved in certain areas is because people(as at all points in time) are hardened to the things of God. Our society is permeated with God and Christian teaching and they flat out reject it.

    Here are the differences between God-centered evangelism vs. Man-centered evanglism:

    God-centered evangelists live and present
    the Gospel to every person they "naturally"
    come in contact with. This would include co-workers, family members and neighbors. Sometimes
    God brings other people in their path by different means.

    Man-centered evangelists make stategy maps of their city and go to complete strangers door(no different than a door-to-door sales person -which we know most people just love) and without barely getting the person's name and in the most unatural personal contact one could think of they tell the person they are going to hell and would they "like to say this prayer" and go to heaven.[/b]


    God-centered evangelists leave tracts where
    they eat or frequent and maybe send tracks in the mail and let the Holy Spirit do his job.

    Man-centered evanglists shove tracts in peoples faces and might ask the persons name before telling them they are going to hell and would they like to say this 1-2-3 prayer and go to heaven.

    God-centered evangelists use tact to make contact, they actually get to know someone before they tell them they are going to burn in hell. They present the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit do his job.

    Man-centered evanglists don't care about the person on a personal level, they just look at them as "another convert" to add to their list. They don't need the Holy Spirit - they just need to close the deal and get another mark on their board of people who they got to pray a prayer.

    God-centered evangelists present the Bible and the Gospel for that matter, in the common man's language using a Bibles that accurately translate the Word of God in the common man's language as God had the Apostles do when he had the pen the Bible in Koine Greek(common Greek)and not classical Greek.

    Man-centered evanglists don't care that their readers can't understand some their traditional 400 year old translation. They insist that God wanted the Bible to stop being translated in the common man's language 400 years ago and unbiblically insist that the 7th edition of the 9th translation of the Bible in English is the Word of God by which all other translations before it or after are to be judged.

    God-centered evangelists get mad at Man-centered evanglists sometimes because they use no tact and gives Christians a bad name with
    their "numbers centered", "1-2-3 pray after me"
    no Holy Spirit lead type of evangelism.

    Man-centered evanglists get mad at God-centered evangelists because they simply proclaim the Gospel, give the Gospel to those they naturally come in contact with, actually get to know the person before telling them they are going to hell, and actually care about the
    person they are tring to reach instead of looking at them as another trophie to put on their shelf.

    God-centered evangelists have a burden to preach the Gospel and see the Holy Spirit change lives.

    Man-centered evanglists have a burden to see how many people they can talk into saying a 1-2-3 prayer and how many trophies they can put on the shelf.

    IFBReformer
     
  7. Molly

    Molly
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    IFBReformer,

    Ouch :eek: ...but,so true.
     
  8. Gunther

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    Just another hyper KJVO and hyper arminian ranting about the evils of modern versions and Lordship salvation. Yeah, I didn't see that coming. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Soulwinning of 1-2-3-pray-after-me is slowly dying a well-deserved death.

    Making disciples of all nations doesn't come from the Fuller Brush mentality in 2003. Don't think it EVER did.

    Just a modern phenomenon brought north by a few preachers and then villifying and demonizing any who don't follow their model.

    Will wait for biblical examples of door to door evangelism and 1-2-3-pray-after-me.

    And wait

    And wait
     
  10. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    Yeap, this article is so true, and a couple of them points hit at my heart. I certianly have some praying to do tonight!
    There is really no such thing as "Lifestyle evengelisum" though. You aren't going to win many by living a good life, although to be soul winner, you ought to. A soul winner must live a seperated life so that they CAN reach lost souls. You can not win a spiritual battle in the flesh. And if you have the right lifestyle you will WANT to win souls.
    And yeah, you use the old fashioned way. Don't be carried away with every wind of doctrine, and stick with God's Word {Most of you know exactly what I mean! ;) }
    Don't let fear get in your way of wittnessing, because God hath not given us the spirit of fear. Don't say it's too hard, because Calvary was hard, but Jesus didn't give up!
    GOd gave the great commision, not te great suggestion. Yeah, I know we've hard it a lot, but it's still true.
    Don't ignore God's word. Let us go out and do our best to lead someone (or many!) to the Lord.
    ~Miss Abby
    Proverbs 31:30 KJB [​IMG]
     
  11. Taufgesinnter

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    I won't answer the question, because the initial post contained too many half-truths and mischaracterizations.
     
  12. gb93433

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    I was one of those who came to Christ when a man knocked on my door. I had two friends in high school who later I find out were Christians at the time and never once said anything to me. One was the son of a pastor of a local Baptist church. The other one was the son of a businessman. Several years later I visited one of them and when he asked what I was doing for a living. I told him that I was pastoring. He told me, "I never knew you were interested in things like that." My response was, "I wasn't at the time." I wasn't interested in pastoring but I was somewhat interested in knowing more about what to meant to be a Christian.


    Acts 5:38-42, "So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God." They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and [then] released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."

    Acts 20:18-21, "And when they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

    One of my best friends started a church in a local area by going house to house. In three years the church was about 200. He is very skilled and loves people. For several months he taught me how to deal with people at the door. He would start of by saying something like, "I am XXXX and I am out in the community getting to know people. I pastor the church at XXXXXXXXXXXX. He told me never come under any false pretense. So when he talked to someone he just talked like he was getting to know someone for the first time. On one occasion a man said that he couldn't talk for long because his wife may not live much longer. My friend asked him, "Would you mind if I prayed for you and your wife?" He prayed for the man and and his wife. Shorty before we left the man asked where the church was. Then we left.

    That same pastor is called on regularly to do funerals for people he does not know because of his reputation and genuine heart for people. If you met him you would see why. When he comes into a church it isn't soon and the people are hugging each other. He hugs everybody. He is a true servant of God.
     
  13. j_barner2000

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    I have found that if I live a life as much as possible close to God, and seek after His righteousness, that people notice I am different. I have more often than not gotten an opportunity to share my faith even in my job. I work in support. God put me in a place where there is the potential to touch 1200 sales reps... and turnover here is outrageous. I have had the opportunity to share my testamony at least 1 time each day for the last 3 years I have been here. I dont get in peoples faces, and I certainly don't get confrontational. Furthermore, I have personally witnessed 2 spiritual rebirths in the last 2 months from "lifestyle evangelism." I then directed and helped them find solid Baptist churches to get baptised and taught just what was happening to them.

    Let me tell you a problem I have seen with door to door soulwinning... you walk up and talk about the Gospel... they pray the prayer, without fully or properly understanding repentance or the concept of becoming a disciple... So many if not most have not truly been saved, and therefore have a false sense of security. You see that little prayer is no good if true repentance is not involved.
    Another issue is that from there, there is no discipling done. The " new Christian" is left to fend for himself. Imagine what would happen to a natural newborn if it was left to fend for itself. Some are rescued, most die alone and not sure what is going on.
    And if you agree with Calvin.... the only way that little prayer will help you is if the Holy Spirit is drawing you.

    [ September 17, 2003, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: j_barner2000 ]
     
  14. mojojojo

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    This is my first reply on this board, so don't beat me up too bad...

    I was brought up in an ultra conservative IFB church, and soul winning was a big part of that experience. But over the years, I have seen too many shallow confessions of faith to put much stock in the door to door evangelism appraoch.

    In my personal experience, I have witnessed those who would say the sinner's prayer (1-2-3 repeat after me) just to get us off of their front porch.

    Soul winning has to be balanced out with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
     
  15. Gunther

    Gunther
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    Any evangelism that does not call on people to repent, is just another gospel. As you can see in their list, they are opposed to Lordship salvation by calling it a works salvation. Could this person be more clueless?
     
  16. gb93433

    gb93433
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    It seems that too often evangelism is treated apart from discipleship. Evangelism is a part of discipleship. When Jesus told His disciples to make more just like themselves he didn't mean to just do evangelism or just teach. What he meant by teaching is not standing up preaching or teaching a class and calling that discipleship. He meant that we are to impart our lives into the lives of others. We are to show them the way not just tell them.

    Many times I started a Bible study with a non-believer and later the person became a follower of Christ. I don't quit helping that person grow. My focus just changes as the person grows. I want to build in their life an independence from me and a dependence on God.

    It's so easy when we think about it. We would never leave a newborn baby to live life on its own. But in the church it is done all the time. Then we wonder why the person doubts their salvation or we wonder why it seems like they haven't grown.

    If you were to take a newborn baby that was yours and neglect it the way we often do new believers we would be put in jail from neglect.

    It should not be soulwinning or lifestyle evangelism but rather intentional discipleship to follow the master.
     
  17. j_barner2000

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    preach it GB.
     
  18. LarryN

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    Here's my two cents:

    The well-known pollster George Barna reports that, according to his research, approximately 80% of those who profess to be born-again came to Christ because of a relative or friend who invited them to church or directly talked to them about salvation. The remainder answered that they came to Christ in some other way; including so-called "confrontational evangelism" (e.g. a stranger came to their house door-to-door soulwinning).

    To put that another way, fully 4 out of 5 people who claim to be saved were won to Christ by "lifestyle evangelism"! Lifestyle Evangelism inherently means that we have to sometimes push ourselves out of our comfort-zones to befriend unbelievers and gain their attention & respect, so that their barriers to the Gospel will drop. This goes directly against what we've oftentimes been told about maintaining separation from sinners. What we need to be separated from is SIN; not sinners. Jesus Himself was frequently criticized for hanging out with the "wrong crowd".

    Don't get me wrong: BOTH STYLES HAVE THEIR PLACE! The results though clearly seem to indicate which style is more productive.

    The last time I bought a car I spent weeks comparison shopping. In contrast, why do we sometimes get the idea that we can walk up to a stranger and expect them to make the most important decision of their lives within a few minutes time? The actual result in many of these encounters is that the person will simply politely pray along with us to end the encounter, without any real understanding or repentance having occured.

    One of the best-known proponants of what others have called "1-2-3 evangelism" (in an apparent moment of transparent honesty) once said something to the effect of "If only 15% of those who've prayed (during his church's confrontational evangelism efforts) were actually saved, I'd be happy".
     
  19. gb93433

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    I think there are two books that have changed my life in regards to evangelism. One is Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels, Mark Mittelberg Mittleberg and Hybels show seven ways that evangelism was done in the New Testamant. The first time I heard Mark Mittelberg speak it changed my life and my whole approach to evangelism. It helped me to realize who I am and the basic approach I take. It also helped me to recognize better the other approaches that people respond to.

    The other book is One to One by Michael Green. Green talks about how most people have made a series of small decisons before they make the one big one for Christ.
     
  20. awesomedawn

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    "The aim of the missionary is to do God's will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen; he is useful and he does win the heathen, but that is not his aim. His aim is to do the will of his Lord."

    OSWALD CHAMBERS: MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

    GOD BLESS
     

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