Rethinking Evangelism/Witnessing – Part 1


For some time now, but especially during the past year or so, I have been doing some serious rethinking about how we present the gospel–aka do evangelism–at Tall Turf. Somewhere along the line, we seemed to take more of a formula or scripted approach that would end up by leading a kid to recite/repeat the “sinner’s prayer” in order to get them saved. I have never been particularly comfortable with this approach for a number of reasons. I think we need to be much more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and meet each kid where they are. That means, among other things, that maybe we are just supposed to be the ones who cultivate/prepare the soil, plant the seed, or provide the water and sonlight needed to grow and not always end up trying to harvest the seed that has just been planted.

Anyway, there are three books that are helping me think through this more carefully. The titles and authors are as follows:

More Ready Than You Realize, by Brian McLaren

Reimagining Evangelism by Rick Richardson

Evangelism Without the Additives by Jim Henderson

I began sharing these thoughts with some of the Tall Turf’s program leadership this past spring and spoke about them during my presentation on evangelism during our summer staff orientation this year.

Until the next time …



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2 Responses to Rethinking Evangelism/Witnessing – Part 1

  1. Jack,
    I am always delighted to discover someone else who is passionate about shalom. Good resources. The best theological book I have come across that started me on my journey is Peace by Walter Brueggemann. Are you familiar with that one?


  2. jkooyman says:

    Thanks so much for your comment. Interesting that you mention Brueggemann. I had a book by him a number of years ago where described shalom as God’s dream for all of creation. His writing definitely had an impact on my appreciation of and passion for shalom.

    Nicholas Wolterstorff in his book, Until Justice and Peace Embrace, has also helped me better understand and appreciate how shalom relates to how we live and what we are called to do as Christians and more importantly as the Christian community.


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