Friday, May 28, 2010

Evangelism - Is "who" more important than "what"?

One of the foundational principles in "Good to Great", an influential book in the business and non-profit world, is that great companies and organizations succeed not due primarily to their tools, technologies, or strategies, but because they get the right people to work for them. The analogy is to "get the right people on the bus", as the destination will often need to change, but if you have the right people they can adjust, thrive, and lead despite changing circumstances.

Reflecting on the evangelism survey and discussion that I posted about yesterday, I've thought about this principle in relation to evangelism. Is it possible that the tools/technologies in evangelism are secondary to the person using them? Face to face, on the internet, speaking to a large group...the person that is Spirit-filled, full of faith, and tender of heart is going to probably see people respond favorably towards them, and the gospel message, more often than the person who is not. If they are a good communicator all the better. Well trained with a tool? Best yet. But...the tool is simply the final piece to the puzzle.

While our tools have been a great part of our success as a ministry (the Four Spiritual Laws being the most notable example), they are just that: tools.  The greater component is the people. If you give me ten people with the qualities mentioned above and turn them loose on a college campus with just a little bit of training, I'm guessing they are going to have far great impact than another group that have the most well thought out, relevant strategies and tools...but lack in character.

As we seek to innovate and adapt our evangelism tools to the culture, I think we would be wise to focus on attracting, and becoming, people that are relational, Spirit led, and faith-filled....and let the development of tools, strategies, and tactics emanate from this foundation.

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting thoughts. You're putting into words some thoughts that came out in the evangelism round table discussion last summer with Gauthier. It doesn't matter what sort of tools we use if our staff (and students) don't have a genuine heart for those that don't know Christ. Start there first...and then let's talk methods.