Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Understanding Your Evangelism Style

A few weeks ago we discussed how the Great Commission that Jesus had extended to was not optional (Matthew 28:16-20). If our initial reaction is to shy away from evangelism because we may not fit the personality of a street corner preacher, we may be confusing the Great Commission with our individual giftings. Instead of beginning with the question of if we should evangelize, perhaps it may help put Jesus’ commandment into its proper biblical frame of reference by first asking the question of how we can evangelize.

What’s Your Evangelism Style?
Repent and Turn Ministries has a wonderful resource called the “Evangelism Styles Questionnaire” that can help us better answer the question of how we can evangelize. At the end of the 36 question assessment, it maps the individual’s level of affiliation toward each of the 6 main styles of evangelism that it outlines: Direct, Intellectual, Testimonial, Interpersonal, Invitational, and Serving. In addition to leaving the individual with a quantitative glance of their primary and secondary evangelism styles, it provides descriptions of each of the styles with accompanying recommendations of do’s and don’ts within each respective style (I highly recommend that you click the link above and complete the assessment yourself).

Connecting at the Personal Level
When I first reviewed this resource and took the assessment, it was groundbreaking for me. For years I had been unsure as to why I had a tendency to repel people away whenever evangelizing. However, after taking this assessment, it began to make sense. My style of evangelism is the Direct style, and it never previously occurred to me that I came to Christ mainly under the evangelistic efforts of others who also exhibited the style of Direct evangelism. In other words, the style of evangelism I responded best to also happened to be the same style of evangelism I inherently exhibit whenever I share the Gospel with someone. While this correlation between the receiving/practicing styles of evangelism may not always be matching for everyone, it is likely that you may find yourself having a tendency to evangelize in the same style as the one that was practiced on you when you came to know Christ (It can be similar to the concept of love languages, where we have a tendency to exhibit love toward others in the same language that we desire to receive love in). This doesn't mean that we are only capable of evangelizing under one style. Instead, it simply means we have to make more of an intentional effort to evangelize in a style that is different from our primary or secondary style.

Connecting Strongly with Certain Individuals
After reflecting on the results of my assessment, I began to realize that my go-to claim of “I can’t do evangelism” was no longer valid. It wasn’t because I wasn’t able to share the word of God; Indeed, I wasn’t making connections quite possibly because I had not been sharing the word of God in a style that best suited the other individual’s preferred evangelism style. This is why the Lord has called each of us to fulfill the Great Commission. Each of us are gifted with a particular evangelism style that effectively reaches the world when we use our God-given spiritual gifts. Rest assured that there are individuals that you can evangelize to and minister to. When sharing the Gospel with an individual, take a moment to consider what evangelism style they may respond best to if you know them well enough. If you're not sure, default to the Testimonial style since this is simply just sharing your story. The Lord has identified individuals who are waiting for someone with your evangelism style to come into contact with them and share the love of Christ with them. Pray that He orchestrates your encounter with them.

Let's Connect! Follow on Twitter: @SeanBuono

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