I’m a young Christian and I’m still trying to figure things out. I don’t understand evangelism still. I don’t know how to do it exactly. I wanna learn about how to do evangelism, especially with atheists and skeptics. How do I learn it? Are there any resources I should look into?
Evangelism is super-important, but not everyone has the same gifts for it (although all gifts are meant to help support evangelism so long as there are still sinners to be saved).
One incidental side effect of this, is that while I know a lot of apologetic resources, I don’t personally know many resources for teaching evangelism. (Other than, y’know, the Bible, which is such a large answer as to be not very useful. )
Evangelizing modern atheists and sceptics is very, very difficult because in today’s society they have a ton of misinformation (and some legitimate information but wrongly applied), and often also have personal grievances (sometimes legitimate) against “the church” and “Christians”.
The best you may be able to do in that case, is the best starting point for any evangelism anyway (following Paul’s principle of “the more excellent way” in 1 Cor 13, more excellent than spiritual gifts important though those also are): first love them personally, with agapê love, self-sacrificial love, God’s love. If you don’t have that, anything else you do will be worse than useless. If you do have that toward them, that may be the only evangelism they’re even (or ever) able to accept.
If you’re able to love any such enough that they themselves acknowledge you do truly love them, then you may see occasional opportunities to go a little farther occasionally on tons and tons of various topics. Apologetic training will help with that, but not without love first and continuing.
Of course sometimes it’s necessary to do apologetics without the personal communion being first established, but (speaking as someone who’s much more of an apologist) I’m doubtful that counts much as evangelism. It’s a support for it, but not really the same thing, just some helpful tools maybe. Love is the real and foundational evangelism.
How did you come to God? I ask because if there was a specific way that worked for you, maybe it will work for others you know.
In my case I’m interested in music and went to a church event which had live music, a presentation of the Gospel and I responded. Over the years I have organised concerts and have seen over 100 people respond to God through them.
The guy who leads the church I attend, John, got saved when he was at school. He and a bunch of friends had all decided they were atheists. A wise teacher didn’t argue with them, but over a period of time showed them why the arguments they had against God didn’t stand up. After a while John gave up his atheism and became a Christian. John is more likely to lead someone to God by dismantling their arguments than I ever am. And I hope to come across the people who’s arguments he has dismantled and lead them to God Actually, my ex-wife used to do this quite regularly. It was so annoying lol.
Over the years there have been various fashions in evangelism … friendship evangelism and prophetic evangelism spring to mind, as does “treasure hunting”, but that may be a subset of prophetic evangelism. All these worked for the person that wrote the book. They may not work for you if you don’t have a similar character and gifting mix.
My suggestion is to get to know people as friends, proper friends, not just as evangelism targets and share life with them. Don’t preach, but do talk about your relationship with God sometimes (and talk about cars, music, football, girls or whatever else interests you) and when you talk about God it will come across as being genuine. And remember - it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance. God loves people and wants only good things for them.
I hope this helps a little.
You don’t evangelize people! You live your life as a peace-maker and you know the Word of God in your heart. The joy and passion of the Good News will be obvious like a light on a hill, and when they ask for the hope that is within you, you can easily express it and they will understand it. Zeal without knowledge does nobody any good, so make sure you understand what you believe before you pass it along - or else you will have today’s modern Christianity with it’s flaws and all being passed off as the Truth.
I think there are many ways, depending on the person’s personality and temperament. Intellectuals like scholarly presentations. Folks who are into gangs and drugs, respond well to former gang members and drug dealers. Folks who like rock music respond well to Christian rock bands. Most people can find a TV or radio evangelist they can relate to. Etc. This church responded well to a squirrel: