Saturday, 8 October 2011

Obstacles to effective evangelism

Dave Burke his twin brother has compiled a list of obstacles to effective evangelism which currently plague the Christadelphian community:

* Use of the KJV or any Bible translation earlier than the 1970s
* Failure to demonstrate practical positive life benefits to believing and living the gospel
* Failure to demonstrate practical outcomes of doctrinal differences between ourselves and other Christian groups
* Failure to differentiate between the needs of Christians and non-Christians
* Failure to understand what non-Christians are looking for
+ David adds:

 Failure to understand why other Christians go to church
* Use of jargon in our literature
* Lack of literature for non-English speaking people
* Lack of literature for people with English as a second language
* Lack of attention to pressing social issues
* Insistence that visitors adhere to specific in-group rules
* Failure to demonstrate that we actually care about the community in which we live


These problems have been perpetuated for decades, largely because they are not recognised as problems.

+
Effective evangelism has wider implications than the conversion of non-Christadelphians. It also improves the health of our community by building up our young people (themselves a prime audience for Christadelphian evangelism) and our 'less comely members' (I Corinthians 12:14-25). For some Christadelphians the internet is seen as a viable alternative to real life community. This is inherently problematic and potentially damaging.

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Luckily there are also ecclesiae which use contemporary versions of the Bible.