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.

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