Evangelism or “Evandalism”?

Ryan Bell is hosting a conference March 1-2 at the Hollywood SDA Church, Beyond Evandalism; the main speaker will be Peter Rollins.

Wish I could go, but the Texas Conference is having an evangelism conference here in Houston that weekend, and I need to be at it.

I’ve had some interesting experiences in evangelism over the years. I consider my time as a campus minister and as a military chaplain to be full time evangelism. I was pastor of a mission congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I preached Catholic parish missions for Isaiah Ministries; my D.Min. project was developing an ecumenical variant of the Isaiah 43 mission. I was twice chairman of the Evangelization Commission of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, served on the diocesan leadership team for Disciples in Mission (a Paulist program) and did parish trainings for that program, and was a member of the U. S. Commission on Catholic Evangelization.

And now I’m preparing to preach my first Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic series, March 28 to April 11 at the Houston International Seventh-day Adventist Church  (ending with Easter).

I’m open to suggestions. I’d like it to have a young adult focus. Send me your suggestions for a title, a theme, for subjects to cover, for innovative ways to present these subjects. If you were going to do evangelism, how would you do it? If you wanted this to be something you would be eager to invite your friends to come to, what would it look like?

Lots of people criticize existing evangelism programs in every denomination. Some grow cynical and say we shouldn’t do evangelism, but I agree with Pope Paul VI:

… the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church …. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize ….

Failure is not an option. How then shall we do it?

One thought on “Evangelism or “Evandalism”?

  1. It’s possible you can still work off of the current “high” of Obama’s election, but focus on REAL hope and REAL change, inward as well as outward.

    Personally, I’d start with the undeniable fact that sin is in the world, and what we can do to begin to change that (nothing). The sermon I posted on my blog two weeks ago called “The Problem”, while rough on the edges because of my busy schedule, is where I would start. That tends to be where a lot of books that impact young adults (e.g. Blue Like Jazz) start. Heck, that’s where the book of Romans starts: the problem of sin.

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