Thursday, March 29, 2007

Some Conversation Tips for Sharing Our Faith

Will McRaney Jr., in his book The Art of Personal Evangelism, gives some great conversation tips when we are trying to share our faith with non-Christians.

These tips are:
  1. Use common language, not religious terms

  2. Avoid being argumentative

  3. Listen without interruption when the other person is talking

  4. Recognize that no means no, at least for the time being
  5. Respect the time and schedule of others

  6. Try to maintain goodwill so that you canengage in future conversations

  7. Avoid talking down other religious groups or individuals

  8. Remember that people have intellectual limits, so do not overwhelm them with too many Scriptures

  9. Try to leave with a win/win approach, not create winner and loser

  10. Remember that many people are not avid readers so other forms of material will be needed--videos, DVDs, CDs, etc.

In the past, people would debate various points of faith. Today, however, debate and argumentation are death for reaching people. People are tired of religious fighting over head matters with little care for the poor, world hunger, or many other things Jesus concerned himself with.

Instead of argument and debate, we must ask questions, actually listen to the answers, share our own experience, and invite others to join us in this experience.

What do you think of these conversations tips?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Liberty's Evangelistic Growth--Are We Satisfied?

Hello all. Sorry for the delay in blogging!

We have recalcuated our church growth statistics at Liberty (see below).

Raw Growth for 2002-2007 (thru 3/14/07)
13% Biological Growth
45% Transfer Growth
42% Evangelistic Growth

Net Growth for 2002-2007 (thru 3/14/07)
20% Biological Growth
30% Transfer Growth
50% Evangelistic Growth

For fuller results. see:

The good news is that our recent baptisms and families that have been converted has pushed our percentage of evangelistic growth back above 42%. This is far above the norm. The bad news is twofold: 1) taking a kingdom perspective, sadly, most churches are not growing at all evangelistically; and 2) this growth rate does not come close to approximating the growth of the early church.

It is estimated that the early church grew at a rate of 40% per decade in the first three centuries--all evangelistic growth. As a movement, we have lost 20% in terms of our percentage of the US population over the last 26 years.

We have become so accustomed to our weak growth rate that we think that 20 baptisms in a year is very good. Indeed, we rejoice at those who accept Christ! But overall, we are failing to reach the lost in the United States.

How can we change this and regain the growth rate of the early church? What would have to happen for the church to grow 40% (evangelistically) this decade? What would it take for Liberty to do this?