The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


All ways, all the time

Congregations are urged to follow three dimensions of evangelism

For those looking for help in evangelism, here is one way to understand what we are really called to do. Evangelism has three dimensions. The rule is: be engaged in all three dimensions all the time.

Dimension 1: Pre-evangelism

Pre-evangelism refers to all that earns us the right to be heard. What causes people in your community to know of your church or to care? Do community groups meet there? Do you have a food pantry? Are you involved with Habitat for Humanity? Do your ministries serve and honor Christ to the extent your resources will allow? Why should anyone listen to you otherwise?

Dimension 2: Evangelism proper

Evangelism itself is the ministry of the church that leads to baptism and all that it means for living. Whether we baptize infants or adults, only by baptism is the kingdom extended. Does your church find ways to engage people in discussions leading to instruction and baptism? This may be the hardest part of outreach ministry for us, but it is absolutely essential.

Dimension 3: Re-evangelism

Re-evangelism calls people back�back to communion and the hearing of the word. Millions have left the churches in which they grew up. Sept. 11 didn�t bring them back, but there is evidence that biblical, doctrinal preaching does. Whatever methods you decide to use, call back the prodigal sons and daughters. Again, the key is for the congregation to be active in all three dimensions of evangelism all the time. No one dimension is enough by itself. Expect to gain wisdom and skill as time goes on. Rejoice when your labor is rewarded.


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