Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Postmodern Evangelism

Collectively, as God’s church, many of our attempts at evangelism have fallen short and, as a result, we’ve pushed those we were trying to minister to further from God’s kingdom. In our postmodern culture, old evangelism methods that treated people more like projects than people loved dearly by Christ, should be scrutinized carefully.

I Once Was Lost: What Postmodern Skeptics Taught Us About Their Path to Jesus
(InterVarsity Press) is an attempt to explore the journey young people take as they move closer to, and hopefully fully accept, God’s call on their life. Authors Don Everts and Doug Schaupp have years of experience ministering on college campuses. They began noticing a cultural shift taking place. College students they were ministering to were coming to faith in mysterious, even unthinkable and completely unfamiliar ways. Yet many of their stories had much in common. There seemed to be five distinct markers along the journey people were making on their path to Christ. Everts and Schaupp call these markers the five thresholds. At each threshold there are certain hurdles that need to be cleared as the Holy Spirit works to bring home the lost.

The beauty of recognizing these thresholds is it allows us to identify where each individual is on their journey toward the kingdom. We can then minister to them where they are. Everts and Schaupp not only describe the thresholds, but offer suggestions on how to help non-Christian friends cross each one. Credit also goes to the authors for realizing that once the fifth threshold (“entering the kingdom”) has been crossed, the journey in many ways has just begun. New Christians need to be supported, prayed for, mentored and ministered to as well. This book will prove to be a valuable read for college ministers and those who work closely with today’s young adults.


Anonymous said...

What are the 5 thresholds? Don't think that would give the whole book away...

Stephen said...

Steve: If you follow the link in the review, you can read an introduction and first chapter. The introduction lists the five thresholds as:

THRESHOLD ONE: Trusting a Christian
THRESHOLD TWO: Becoming Curious
THRESHOLD THREE: Opening Up to Change
THRESHOLD FOUR: Seeking After God
THRESHOLD FIVE: Entering the Kingdom

Peace, brother.