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HomeSpiritual Growth15 Types of Biblical Christian Evangelism

15 Types of Biblical Christian Evangelism

The word “Evangelism” means different things to different people. For some, it is a calling of God on their lives. At the other extreme, some find Christian evangelism disingenuous at best, and fascism, at worst.

Evangelism Defined

Below are five definitions of Evangelism, each with its own nuanced perspective:

Webster – “The winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ.”

Cambridge Dictionary – “The activity of persuading people to become Christians, often by traveling around and telling people about your beliefs.”

Dictionary.com – “The preaching or promulgation (making known) of the gospel.”

Cru (formally Campus Crusade for Christ) – “Sharing Jesus Christ with people who do not know Him yet.”

Holman Bible Dictionary – “The active calling of people to respond to the message of grace and commit oneself to God in Jesus Christ.”

What is interesting to note is the different tenor of the various definitions. Cambridge and Dictionary.com see evangelism as a proactive process on the part of the evangelist, pressing his views on the listener. Words like “persuading”, “telling”, “traveling around”, “preaching”, and “promulgation” view the process of evangelism more from the perspective of one who is compelled to share his/her Christian worldview regardless of how receptive the audience may be. As might be expected, Cru and the Holman definitions suggest a softer approach of “sharing”, “calling”, “respond[ing]”, “grace”, and “commit[ing] oneself”. This suggests a focus on a more receptive response from the receiver of the Good News. Finally, Webster seems to strike a balance between the two, using terms such as “revival”, “winning” and “commitments to Christ”. The fact is that each of these definitions touches on one or more of the various types of evangelism.

Various Types and Approaches to Evangelizing the Lost

The following is a list of various types of sharing God’s love and offer of salvation. Each has its own unique qualities and adherents.

Event Evangelism – Billy Graham’s crusades are an example of this approach to evangelism. Others include church harvest festivals at Halloween, Easter egg hunts, Christmas programs, etc. During these events, there is typically a point where the gospel is shared in a group setting.

Lifestyle Evangelism – This broad term is used to describe those who demonstrate love for others in various ways without directly sharing the gospel. However, the Bible speaks directly on the need to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Luke 10:27), knowing that caring for people can offer a future opportunity to share God’s love, employing one of the other forms of evangelism. 

Service Evangelism – An offshoot of Lifestyle evangelism, many Christians have the gift of service, or a desire to care for the needs of others. There can be opportunities to share the source of their love, explaining what Christ has done for them.

Hospitality Evangelism – Also an offshoot of Lifestyle evangelism, those who love to entertain can use their gift of hospitality to engage others and transition into a gospel message.

Pastoral/Teaching Evangelism – Pastors incorporate many ways of sharing the gospel. This specific type refers to preaching from the pulpit as well as adult Sunday school, small group, and discipleship teachers, speaking about the need for salvation in a group setting. 

Prison Evangelism – Similar to Pastoral Evangelism, this group has personal experiences that can be used in unique ways to lay the groundwork for evangelism.

Crisis Evangelism – Adults are often most receptive to the gospel message at times of stress. They seek out the counsel of those whom they perceive to have peace about them, with the hope of gaining a similar life perspective. This is one of the greatest opportunities to offer the source of Christian peace through faith in Christ.  

Tract/Handout Evangelism – This includes leaving tracts in places where people will see and read them. It includes other forms of handouts passed out indiscriminately with no expectation of engaging with people directly.

Media/Music Evangelism – Social media, podcasts, Christian music, radio preaching, text messages, email, website evangelism, etc. are all a part of this growing method of sharing the gospel.

Multiplying Ministry Evangelism – When someone comes to a personal relationship with Christ, they then have the opportunity to share that transition in their lives with others (friends and family). These are people who are not directly touched by the one originating sharing with the individual, but are an offshoot from that effort.

Child/Youth Evangelism – Directed at children and youth, this can include sharing in a group setting, one-on-one between youth and/or adults, and parental evangelism in the home. It represents an amalgam of other forms but is unique in the methods used based on the age of the child/youth. 

Apologetic Evangelism – Apologetics is a logical approach in the defense of our Biblical Christian worldview. It includes employing evidence to support the accuracy of the Bible, the supremacy of God, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the historicity of Christ. 

Testimonial/Emotional Evangelism – Each of us, as Christians, has a story of how we came to a personal relationship with Christ. No one can dispute our own experiences and the change in our lives as a result of our faith. Often this is emotional, rather than purely logical (i.e. apologetics). 

Door-to-door Evangelism – Not practiced as much today, many churches established programs where members would go into a neighborhood, door-to-door, introducing themselves while transitioning quickly to a gospel message. 

Street Preaching Evangelism – This is marked by standing on the street corner trying to attract attention by preaching and/or reciting Biblical verses with the intent of convicting people of their lostness and its consequences. As with door-to-door, these confrontational approaches often generate more resistance to the gospel than attraction. 

Relationship/Friendship Evangelism – Similar to, or a component of, other forms of evangelism noted above, there is an intentionality to build relationships in order to share the gospel message with others. In today’s cultural climate, versions of relational evangelism hold the greatest promise for a receptive audience. 

Evangelism in All Forms

There is fluidity (moving between various methods), progressive (moving from indirect to more direct forms), and combined (employing multiple forms simultaneously) with the various types of evangelism listed. In the Bible, as Paul addressed the church at Corinth, he observed that we are all unique in our backgrounds, life experiences, and personalities. In Paul’s attempt to attract as many to the faith as possible, he made the observation that evangelism needs to be tailored to the individual. Each of us has different skills we bring to sharing the gospel in our own unique way. Further, and perhaps most importantly, those who respond favorably to God’s call do so based on their own distinctive personalities. 

1 Corinthians 9:21-22 – To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

Conclusion, A Reminder

Finally, it is important to remember that as Christians, we are held accountable to serve God by sharing His path to eternal life in Heaven. However, we are not held accountable for the outcome. Regardless of the evangelism method(s) used, God calls all believers to share their faith with a lost and dying world (1 Peter 3:15, 2 Tim. 4:5). Our love for God, our desire to see those we care about come to Christ, as well as His clear command to share our faith (Mark 16:15, Romans 1:16) should compel the believer to offer to others the Good News of Jesus Christ. God will give us the words to say if we would just take a step of faith (Luke 12:12).

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

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AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org

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