Methods of Evangelism: Intellectual, Relational & Confrontational

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The Intellectual Method/ The Four Spiritual Laws

Summary of Method –  The Four spiritual laws is a method that is widely accepted as an effective, intellectual way to evangelize. It was originally started with Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade. It uses four simple laws and correlating verses used to help sum up the Gospel in a relatable, easy to understand way. The first spiritual law is that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” One of the bible verses associated with this law is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 highlights the love that God has on the entirety of the world and how He was willing to sacrifice His most valued possession so that you, His loved one, could find salvation.  The second spiritual law states that, “Man is sinful and separated from God, thus we cannot know Gods plan for our lives. A verse associated with this law is Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  The third law states that, “Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for mans sin, and that through Him we can be forgiven and our relationship with God restored.” A popular verse associated with this law is Romans 5:8, which states, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Pointing out that Jesus died despite the nature of our souls and that redemption is only found through Him. The fourth and final spiritual law points out how we may find salvation. It states, “ We must place our faith in Jesus Christ in order to receive salvation and know Gods plan for our lives.” Acts 16:31 is a great and simple verse to use as an example correlating this law, stating, “ Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”  

Advantages of Using This Method –  Using The Four Spiritual Laws Method to approach evangelism has the advantage of being able to Biblically back up the Gospel using four simple laws that feels easy to understand and retain. It gives you the ability to break down the message and get to the heart of what the Lord is trying to get someone to understand. This method, along with the “Roman Road” method, is a form of  intellectual evangelism great for someone who likes to systematically break down the Gospel and have verses align with their message.

Disadvantages of Using This Method– The disadvantage of evangelizing with an intellectual method is that most people that you will be witnessing to do not believe in the Bible. It is hard to Biblically back a conversation with scripture when the person does not believe in God much less the Bible being the word of God. To a non- believer scripture is merely fiction, thus throwing verses at them to confirm your statements rarely does much good.

The Relational Method/ Servant Evangelism 

Summary of Method-  “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” (Galatians 6:10, ESV) Servant Evangelism is a relational method approach that should be used by all people pursuing ministry and claiming to be followers of Christ. It is done simply be serving those around you as Jesus served those around Him. There are so many ways to help others and follow this method of evangelism. As a Christian, every generous act can serve as an example of Christ’s love and compassion. Those that do not know God are able to see His love, through the love that you share with them. Whether it is giving money to the homeless, comforting a stranger, or simply praying for an unbeliever, you are practicing Servant Evangelism. As Christians, every small act of kindness will reflect who God is and how He has changed your life for the better. Compassion and love are the characteristics of Christ and by being an example of those things, and serving those around you, others will wonder why you do the things that you do. They will want what you have. They will question what you know -all of which will point straight to salvation. 

Advantages of Using This Method- I would say that one of the greatest advantages of using the method of Servant Evangelism is the feeling that you get knowing that you did something good for someone. That you helped another person in a way that perhaps no one else would. The pride and joy that comes with helping others is something unlike anything else. Even more than that however, you allow yourself to be an example of Christ’s love. You allow others to see Christ through you and make them want more of this amazing love that you have shared with them. In his thesis, “Envisioning and Implementing a Servant/Event Evangelism Strategy in the Local Church” J.N. Lorick states that, “The greatest examples of servant/event evangelism can only come from pastors and churches that are seeing this strategy work.“ He then gives examples of how servant evangelism has been affecting the modern world of ministry in new, amazing ways.

Disadvantages of Using This Method- The disadvantage of Servant Evangelism is that you may not always have the opportunity to speak the word of God. Kind acts and generous deeds can only take you so far when trying to communicate the Gospel. Without the message of Jesus behind these acts, however good they may be, often remain as just that -generous acts of kindness. Effective ministry often requires more than just doing nice things for others but rather, an explanation of why you do them. If Jesus went around healing the sick, raising the dead, and returning sight to the blind without ever explaining why He did those things and who’s name He did them in, there would be no resource to truly know how passionately God loves us. 

The Confrontational Method/ Evangelism Explosion 

Summary of Method- Evangelism Explosion is a risky, confrontational method in which a Christian asks a serious of questions pertaining to one’s faith and knowledge of the Gospel. They ask questions such as, “Do you know if you are going to heaven?” or “What will you say to God when confronted with Him?” “Will He let you into Heaven?” Evangelism Explosion is a more abrasive approach of witnessing designed to help non-believers confront the questions that only God and faith in Christ can answer. It allows them to reassess their believe system by looking at, and asking the harder questions that we as humans face. 

Advantages of Using this Method-  The advantage of Evangelism Explosion is that it allows one to reconsider what they believe and why. It is a “straight to the point” type of method in which there is no room for babying. For example, if you, as a non-believer where to be asked, “Do you know if you are going to heaven?” You would immediately have to ponder and consider your answer before stating the obvious- “no.” Questions such as these leave an open door to the thought process regarding salvation, which many people (blunt people especially) need. Many people do not want someone to tell them the answers to their problems but would rather come to a conclusion on their own based on information provided. I believe that confrontational methods allow this opportunity. 

Disadvantages of Using This Method- One of the disadvantages of using confrontational methods such as evangelism explosion is just that- its confrontational. While this method is used with the best intentions it fails to show the love of Christ and His willingness to redeem. It tends to focus more on the “hellfire and brimstone” questions rather than the truth of grace. Many feel pressured to answer these questions when asked, however do not have time to reflect and actually have a change of heart. This may lead to people saying that they know where they are going or perhaps that God loves them, more to end the conversation than to actually be saved. Pressured, they may prefer to just tell you what you want to hear and simply move on.   

2 comments

  1. This is a good breakdown. I have found being able to incorporate each of these into daily living as the Spirit leads works for me…most of the time. I’ve also seen there really is no formula to follow. For we have to depend on the Spirit’s working in a person’s heart. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be armed and ready but that we should also remember to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in each situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I couldn’t agree more, there is no doubt that it is ultimately the Holy Spirit that leads people to Christ. For some, these methods will work, for others not at all. We must allow God to do most of the work, no one has ever argued anyone into Heaven. Thank you so much for sharing!
      God Bless.

      Liked by 1 person

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