As a non-Christian this will obviously be written from such a perspective.  However I do think that some Christian could stand to see what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to evangelizing to the unsaved.


1. Hellfire and Brimstone rants. This is the least effective evangelizing tool.  In fact, this could hurt a person’s chances of converting to Christianity rather than help them and usually helps to further solidify a person’s belief that all Christians are hate-mongers.


There is a man in downtown Chicago that I used to pass by a lot when I would leave a summer job I had in previous years.  I don’t think anyone knows his real name.  However he is quite notorious around these parts as the “Old Navy” man because he stages his rants outside an Old Navy store.  He stands there in full business attire with a microphone and speaker and yells out to passers by.  Damning them to hell.  Damning everyone to hell because I suppose to him that everyone that was around him was “unchurched” and needed to hear how evil and vile they were in the eyes of God.


My friend told me of a time where her mother attempted to have a civil conversation with this man about judgment.  And this man who is supposed to be a devout Christian decided to curse her out.


If you claim that your religion is one of peace and love, preach about it from this angle.  Use your life experiences to show why you are following this path.  When you use the fire and brimstone method, you’re showing the real reason you’re a part of this religion.  Not because you love God, not because you think God is love.  But because you don’t want to feel God’s wrath and you’re afraid of it.  You believe everyone else needs to be afraid of it as well.


2. Watch your language. Now this is a minor issue for me, but I will admit when I hear people who claim to be Christian using swear words or deciding to use language that could be construed as hateful or hurtful, I must question their beliefs a little bit.  Watching ones language also includes gossip and rudeness towards other people.  Don’t claim the title of “Christian” if you’re a constant gossip and realize that you’re a constant gossip, spread rumors, say hurtful things to or about people, etc.  Also, don’t make fun of people because their beliefs are different.  You know that God gave people free will so it’s no wonder why some people believe different things.


3. Practice what you preach and believe what you preach. I wouldn’t imagine that this would be such an issue for people.  It seems logical that if you believe something wholeheartedly, that you would practice this belief.  I know that people struggle and that people make mistakes.  But if you’re constantly going against everything that you preach, you’re only fooling yourself.  Not only are you fooling yourself, the image of the everyday Christian that you put out to the world gets skewed and you’re breaking your own belief system.  Christianity teaches that God is love.  If you don’t display love in your actions while trying to minister to people, those that you are trying to minister to will tune you out and paint you as a hypocrite and your belief system as a crock.


4. Don’t be so automatic to paint everything that is different as “evil”. This is something that bothers me about a lot of Christians.  It’s something that everyone in the world does, but I find it especially terrible with Christians do this.  When non-Christians do this they are working off their own preconceived notions of what “evil” really is.  But you all have a way to find out what real evil is.  The bible lays out what is evil.  You know what evil is.  True evil.  You know what things are sinful.  So I’m not speaking about things that the bible covers.  I’m speaking about things that are just “outside of the norm”.  Speak to people about their experiences.  Learn about what it is you’re painting as “evil” before you decide that it goes against what the bible teaches.  Otherwise you’re just generalizing something and forming stereotypes about everyone who’s a part of this group.


5. Use your own life experiences to back up your faith. I don’t know if people are afraid to do this or not.  But people can’t tell you that your life experiences are fake.  What are they going to do?  Tell you that there’s no way that your life could be turned around by a belief in God?  That there’s no way that you can have peace in your life?  That there must be something else that you’re doing?  They can say all these things.  That’s a fact.  But they can’t prove that it wasn’t faith that made your life better.  They can’t prove that it wasn’t prayer that helped a loved one.  Scientific and historical evidence is great to start off, but a lot of people can shrug that off.  People can’t tell you what you have and have not experienced in life.


6. Realize that there’s some people you can’t convince of anything. Just move on and go on with your life.  Continuously trying to focus your efforts on trying to convert people or convince them of your belief won’t do anything for some people.  No matter how much evidence you try to show, no matter your life experiences, there are some people who are so arrogant that they will refuse to listen to any of it.  Leave them be and move on.


These are some main points that those who want/need to minister to people have to remember.  There might be other important points, however these are the ones that I can remember/think of.  If I think of more, I might make a part two to this.