Bullhorn evangelism

Bosco Peters in New Zealand offers new models of evangelism he calls “permission marketing” or “participation marketing.”

Old style marketing parallels evangelism as the street-corner, bible-bashing approach, which interrupts people, hands them a tract, uses a “one size fits all” approach. It first hopes to create the sense of need which can then be fulfilled by the rest of the message. In our post-modern, multi-faith environment, of course, like old style marketing, the potential convert’s attention is ultimately numbed and tunes out.

Contemporary (post-modern) “permission evangelism” or “participation evangelism” is much more about a relationship in which a person’s real need is discovered and the gospel is found to be “Good News” for their real need.

Churches, it seems to me, are so often empty of a whole section of society, or a whole band of age-groups, because no one is actually finding out what their real needs are. They certainly have real values, meaning, spiritual needs. Let’s go out and find out what they actually are – rather than assuming what they are and telling them what they are. Do we not trust that the gospel addresses the needs that they will present us with?

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