Greg Stier: Why Confrontational Evangelism Might Not be the Best Way to Share the Gospel

Young woman shouting on a solid background

Confrontational evangelism: “the kind of evangelism that communicates the Gospel in an abrasive, in-your-face way.”

I’ll never forget taking an outside escalator in Las Vegas down to the street level with my then 12-year-old daughter Kailey. There were hundreds of people on the sidewalk below us as we descended toward the large crowd.

At the bottom of the escalator was a man with a repent sign and, no joke, a bullhorn. He incessantly yelled “Repent!” at all the people coming down the escalator and others walking by.

My daughter turned to me and asked, “Daddy, what is that man doing?”

I replied, “He is attempting to share the Gospel with the crowd here.”

She said, “Daddy, I think your way is much more effective.”

My way isn’t really even my way. It’s the way you see modeled in Scripture. It’s good news people sharing the good news of Jesus in a good news way.

You may be thinking, “Well, didn’t Jesus preach to people on the street?” And, you’d be right. But he did it in a relational way. He provided healing for their bodies and food for the stomachs. And he shared hope with them in a loving and powerful way.

And, yes, Paul did “street preaching” too. But he did it in a relational way, not an abrasive way. In Acts 17:22,23 he starts his outdoor sermon with these words, “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.”

Instead of just screaming “repent” and reminding his audience of pagan philosophers that they were on a highway to hell, he found common ground and used it to introduce them to the Gospel story.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Greg Stier