Are Your Church's Evangelism Tactics Abusive? (with Sarah McDugal)

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Are your church’s evangelism tactics abusive?

You may have never asked this question. In fact, the question itself might even seem a bit offensive.

How can abuse and evangelism even be in the same sentence?

But here is the gut wrenching truth - anytime we use fear of judgment or hell to push someone to accept Jesus, anytime we short circuit someones thinking and reasoning process to rush them into the baptismal waters or manipulate/ coerce them to join the church we are using abusive systems to accomplish evangelism.

And that’s disturbing.

Don’t believe this happens? A quick story. I attended the final presentation of an evangelistic series years ago where the evangelist made a call to baptism. This is what he did: he asked everyone in the church to stand up - everyone, guests included. Then, he asked all church members to sit down. Next he asked everyone who had made a decision for baptism to sit down. In the end, there was one lonely girl left standing all by herself in a room of about 120 people.

She was embarassed.

There she was, the only person in the room not an Adventist and still hadn’t made a decisions to become one.

The evangelist put her on the spot. And in the afternoon, I saw her get into the tank and be baptised. From the moment she walked up to the stage in her baptismal gown, to the moment she left drenched in water - she didn’t smile once. Instead, she looked like a deer in headlights - with no idea what was happening.

This is one example of abusive evangelism tactics. And guess what? I happens all the time, so in this weeks episode I sat down with author and abuse recovery coach Sarah McDugal to begin exposing the ugly truth behind absuive evangelistic tactics as we pursue a more biblical approach.

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