Sunday, January 21, 2007

Introductory Blog

Welcome new readers and fellow bloggers interested in a way to lead a person to faith by genuinely listening to and focusing on the lost person and not through gimmicky propostions.

The purpose of this blog is to invite dialogue about the new paradigm for evangelism I have developed called, Story Listening Evangelism. Over the next several weeks I will share with you assumptions and challenges involved in this approach to evangelism. I will also share with you previews outlining the toolbox of witnessing skills that will make up the book I am writing as a guide to Story Listening Evangelism.

Story Listening Evangelism, or SLE, for short, has been developed to address the need to listen to the lost person who is being witnessed to. From the beginning of Evangelsim Explosion to today, most schools of evangelism mention the need to listen to the lost person, yet they do not tell the reader how. That is what SLE intends to do with a multi-skill toolbox that the witness can choose from to tailor each individual witness.

Up first: Assumptions

  • God is a story-telling, self-revealing God who is actively seeking to save each and every person in his creation.

  • We, as human beings, are created in the image of God and therefore are story-telling, self-revealing creatures.

  • The aha! moment in salvation occurs at the intersection of God's story of self-revelation and the story of the lost person.

  • Story is any verbal and/or non-verbal self-revelation on the part of a speaker.

  • Story listening evangelism is the process by which a witness listens to a lost person and mirrors that person's story back to that person in an ongoing , perhaps extended conversation or series of conversations, to the point that the lost person experiences an aha! moment of his or her need for God's salvation.

  • Through SLE a witness can hear a lost person's cry for help even before that person is consciously aware of his or her own need for salvation.

  • SLE is a universal tool that transcends cultures and equips the witness to be used by God to enter into and stay in an evangelistic conversation with virtually anyone, anywhere, until the person witnessed to chooses to end the conversation.

  • God is the agent of salvation through the person of the Holy Spirit who draws a person to God, and the saving act of Jesus Christ's atoning, vicarious death on the cross for the sins of all mankind.

  • SLE fulfills the Great Commission's original Greek grammar, "As you go,..."

These are the basic assumptions that form the foundation of SLE. In the weeks ahead I will introduce the process known as Story Listening. From there I will share with you tools and skills from the SLE toolbox including:

  • Autonomic eye movements that guide the witness in which modality to use to speak the same language as the person witnessed to

  • Transitions, which provide a rich source of information by which to tailor the witness

  • How to deal with verbal anger encountered in witnessing

  • How to use dialogue to lead a person to faith

  • How to use family process as a tool to lead a person to faith

  • How to use fierce questions from Susan Scott's Fierce Conversations in an evangelistic conversation

  • How to identify neurological filters in a speaker's words in order to understand and predict how that person will make a decision to come to faith in God through Jesus Christ

  • How to identify dysfunctional beliefs that impede a person's coming to faith

I look forward to hearing from you as I share God's calling to me to synthesize the tools of story listening into the toolbox of SLE. To God be the glory!

3 comments:

rick said...

Good. Glad to see you up.

Chuck said...

Hi, Ernest!

When you say "So, dialogue can be an important tool that informs our witness even without entering into the sticky debate of whether God is immutable or not ..." I agree that dialogue is important in witnessing. I also agree that you don't have to debate God's immutability in witnessing. However, if you have enough time in witnessing to do more than simply present the Gospel, I would say that a discussion of Who God is should be one of the main points of a Gospel dialogue. In today's apostate society, lots of people may think of God as simply a flawed super being -- otherwise, why would a loving God let bad things happen? A super important point is that God deals with us in justice, not in love, since we are unlovable. In fact, unless we adjust to God's justice by accepting His solution (namely Jesus Christ) to our problems, then we're in serious trouble. So, God's immutability doesn't need to be agreed on, but His justice is sure a major point for dialogue.

Cheers,
Chuck

Rich Bradford said...

I just finished reading Susan Scott's book about a month ago or so (had to also pay late fees to the library). While reading the book, it never occurred to me that the principles could be applied to evangelism.