Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another Affirmation for SLE

ABP and the Baptist Standard recently carried Tony Cartlege's North Carolina Biblical Recorder story Ron Martoia's presentation at a recent ministry conference. Martoia is reported to have said that there is little evidence that many Christians are experiencing true life changes. He encourages churches and ministers to think beyond a point-of-sale witness that focuses only on heaven to the biblical model of salvation that includes the whole person. He says that the Gospel is the fulfillment of the Old Testament's promise of shalom that suggests wholeness, wellness, and peace. He goes on to argue that Christian witnesses to the Good News need to speak a language that people understand in their own culture.

Story Listening Evangelism (SLE) fills that bill. SLE has as its starting point the lost person's story and the witness responds in the lost person's language, including cultural as well as sub-modalities like visual, auditory, and kinesthetic predicates. These matched predicates build rapport. As rapport continues to be built, the lost person is led toward an aha! moment where there is an incredible release of energy for life--the wholeness, wellness, and peace Martoia talks about. Yes, SLE is a powerful vehicle for presenting the eternal demands of God AND it is a powerful vehicle to enter into an ongoing conversation with a lost person toward that shalom.

Let me know how you are doing in your practice of evangelism. Send me you most difficult situations and I will look over your shoulder through the lens of SLE and coach you in the direction your next conversation with that person should take.

By the way, Houston Baptist University and Union Baptist Association are hosting an Introduction to Story Listening Evangelism on the HBU campus May 2, 2007. You can contact Dr. James Furr for more information, if you are interested in attending. His campus e-mail is


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