Changing Evangelism Rotating Header Image

External Leaders

“I stopped using the Bridge Illustration.  I felt it was less effective in communicating the heart of the gospel to the heart of people.  Our audience has taken three steps away from my starting point. This is a difficult culture to minister in… the majority of the culture is turned off.” –Ralph Ennis, Navigators

Experts outside of Campus Crusade are experiencing the same obstacles to evangelistic effectiveness that we are currently facing. Campus Crusade’s strength in creating transferable tools and approaches can be a gift to the body of Christ, if developed to overcome current obstacles.

We conducted interviews with David Bisgrove (Pastor of Evangelism at Redeemer Presbyterian); Ralph Ennis (Director of Intercultural Training and Research with the Navigators); Dave Bowman (Regional Director of Navigators); Terry Erickson (National Director of Evangelism with InterVarsity); and Denny Henderson (Pastor of Hill Country Bible Church, University of Texas).

Consider these four findings:

• There is value in rethinking our metrics for the Campus Ministry.
Each of the ministries interviewed chose metrics based on their ministry’s mission— some included numbers for evangelism exposures and conversions.  But surprisingly, others attempted to measure other values.  For example, Ralph Ennis of the Navigators shared, …we don’t count numbers [of decisions now], but instead count how many are walking with God later.

• It would be wise to set an organizational goal for conversion growth, along with an intentional plan to reach that goal.
There is an ongoing (but vague) disappointment in our conversion rate. It may be valuable to us to have a rule of thumb that we can shoot for and celebrate.

• Those who have embraced cultural changes earlier than Campus Crusade have valuable lessons to teach us.
In many ways, Crusade has held on to our methodology longer than our peer organizations.  In this regard, we may no longer deserve our reputation for being as “evangelistically innovative” as in the past.  We may need to humble ourselves and be more willing to learn from those who are ahead of us in adapting to cultural change.

• The world needs us to apply our expertise in transferability to create a transferable “worldview-challenging’”mode of evangelism.
Campus Crusade can serve the Body of Christ by making a sophisticated approach transferable.  David Bisgrove explained that they could use Campus Crusade’s help with worldview training:

One main reason people do not invite friends to [Redeemer Presbyterian] events is their fear that after the meeting they will be asked questions they cannot answer.

For more details on the results of the interviews with External Leaders, please see the full report, “External Leaders.”

To read other people’s comments or enter your own please click here.