Tag Archives: soul winning

Outcome-Based Justification

No matter how dangerous, how silly, or how obsolete a fundy’s plan for evangelism may be, the justification is always the same: “If only one person gets saved, it’s all worth it.”

So what if the church van has four bald tires and hasn’t had a tune-up since 1978? We’re going to drive these 8 teens the 1400 miles to Mexico anyway.  If we can get one person saved, the risk of death is all worth it.

Look, we may be serving those VBS kids snacks that expired in Clinton administration…but if between bouts of throwing up one of them gets saved, it’s all worth it!

We spent $148,987.50 on printing ten million copies of a gospel tract with three misspelled words and six verses taken completely out of context…but if one person gets saved from reading it, it was all worth it!

Every member of our church has been standing out on a street corner yelling gospel verses at traffic every weekend this year at a total cost of 85 man-hours, two citations for public disturbance, and a whole lot of dry cleaning. Not one person even slowed down that we know of…but if one person gets saved from from the seeds we planted, it was all worth it.

But what if it isn’t? What if the lost getting saved really isn’t really up to your efforts? And even assuming it totally depends on your evangelism antics, what if unsafe and antiquated methods drove a hundred people away in the process of winning one? That’s a net loss of ninety-nine souls in the process of winning one. Worth it?

Now I know that fundies who are reading this are going to accuse me of hating the lost and being too fat and lazy to get off my couch and go soul-winning. But if I have managed to make just one person re-think their approach to outreach…it was all worth it.

One Shot Evangelism

When a fundamentalist talks about evangelism what they generally mean is “soul winning.” Furthermore, what they mean by soul winning is mostly “giving the gospel one time to a stranger whom I will almost certainly never see again.”

This kind of proselytizing is a strange way for any group to further its goals. The fundamentalist is essentially building an entire method of organizational growth on a policy of asking complete strangers to believe that a person with whom they had a relationship for exactly thirty seconds has the absolute truth about all matters of sin, redemption, and eternity. And what’s more, they do this in a cultural environment where most people won’t even buy a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesman.

It’s not exactly clear how this came to be the preferred method of fundamentalists for “evangelizing” the lost. I would posit the theory that the average fundy simply doesn’t have relationships with a large number of certified genuine sinner types that he can use as a basis for witnessing. Indeed, having built the castle of Holiness and dug the moat of Separation, fundamentalists are then left with the task of launching raiding parties of two or three hearty Christians soldiers out into the wild to club as many hapless sinners as they can and drag them back into the fold while trying not to be infected with their prey’s immodesty and bad language. Hunt with care, you only get one shot.

Soul Winning

Tim Challies has posted scans of a book named Soul-Winning Made Easy and subtitled (The Encounter Method) by C.S. Lovett. It’s a step by step illustrated guide to getting people saved.


From the book…

The controlled conversation technique is something new in evangelism and represents a real break-through in soul-winning. Older methods, dealing with excuses, seek to convince a prospect of his needy condition and humble him. … The new method ignores excuses and completely side-steps the explosive area of religious debate. Modern soul-winners have discovered that it is unnecessary to change a person’s mind before introducing him to Jesus. If he can truly be made aware of Christ waiting at the door of his heart, his responsibility becomes most clear. This makes soul-winning a positive ministry requiring fewer skills. Actually, it is a new frontier which allows Christian obedience to become fun!

Check out all of the scans.