the shape of leadership

Eight Podcasts on Evangelism

Seasoned advice about why it’s difficult and how you and your church can do it better.

George P Wood on September 30, 2019


Evangelism is a core ministry of the local church. And yet, in contemporary culture, many Christians find it difficult to do. As host of the Influence Podcast, I have interviewed Christian thought leaders about why its’ difficult and how to do it better. If you’re looking for sound advice on evangelism, take time to listen to these eight podcasts:

1. The Challenge of Sharing Faith in America Today

“Almost Half of Practicing Christian Millennials Say Evangelism Is Wrong,” reads the headline of a story about a new report from Barna Group. Titled Reviving Evangelism, that report details the erosion of support for evangelism among next-generation Christians. In Episode 169 of the Influence Podcast, I talked about this report with David Kinnaman.


2. How to Have Better Spiritual Conversations

“Americans today are less involved in spiritual conversations than we were twenty-five years ago,” writes Don Everts in his new book, The Reluctant Witness. In Episode 190 of the Influence Podcast, I talked to Everts about why this is the case and what we need to do to have better spiritual conversations.


3. Evangelizing the Unsaved Christian

“The Bible Belt is the most difficult place in America to pastor a local church.” That’s what Dean Inserra’s friend Matt told him as they left seminary to plant churches, Dean in Florida and Matt in California. “In California, there is rarely confusion. Either you’re a Christian or you’re not. In the Bible Belt, many people think they’re Christians but have no concept of…the overall message of the gospel.” In Episode 174 of the Influence Podcast, I talked to Inserra about eight types of cultural Christians and how to share the gospel with them.


4. How to Talk to Doubters about Jesus

According to the Pew Research Center, “the share of Americans who believe in God with absolute certainty has declined in recent years, while the share saying they have doubts about God’s existence – or that they do not believe in God at all – has grown.” And while most Americans continue to believe in God, the god in whom they believe is not necessarily the God of the Bible. The decline of belief in God, together with changes in the way people understand the word god, poses profound ministry challenges for pastors and other Christian leaders. In Episode 177 of the Influence Podcast, I talked to Preston Ulmer about how to talk to doubters about Jesus.


5. Why Evangelism Needs Apologetics (67)

First Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” The Greek word the NIV translates as “answer” is apologian, from which we get the word apologetics. In Episode 67 of the Influence Podcast, I talked to Lee Strobel about why evangelism needs a reasoned explanation of the Christian faith alongside an invitation to follow Jesus.


6. Raising Your Church’s Evangelistic Temperature

All churches know they’re supposed to do evangelism, but many don’t. In Episode 73 of the Influence Podcast, I talked to Lee Strobel about how to increase your church’s interest and effectiveness in personal evangelism.


7. Best Practices of Conversion-Growth Churches

“Many churches in America are stalled in their conversion growth, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” writes Rick Richardson in his new book, You Found Me. In Episode 189 of the Influence Podcast, I talked to Richardson about the best practices of congregations that are “effectively reaching people and having an impact in their communities.”


8. Giving More Effective Salvation Invitations (64)

Many pastors conclude services with an altar call for people who want to begin to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Too often, however, the invitation is routine, hurried, or unclear. In Episode 64 of the Influence Podcast, my colleague John Davidson interviewed Scott Gibbons about how to use altar calls more effectively.

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