Dr. Donald McGavran often talked about the openness to the Gospel that was all around us. As he was fond to say "the indifference to the gospel is more often found in the church than it is in the community"
Numerous studies have been done on this subject but the focus of this post is to explore the receptivity/resistance axis and how understanding it can affect and enhance our evangelistic strategy.
|Receptivity Resistance Axis|
- There are some fields that are not yet "white to harvest".
- Paying attention to the groups or peoples that are "white to harvest" is good stewardship of our time and resources.
- God is at work in the world and Christ as the builder of His church is supernaturally preparing people for us to minister to.
- It is clear that Christ desires results not simply a good effort.
|Degree of Change|
- Look for people in transition. They are far more receptive than people in stable situations
- Develop programs around specific stress events. IE new residents, birth of a first child, divorce, new marriage etc. One of the reasons Celebrate Recovery has been so powerful is it is working with receptive people
- Oikos evangelism as discussed in other posts capitalizes on this axis in 2 ways. First the stronger the relationship a Christian has with a non Christian the more receptive the non Christian becomes to the gospel and second knowing a person beyond simply a name gives us clues as to how God is sovereignly and supernaturally working to bring the people in our oikos to that point where they are "white to harvest".