Thursday, September 08, 2011

tell show be. a useful way to intro evangelism?

Evangelism. Generally a word that freaks people out. Both Christians and non. So here’s an interesting resource from the Methodist church in UK.

TELL.SHOW.BE. is an invitation to rethink evangelism, to dispel the myths that hinder many and to challenge our understanding of what it means to pass on the good news.

It’s designed to be accessible, multilingual and free, inspiring us to tell somebody, show somebody and be somebody.

Video runs for under 2 mins. What do you think?

TELL.SHOW.BE. – English from Tell.Show.Be on Vimeo.

Posted by steve at 07:37 PM


  1. Hey Steve,
    That’s gr8… A simple non threatening discussion starter so you get off on the right foot with most in the room and can open the topic or use it in worship to encourage etc etc… Poms do it again hey…

    Comment by Rob Hanks — September 8, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  2. Hmm, interesting …

    I’m sure it would be useful for many. It certainly presents a less daunting/confronting task than I think many assume when they think evangelism. But personally, my difficulty has never been with the “task” of evangelism, but rather with the intent. And this doesn’t change that at all. But I suspect people like me are in the minority.

    Comment by IainM — September 8, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  3. that’s really helpful comment Iain. Can you unpack a bit more your being troubled by the intent?

    That would be handy, as I’m working on resources in this area and want to listen well,


    Comment by steve — September 8, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  4. Well …

    I guess what I mean is that from my perspective, the intent behind evangelism is always either some form of recruitment, or changing others’ beliefs in some way (or a combination thereof). And that’s not ok with me. I’m more than happy to show love, compassion, forgiveness, and to “be” them as much as possible – indeed I believe that it is our primary calling. I’m even quite happy to talk to people about why I do it, etc when the as such questions arise in conversation. But as soon as I do any of that with a pre-conceived notion that I know better than they do how they should spend their time or what they should believe, then as far as I can see it’s not the selfless act of love that it should be.

    Perhaps the authors of Tell Show Be would argue that in reality I am evangelising via those acts regardless of my intent, but I don’t think so. You see all of those things are nurtured & encouraged in our faith lives through names & concepts that don’t include evangelism. Therefore there must be something unique to the concept of evangelism, and I can’t think of a way it doesn’t boil down to intent.

    Sorry I probably am ultimately not that useful, because I can’t really imagine a resource that would make me more comfortable with evangelism … bit of a “lost cause” in that sense 🙂

    Comment by IainM — September 9, 2011 @ 12:04 am

  5. Yeah, I like it: short, to the point, provocative, not preachy. I like the tell somebody/be somebody part; not just speaking the ‘word’ but ‘being’ the word, as well.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — September 9, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  6. appreciate your honesty Iain. Thanks,

    Your last sentence brings to minds a real life moment in the Taylor family. I took my then 4 year old to watch the last day of a cricket test match. NZ were bowled out cheaply and rather than a full day with kids, after about 90 mins everyone walked off. My 4 year old asked where everyone was going and I replied “Useless New Zealand cricket team, we’ve lost”

    That night she asked to say grace and prayed “Dear God, please help us find the NZ cricket team who are lost.” 🙂

    In seriousness I would say – surely your showing and telling when asked is evangelism. And its’ just that the definition has been blighted by proseltyising and fundamentalism?

    Your comment made me wonder how you might respond to some mission guidelines released a few years ago by a Christian-Muslim Forum in Birmingham, offered as a conversation starter in an attempt to establishing honest and workable relations between faiths that allows for freedom of conscience.

    1. We bear witness to, and proclaim our faith not only through words but through our attitudes, actions and lifestyles.
    2. We cannot convert people, only God can do that. In our language and methods we should recognise that people’s choice of faith is primarily a matter between themselves and God.
    3. Sharing our faith should never be coercive; this is especially important when working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. Everyone should have the choice to accept or reject the message we proclaim and we will accept people’s choices without resentment.
    4. Whilst we might care for people in need or who are facing personal crises, we should never manipulate these situations in order to gain a convert.
    5. An invitation to convert should never be linked with financial, material or other inducements. It should be a decision of the heart and mind alone.
    6. We will speak of our faith without demeaning or ridiculing the faiths of others.
    7. We will speak clearly and honestly about our faith, even when that is uncomfortable or controversial.
    8. We will be honest about our motivations for activities and we will inform people when events will include the sharing of faith.
    9. Whilst recognising that either community will naturally rejoice with and support those who have chosen to join them, we will be sensitive to the loss that others may feel.
    10. Whilst we may feel hurt when someone we know and love chooses to leave our faith, we will respect their decision and will not force them to stay or harass them afterwards

    What might you want to delete or rewrite? also heppy for a face-face conversation if you want,


    Comment by steve — September 9, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  7. I like it and will be useful in some of my contexts – thanks.

    Comment by Barb — September 10, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  8. thanks barb. love to know in what contexts you would, and would not use it.

    and to hear the feedback also.


    Comment by steve — September 11, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

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