Would you agree that people in general do not like to be manipulated? I have an aversion to car salesman...over the years I have often felt somehow manipulated and coerced in such situations. It's a 'yuck' feeling when someone feels like they have been treated in an ill manner. All this to say that evangelism is NOT manipulation. It is not manipulating people to follow Jesus Christ. This 'yuck' feeling can also occur when we as Christians invite a non Christian friend to an event where there is a presentation of the gospel that the friend was in no way expecting! 'Yuck'!
Lewis Drummond in 'Reaching Generation Next', says that any form of evangelism that resorts to manipulation of people, regardless of the motive, is unworthy of the gospel! I would have to agree. There has to be a way for us to engage in what I call 'pure heart evangelism'. Evangelism whereby people are given the respect they are due and loved in a way that is unconditional...not manipulative and not coercive.
1) Where have you been manipulative in the past? How did you feel and how do you feel the recipient felt? Spend a moment in prayer to work this through.
2) What do you need to change in your style of evangelism to be more effective?
3) How do you show respect to thsoe you a reaching out to?
4) Why would God not approve of manipulative evangelism?