Aug 2, 2009

The Engle Scale - A Great Assessment Tool

The Engle scale seeks to show that people are on a journey in coming to know Christ and pass through specific levels on this journey. A person in the level -8 is very distant from conversion whilst a -3 indicates someone who is aware of their personal need of Christ (see number graph below).

NB: The Engle scale is just a tool to help us identify where people may be at. The positive numbers are not so important to me when I consider postmodernity as I feel the concepts can be articulated quite differently. Non-the-less, the Engle Scale has it's place.

+5 Stewardship
+4 Communion with God
+3 Conceptual and behavioural growth
+2 Incorporation into Body
+1 Post-decision evaluation
New birth
-1 Repentance and faith in Christ
-2 Decision to act
-3 Personal problem recognition
-4 Positive attitude towards Gospel
-5 Grasp implications of Gospel
-6 Awareness of fundamentals of Gospel
-7 Initial awareness of Gospel
-8 Awareness of supreme being, no knowledge of Gospel

The Engle Scale teach us to consider evangelism in a new light. Evangelism is a process and not an event in people’s lives. As we approach discipleship, so we should approach evangelism. We understand clearly that discipleship takes time. We grow in Christ and are transformed into His image over time, often a lifetime. The same mental approach is needed when we consider the work of evangelism. It takes time; people come closer and closer to a personal relationship with Jesus as time goes by. Often wrong concepts, fears and bad experiences hold people back from Christ. Over a period it is the work of the person of the Holy Spirit who gently reshapes mindset, removes fears and illuminates people’s need to salvation. As believer’s we are to be wise in recognising where people are at (using such tools as the Engle Scale) and ministering accordingly.