Tim Challies has some really helpful comments about "outreach" and "evangelism" today, in his article called, "Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God". Some highlights include:
"There is clearly a significant difference between outreach and evangelism. They are both noble actions and bring honor to God. It is important to realize, and this should be clear through the descriptions, that they are not synonymous. The greatest difference is that evangelism is primarily a message while outreach is primarily an action."
"The message is delivered not through outreach, but through evangelism. It is simple enough to attract people to a message through outreach, and we can gather a large group of people through simple outreach, but we may not have evangelized them, even if they fill the pews of our churches."
"Do you wish to fulfill our Lord's great commission? Then go boldly, sharing this foolish, offensive gospel message, knowing that it carries in it the very power of God. Trust and believe that in so doing you are bringing honor to our Lord and Savior and doing your part to build His Kingdom. Reach out to the lost, but ensure that you always leave them with the message of the gospel. Actions may draw them, but words are necessary to convey the message through which God saves His people."
This article has made my mind chase around the motives and methods of such programs as Pioneer Girls, Alpha, and our Kick-off Sundays or Stampede Breakfasts.
What are your thoughts on his article?