How Emotions Impact Evangelism

Christians already believe they should be telling others about Jesus, but traditional methods are no longer as effective in today’s post-Christian world. Thus, we may become frustrated, blame ourselves, or give up.


How We’ve Been Sharing The Gospel

Over the years, Christians have been developing tools and new ways to share the good news about Jesus Christ. A popular addition has been workshops and courses to help educate non-believers. 


The Alpha Course is a fantastic example and evangelistic gift to the Christian community. Alpha helps people experience community and journey together in a faith-seeking process. 


But, its structure is predicated more on theology than sociology. 


Although this evangelical course has been highly attractive, every day, it is becoming more out of reach for the next generations – millennial and Z generations. These new generations have little or no biblical knowledge, and that problem is only increasing.


According to Barna Research, “though Christianity remains a powerful force today, its waning influence in American life means that younger generations are coming of age in a country more secular than ever.”


The first thing a non-believer experiences when she attends an apologetically based course is the feeling of being a second-class citizen.

She’s sitting in the economy while the Christians are in the business seats. She doesn’t know the background of the words she’s hearing, and so they become confusing and frustrating. 


The non-believers quickly realize that Christians think themselves better off and that she is not in such a privileged position. 


So how can we reach people for Christ when they don’t understand the dense Christian vocabulary and theology that so many Christianity 101 courses like the Alpha course offer?


Emotions In Evangelism

According to author Timothy Keller, “Christianity needs to make emotional sense before it can make rational sense.”


Emotions are the missing piece in our evangelistic approaches because they underlie our springs of action. When we emphasize emotion and not theology, we eliminate inferiority among participants, both Christian and non-Christian. 


It is impossible to imagine life without emotion.


We treasure our feelings—the joy at a game or the fun with friends on a night out. 


Even negative emotions are important, such as the sadness when a loved one dies, the fear that overcomes us in a scary or unknown situation, or the guilt or shame toward others when our sins are made public. Emotions color life experiences and give those experiences meaning and flavor. They unite all of us, bleiveres and non-believers.


“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

Being able to interpret and react to the emotions of others is essential. It allows us to respond appropriately and build more profound, more meaningful relationships with our friends, family, and loved ones. 


The Gospel & Emotion

Emotions are volatile. They come and go, ebb, and flow like waves on a shore. Anything based on emotions will also rise and fall, grow and fade, wax, and wane.


Emotions may erupt and fade, but as Christians, we know true faith remains.


We can use emotions to help connect non-believers to the reality that God loves and cares for them and has a plan for their lives. This deep, emotional connection to the Gospel can be a compelling reason for people to give their lives to Christ. 


The Word of God is full of statements of the certainty of the victory of God. As we evangelize, we are inviting people into the triumph of Jesus Christ.

There are a variety of emotional responses when people come to Christ. Some people cry because of the joy they have experienced in the total forgiveness of their sins and the realization that they are now a part of God’s family. Some people simply rejoice with feelings of lightheartedness as though a heavy burden has been lifted. 


Are you ready to help the people around you experience those emotions? Click here to get started.


Emotion in MyLife Workshop

Dr. Schindler, a church-planting expert, was called to create courses that can enlighten and educate people about Christianity in a more approachable way. He developed the program MyLife-Workshop to help non-believers better grasp who they are as a person and how God plays a role in their lives. 


With MyLife-Workshop, you can love people where they are and encourage them to take the first step in their relationship with Jesus Christ.


Participants are asked to write down: 

    • Most significant people in their lives and events that have influenced them today
    • The most painful people and events they’ve experienced


After writing down their experience, course facilitators help participants discern how they’ve been shaped by people and events and see how their values have developed over time based on these people and experiences.


From there, ask them to consider their lives; if writing an autobiography, what title would they give their book if giving it one now? What would the chapter titles be? What about the future? What do you want to do with the rest of your life, and how will you get there?


A vital aspect of this course is the listening and self-reflecting process, preparing the hearts of participants before bringing the gospel into the mix. 


The course is focused on identity-making. 


Helping secular people think about who they are becoming and who they want to become is a powerful way to start sharing faith and the idea that God is an actual reality in life. 


Click here to learn more about the emotion-based approach to evangelism.