Part one of this book deals with concepts related to evangelism and conversion while part two addresses God’s mission for the church.
When speaking of evangelism, we are not referring to something that takes place in a magical way by claiming or declaring someone’s salvation or by believing for them. I have heard many unusual and unsound ideas that seem to be based on wishful thinking and pure imagination rather than anything derived from a proper reading of Scripture.
Evangelism and conversion must not be based on emotional interactions and responses. Surely, emotion enters into the conversations and responses related to evangelistic activity, but, at some point a reasonable representation and response must prevail, especially if conversion is to be genuine and lasting.
Evangelism is not about making friends. Friendship might or might not result from the evangelistic process, but that is not the goal and is not a necessary part of the process. It would seem that a certain amount of relational respect and credibility is helpful, but that does not mean the parties involved will become friends. However, the alternative to not aiming at friendship is not making enemies or treating people rudely.
Evangelism is not about convincing people to give Jesus permission to take them to heaven when they die. It is too often the case that fear and selfishness become the foundation upon which we get people to “accept Jesus.” Fear and selfishness will likely (almost definitely) be part of the process leading to conversion but must not be the foundation upon which the decision to follow Jesus is made.
Evangelism is not convincing a person to repeat a prayer after you, to go to church, listen to Christian music instead of secular music, wear a certain style of clothing, etc. There are many potential changes that will occur after genuine conversion, but achieving such changes is possible without conversion, often becoming a barrier to actual conversion.
Evangelism does not require becoming like the unconverted so they will become like us. This sounds a bit redundant and self-defeating.
Neither evangelism nor discipleship are about attempting to convince people to act like Christians.
Evangelism involves communicating (verbally and practically, word and deed) various and appropriate truths in an effort to convince a moral agent to see God’s value and choose to love and live for Him supremely. We might say that evangelism involves influencing a person to “fall in love with” God. Love of God is the goal and anything of value to follow flows from this.
Conversion is neither an ultimately selfish decision nor a mere technicality; the repeating of certain words, agreeing on specific doctrine or performing of a particular set of outward actions (depending upon denominational commitment).
Conversion takes place when one genuinely repents, intelligently choosing to deny self-supremacy, resolving, in the deepest recesses of one’s being (the heart), to live to love, please, honor, worship serve and obey God supremely.
Christianity is not mere civil religion. Christianity cannot be inherited.
Evangelism, conversion and Christianity are based on truth and, consequently, involve the need for deep thought. Sadly, many professing Christians are not willing to think deeply about significant truth and, instead, base life on emotion and personal experience / feelings. The inappropriate flip-side of this error is that some who engage in deep thinking begin to worship their own minds and thought processes instead of the God they think and talk about.
God’s mission for the church involves understanding and communicating the life-transforming truths and principles consistent with His design for life on earth. Such truth has application for individual life and also for every social sphere and institution. As this truth begins to impact and transform every realm of society, the nation in which this transformation takes place is blessed, experiencing life abundant and prosperity. This is the essence of making disciples of all the nations.
It is my hope that the content of this book will bring clarification to the points made in this introduction.
 I’ve actually seen this produce conversion in the wrong person – the one supposedly doing evangelism.
 Life abundant and prosperity must not be rejected because of selfish abuses that have given such words and phrases a bad name. God is a life-giving God, desiring human beings to produce good fruit and a life worth living. He desires that nations produce a prosperous and stable society. Consider this statement made to Israel as God labored to make them a model nation: “However, there will be no poor among you, since the LORD will surely bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, if only you listen obediently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today.” Dt.15:4-5