- Channel topics
- Finding faithHow people become Christians
- Effective communicationApproaches for biblical communication
- Bridge the gapMeeting people on the common ground of their interests & needs
- Bridging opportunitiesExamples and opportunities for using the Bridge Strategy
- Using cultureTypes of culture; understanding & using culture in evangelism
- Websites that workIssues for site planning, usability and promotion
- Problems in evangelismThings that stop us being effective
- Mission opportunitiesDigital evangelism & cross-cultural mission, mission & literature resources
- Writing wellHow to write effectively for the web or print media
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A biblical justification for the Bridge Strategy
Reaching out to others
This feature is adapted with grateful permission from an article by Dave Couchman of Facing the Challenge.
Why don’t we just “give people the Gospel"? Why make a starting-point at other topics, including those relating to contemporary culture such as films?
- Paul went where the people were. He didn’t expect them to come in to a church building - there wasn’t one! (verse 17)
- He met people on their own terms. He didn’t expect them to listen to the Good News on
his terms. (verses 19-21)
- Paul went to the market places and meeting places (verse 17, 22). In the ancient world, these
were the places where people passed on news and ideas. If you had something to say, and
you wanted to be heard, this was where you had to go.
- He found a point of contact with them, in their altar to the unknown god (verse 23). He
quoted from two of their well-known writers (verse 28), and alluded to others –
the use of redemptive analogy.
- Paul was talking to Greeks, not Jews. He knew they were not familiar with the Jewish Bible
(our Old Testament). So he did not start with God’s Old Testament revelation. Instead, he
started with God in creation (verse 24).
- Paul could not give them the whole of the Good News. He talked about God in creation (verse 24), in history (verses 26-27), and in judgment (verse 31), but when he started talking about Jesus, the meeting broke up (verse 32).
- People do not come in to our church buildings in large numbers. We need to go out and
meet them ’on their turf’.
- The main place where people exchange news and ideas today is through the mass media. We
don’t spend time chatting in the market places. Instead, we watch TV or read newspapers.
- Paul quoted from pagan Greek writers. The modern equivalents might include films, television
shows, and magazines.
- Paul’s listeners were not familiar with the Bible. People today do not know what the Bible
is about. This means we need to start further back with God in creation, before we come
to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- We need to be prepared for communicating the Good News to take a long time, and many exposures, before people will understand the message. The Gray Matrix helps us to understand this.
There are further biblical mandates for these strategies.
related pages within the Bridge the gap & Using culture menu links
recommended books on reaching outsiders, including free downloads
valuable online videos about web ministry