Over the last 5 years or so I have been tinkering away with a resource called the world views survey. I’ve used this resource about 20 times and I have personally walked about 200 people through the gospel. After a bit of thinking, reading and pondering the new context that I’ll be using it I’ve decided it needs a bit of a review in a few directions. Before I go into that, I’ll explain how it works so we’re on the same page.
So, what happens is a bunch of people go to a spot where people hang out (e.g. a park)
Then one or two members of the team walk around handing out surveys that have six multiple choice questions on them about things like truth, God, death, ethics, etc.
Once people have completed the surveys they come over to our table to have their results “analysed”. The participants bring their sheets back and one of the team members enters their answers into a specially created computer programme. The computer programme calculates their answers and exclaims at the end “You are an…” (e.g. “You’re an Existentialist” or “You are a Deist” or “You are a Theist”).
The data entry person then gives the participant a sticker with their worldview on it. This sounds dorky but people seem to love it.
Not a lot of evangelism going on yet, I know. But here’s where it all begins. Very few people know what a deist is, though they may be practicing deists. So we have team members sitting in chairs with a sticker on that says “Talk to me if you’re a…” (e.g. “Talk to me if you’re a Nihilist” or “Talk to me if you’re an Eastern Pantheistic Monist”) stickers on their shirt. The participant then sits down with those team members and that kicks off some amazing conversations that invariably lead to the gospel.
There are many great benefits of this kind of evangelism.
a) Firstly it is “cold contact” (i.e. it is rare that you’ll actually evangelise your friends, participants will most likely be total strangers). As over 40% of Sydneysiders don’t know a Christian, this ministry is really important if we’re going to reach these people.
b) Secondly, although it begins cold, it is relationally intense. Within a few seconds of chatting you are dealing with the most significant of life issues: death, truth, ethics, human dignity, God. Best of all a huge component of this style of evangelism is listening (The participant shares before we do!)
c) Thirdly, a by-product from all this evangelism is that the world-views survey is just that: a survey. In doing it we get to better know the people around us, their thoughts, needs, and the assumptions that sit behind those thoughts and needs.
Got it? Cool. Now I need your help. Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you what I mean.