Good buddy Tom Schmidt asked I think a rather good question of Matt in the comments section last week.
“You brought up some interesting points about the ineffectiveness of doing evangelism explosion-type evangelism because of the current post-Christian culture we live in; my question to you would be: What works now? If those questions don’t reach the younger generation which ones do?”
This is a question that many pastors, seminaries, ministries, and Christians in general are deeply struggling with right now. Part of the struggle comes from our Enlightenment mentality of looking for the most pragmatic functional solution, in the quickest amount of time. But we seem to be entering into a quasi post-Christian society. Answers are often elusive and the questions really begin to stack up. In no way am I an expert, I have more questions than answers on most days. Yet I do know that our first step must be out of what I call the “elastic band” mentality. Elastic is great for many things, sweat pants, and pregnant women, because it seems to fit just about everybody. Sharing the Gospel is not a one size fits all anymore (I seriously doubt it ever was). Ministries and churches that continue to search for the magic bullet that will be effective to all people in all places are naive and I think kind of lazy. Just like Paul we might have to be more like a clothing tailor; taking the time to measure and examine to city or people group that we serve, and then do what fits best for that time and place. This does not mean the message changes, but the method does.
As far as what this practically looks like I would point to the Yoda of missiology, Tim Keller. I was at the Desiring God 2006 conference in which he gave this amazing talk on this very topic, listen to it over and over and over.
If anyone else has any ideas feel free to leave a comment. I am always looking to learn more about how we can reach those around us.