I want to emphasise the benefits of using the Evangelism Explosion (EE) training model.
I consider EE the ‘Rolls Royce’ of evangelism training. While the course has its challenges (it is not short), the real challenge is finding faithful and available trainers and a model church that has the continued grace from God to sustain the loving model.
The key element of this training is that it is ‘on the job’ – it moves beyond the classroom into the living rooms of real people. It is skill-based training. It is affective learning, not simply intellectual learning. To swim you must get into the water; to fly you must jump into a plane; to drive you must get into the car; these are all examples of affective learning. To evangelise, you must meet with people who do not know Christ and learn to communicate the gospel to them appropriately and skilfully.
Leadership in evangelism training involves a competent trainer taking a trainee with them to lovingly proclaim the good news of the Christ event together with the Holy Spirit. There should be ample preparation before ‘takeoff’ and helpful debriefing after ‘the flight’ for the sake of incremental learning.
The structure of good training involves people memorising a basic outline of truth, including key scriptures and useful illustrations. EE could be described as a short form of reformed systematic theology memorised and applied to the mission context of the church. The fourfold emphasis of EE is developing friendships, proclaiming the gospel, making disciples and building up the church. I highly recommend this not simply as a means of evangelism or church growth but most importantly as a primary means of developing people in the church for their great calling as witnesses for Christ.
This training has a pedigree beyond the work of D. James Kennedy. It is rooted in thoughts put down in The Masterplan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman c.1963.