Thanks to my friend Kathy Compton for sharing this evangelism horror story.
My pastor and youth pastor in suburban St. Louis in the 60s decided Jack Hyles and his school of evangelism and church growth were the best things to follow. They actually wanted to BE Jack Hyles and nearly destroyed our church!
So they further decided that “anyone who really loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him” should go out witnessing. A few adults, mostly women, and a couple of teens, both girls (one of them me) climbed aboard the 15-passenger van and headed to downtown St Louis on Sunday afternoons.
Now, it was the late 60s, therefore safer than now, but the part of downtown we went to was pretty rough. The youth pastor, assuring us of his prayers, let each person off the van alone at the end of a street, and we went door-to-door, Bibles in hand, and knocked.
Our instructions were to ask whoever answered, “If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?” That was intended to get a no response, so that we could then launch into the “convince them they are going to hell and don’t want to” routine.
The driver/youth pastor did not drive around looking out for us…he had a street of his own to cover! When we finished our street, we waited at the corner for him to pick us up. He was a talker so we waited awhile to be picked up.
Ok, it was daytime, he was praying, and we did get “responses,” (people prayed the prayer) but wow, what a dangerous way to try to accomplish evangelism! And there was no follow up…
Do you have an evangelism horror story? We’d like to hear it. Email me at robb (at) vintagefellowship (dot) org.