Baseball season is finally here. Time to root for the home team and if they don’t win, then it’s a shame. I know many people whose favorite part of baseball is when the batter smacks the ball out of the park. For me, I prefer the pitching. Call me odd, however the pitching requires an abundance of strategy and technique. Over the years pitchers have created new pitches to strike out their opponents. The same can be said for Christians who are evangelizing the gospel. Not everyone can be struck out by the curve or even a changeup. The same goes for evangelism. Not everyone can be reached by simply inviting them to church or giving them a Bible. Like pitchers in baseball, we have many options.
Being someone’s friend and bringing them to church with you is usually the most effective way to evangelize the gospel. By simply living the way the Bible tells us to will make others want what we got. If they see us acting like everyone else then you are throwing a slow fastball. Everyone can throw a slow fastball.
While this is similar to the four-seam in a sense, it is a bit different as many people will go to a church on their own and listen to the sermon. Typically churches do “altar calls” where they offer anyone to pray with them for the salvation that Jesus has given us. If you see someone getting saved for the first time, or heck, maybe they are just new to the church, go talk to them. If a person has a personal connection to a church then they will be more willing to come back.
A cutter is a fastball knock off. It is just a few miles per hour slower than a fastball, yet it is an effective way to jam a hitter. Many of us may not care for televangelism, but it must be effective. Does your church have the option of streaming sermons online? That is televangelism. This is actually a great idea as you can tell someone about how awesome your pastor is all day, but wouldn’t it be better if they could see for themselves? Not everyone lives nearby and those who do live close may not be able to get a ride. As the internet gets more and more integrated into our lives, this becomes a much more viable option to reach out.
A slurve is a mix between a curveball and a slider. The pitcher winds up and releases and by the time it reaches the catcher the batter is left wondering. What the heck was that? That is the direction of Christian music. What used to be as predictable and easy to hit as the curveball is now an effective tool for evangelism. With so many genres available, you can recommend a Christian artist to any of your friends without issue. Do they like hard rock? Recommend Skillet. Is rap their thing? Lecrae is their main man. Maybe they enjoy the Top 40 station? You can recommend Anthem Lights or the newer stuff from Hawk Nelson. There is literally something for everyone.
A forkball is thrown hard. It also usually tumbles and drops violently. This pitch is usually hard on the arm for a pitcher. This resembles Bible beaters who tell everyone that they better repent or they are going to Hell. They always tell you that you are a sinner and that “ya’ll need Jesus.” They can be, well are, annoying. Does this style ever work? I don’t know, maybe.
With the dawn of the internet came the Information Age. Anyone can find anything they want, good or bad. Geeks Under Grace is a perfect example of the good that the internet can bring. It is certainly a changeup from the past two thousand plus years of evangelism. This can be an effective way to reach many people in a quick amount of time.