These are some evangelism banners I made up for our church. There were a few main points I considered when making these:
- Jesus FIRST.
- Paul writes in an early creed in 1 Corinthians 15 that Christ is “of first importance.”
- Pastor John MacArthur also answers this common non-Christian question: “What does Christianity provide for me? What does Christianity offer?” with “In a word, what Christianity offers you is Christ, Jesus Christ, that’s what Christianity offers.”
- Mars Hill church in Seattle has also made Jesus their tagline: “It’s all about Jesus” even going so far as to incorporate that phrase as a huge banner in the source code of their website.
- Pastor Mark Driscoll additionally preaches on Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 15 here.
- And Billy Graham’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian preached a 22-part sermon series on the topic from Colossians, and wrote a book on the same subject: “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.”
- Break through stereotypes.
- Everyone has an opinion about Jesus – whether right or wrong. Jesus is the center of history, and everyone has some sort of opinion about him – unless they’ve been living in a secluded region of the jungle for the past 2,000 years. The key then, is to break through the stereotypes, particularly those commonly associated with Christian evangelism.
- “Fire and Brimstone” hellish messages aren’t effective because they are divisive, not inviting, and people no longer fear God, death, or hell.
- “Christian Culture Warrior” messages are not effective in that they are just as divisive as “hell” messages, and they do nothing to call the culture to repent of sin. Rather, they merely show how Jesus’ followers are waging war against the very culture they are called to witness to.
- “Feel Good” Christianity messages aren’t effective because nobody “feels good” all the time. This won’t address the real needs and brokenness of hurting people – and “feel good” Christianity does nothing for people who become Christians and then endure hardships.
- Non-specific Christian messages aren’t effective because they put the focus more on man’s power to change through religious activity than on Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. Besides, a poster like “Miracles Happen When We Pray” makes no reference about to whom we should pray.
- Excessively allusive messages are no good either because they are equally non-specific. Additionally, some of them will not draw interest or questions from passersby and require an interpreter.
- Excessively “Christianized” messages are also no good because they only cater to believers – using language that is already familiar to the church, but not to those outside the church. There is nothing in a “Christianized” message to draw the interest or attention of a non-believer.
- Introduce our church.
- We want people to come to our church to meet Jesus, although this is in and of itself a secondary concern. So long as they meet Jesus, church location doesn’t matter. But, by giving our service time and location, we can invite people to come and meet Jesus in a place that is accessible and known to them (because we’ve told them about it).
- Focus on our first priority: Jesus (not worship, not church, not fellowship – but Jesus).
- Be direct – we don’t want to advertise “Pray to God” when different religions may interpret that saying differently. Islam’s god is “Allah” – Buddhist prayer is far different from Christian prayer.
- Break through stereotypes – we don’t need Christianese, church language, or “you’re a sinner” talk. Jesus is already surrounded by so many stereotypes and controversy, he needs to remain the focus, but in such a way as to break through the stereotypes many hold about him.
- Introduce our church – as a secondary priority. Jesus is always first.
Jesus + Nothing = Everything
Salvation is in Christ alone, through faith alone, by (God’s) grace alone. Everything else is meaningless. Living a good life, doing good works, furthering and advocating social causes, living by all the right rules and regulations (whether the government makes them, or a religion establishes them) can do nothing for a person’s eternity.
Mark Driscoll makes a very good point on his website about this:
People tend to be religious by nature, which means they think they can justify themselves in one of three ways.
First, loosely religious people assume they are living a good enough life and that no spiritual devotion or extra effort is required on their behalf for God to be pleased with them when they stand before God at the end of this life.
Second, secular religious people work very hard at some social cause because they think that they’re good people and need to overcome the evil of bad people who are ruining the world.
Third, devoutly religious people work very hard at keeping the rules of a particular religion in an effort to justify themselves as good and obedient people in the sight of God.
Man is only saved by Christ alone when he accepts him as Lord and Savior of his life. Forgiveness of sin comes only through Jesus’ blood – not through any amount of earthly apologies or retribution. But when a believer accepts Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for his sins, God gives him everything.
Jesus + Anything ruins Everything
I was thinking specifically of cults when creating this poster, because cults are a huge problem in Korea (and there are some huge cults spread out all over the world). Cults generally follow a simple formula:
- Jesus + this preacher OR
- Jesus + this book OR
- Jesus + your money OR
- Jesus + good works OR
- Jesus + certain activities
- = Salvation
- Jesus + good works OR
- Jesus + tithe OR
- Jesus + obedient children OR
- Jesus + a good reputation OR
- Jesus + strong standing in the church OR
- Jesus + evangelistic fruit in our lives OR
- Jesus + our spiritual gifts
- Mark Driscoll – Desiring God 2008 National Conference
- Mark Driscoll – “Lord, Lord…” “I Never Knew You”
- Mars Hill Church – It’s All About Jesus sermon series
- John MacArthur (2007) – Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything
- Jesus + Nothing = Everything book
- Jesus + Nothing = Everything interview
- Jesus + Nothing = Everything sermon series