A Relational Paradigm of Conversion: Evangelism as Spiritual Direction in a Post-Christian World
In today’s world, traditional forms of evangelism are losing their effectiveness. New approaches are being touted, but these must be built on a solid biblical and theological understanding of conversion. Framing conversion as the formation of a relationship with God offers a powerful guiding paradigm that incorporates the volitional, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and social aspects without placing undue focus on any one area. Furthermore, an understanding of how human relationships are formed sheds light on how this divine relationship may develop over time, and offers identifiable stages in the process of “becoming Christian.” This relational paradigm of conversion offers practical implications for those who wish to share their faith in the 21st century, generating a style of evangelism that has much in common with the ancient art of spiritual direction.