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Examination of Saturation EvangelismResearch Proposal

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Saturation Evangelism: The Principles, Methods and Strategies for Fulfilling the Great Commission

This study examines what is termed as 'Saturation Evangelism" which is a call to fulfill the 'Great Commission' as given by Jesus to the disciples in Matthew 28: 18-20. This study defines 'Saturation Evangelism' and provides examples of successful 'Saturation Evangelism' and specifically the very successful 'Saturation Evangelism' in the church community of Jerry Falwell. The biblical principles and methods used in 'Saturation Evangelism' are examined as well as the requirements of the involvement of the local church in this effort.

Theoretical Framework

Organization of the Study

Chapter Two

Literature Review

Chapter Three

Findings

Summary & Conclusion

Recommendations

Bibliography

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

It is stated in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 28, verses 18-20 "And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Saturation Evangelism has been defined as reaching every person using whatever means possible and at any time possible. The 'Great Commission' as given by Jesus in Matthew 28: 18-20 instructs the disciples of Christ to fulfill the calling of taking the Gospel to everyone in the world. This is the objective of 'Saturation Evangelism' or that in fulfilling the 'Great Commission'.

Statement of the Problem

The concept of 'Saturation Evangelism' has been very effectively applied by such as Dr. Jerry Falwell in his wide-reaching ministries. However, there are inherent limitations that present in the effective use of 'Saturation Evangelism' and these difficulties are noted throughout the world in the attempt to utilize 'Saturation Evangelism' in reaching the entire world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Research Questions

The research questions in this study include those stated as follows:

(1) What are the requisites of Saturation Evangelism?

(2) What complicates or renders attempts at Saturation Evangelism ineffective?

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework utilized to guide this study is quite simply the Biblical scriptures and principles set out by Jesus and then following by his disciples as they followed the directives of Jesus to take the gospel to the world, teaching and baptizing and making followers of all men. Because God has a very specific method that he has employed through human beings assisting him in evangelizing the world and because this is a method that has been successful used since the very beginning of the apostles setting out to fulfill the 'Great Commission' and because the methods were formulated through strategy successes and even some problems by Paul and the other apostles the Bible provides the principles and methods that are God's given way to evangelize the world.

Methodology

The methodology utilized in this study is qualitative in nature and involves and exhaustive review of literature in this area of inquiry. Literature to be reviewed will include many Biblical scriptures as well as literature published by authorities in the area of religion and evangelism.

Organization of the Study

Chapter One has provided the basics of this study including the introduction, statement of the problem, research questions, theoretical framework and methodology. Chapter Two of this study will be comprised of a literature review while Chapter Three will present findings and the summary and conclusion of the study along with recommendations of the study.

CHAPTER TWO

Literature Review

The Beginning of Saturation Evangelism

The concept of 'Saturation Evangelism' is reported to have began with Jerry Falwell when he "intentionally started knocking on 100 doors a day to share the message of the Gospel and to share that a new church was starting down the street and that they were invited to attend." (Dempsey, 2013, p. 4) It is reported that Jerry Falwell would knock on hundreds of doors and prior to leaving the home would "offered to pray with the family and he (this is key) gave them his business card with his name, the Church's name and phone number" and would tell them "If you ever need a Pastor, just give me a call." (Dempsey, 2013, p. 4)

Not only would Dr. Falwell give the family his card he would additionally give the family a copy of the church's newsletter which was sent through the mail the following day. In addition, it is reported that the household would additionally "receive a phone call from lady volunteer on Saturday morning. The phone call went something along these lines: Miss Jones?" The caller would begin. This is Mary Smith. I am a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church. Pastor Falwell asked me to call you. He mentioned that he had dropped by to see you on Tuesday and invited you to attend our services this Sunday. He asked me to remind you that the service begins at eleven a.m. And that he is preaching on 'How to Pray and Get Your Prayers Answered.' He also said to remind you that if ever he can help you in any way, just call the church or Pastor Falwell's home."(Dempsey, 2013, p. 4)

There were many people in need of a pastor and the church rapidly grew. In addition, it is related that "Not only did Falwell knock on doors he also trained a group of men to go on the visits with him. His training was on the job. These men learned on the job. They walked the streets with me. They watched me knock on doors, converse with strangers, field questions, handle problems, and counsel others before they had to do it by themselves." (Dempsey, 2013, p.4)

Falwell's Saturation Evangelism included a radio ministry being started as well as the church broadcasting on local television stations. During the early years of television a local church broadcasting was rare. Falwell reports that when he began the radio ministry that he realized that he could "present the message (of the gospel) to all those people simultaneously from one convenient location. So it was only natural for me to begin to dream about expanding our church's electronic ministry through television." (Dempsey, 2013, p. 5) The church experienced dramatic growth and soon moved into a new sanctuary because the old one could not accommodate the growth in those attending the church.

The very next year the Elim Home ministry was started for men with alcohol problems. The ministry was on a 165 acre farm outside of Lynchburg. This ministry was one of the first of Falwell's church and reported to be one that "was very close and dear to Jerry Falwell due to the fact that his father was an alcoholic and died an early death due to the affects of alcohol." (Dempsey, 2013, p.5) Falwell established Elim Home "because people needed to hear the gospel no matter who they were or what they were struggling with. Saturation evangelism meant that every person needed to hear the gospel and if that involved knocking on doors or starting a radio program or televising a gospel program or starting a home for alcoholics… that was what would be done." (Dempsey, 2013, p. 5)

One can only imagine the response in the mind of the Disciples when Jesus had been crucified and arisen and to know +that they, so very few of them, were to take the Gospel to the entire world. Even when they traveled from Jericho to Jerusalem and Jesus told them he was going to the cross to be crucified they were self-involved, joking among one another about "who would sit on his right hand and who would sit on his left hand" and as noted in the work of Robinson "religious politics and position seeking today is degrading and minimizing to the true work of the kingdom of God!" (Robinson, 2009, p.2) As noted in the work of Robinson, today's church uses many excuses for not fulfilling the Great Commission and one of these is that society's culture has changed and that people no longer want to hear the gospel however, "this is a myth, a cop-out!." (Robinson, 2009, p. 3) For those in foreign countries who have seen their fellow Christians burned alive and whose own lives have been in extreme danger barely escaping death Christianity in America is viewed "as a Disneyworld religion where people simply want to come and be entertained." (Robinson, 2009, p. 4)

Jesus said "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) Paul's ministry in Ephesus is a biblical example of Saturation Evangelism because it is related in Acts 19:10 that every individual in Asia had "within two years..received the Gospel through the evangelistic witness of the church of Ephesus." (Robinson, 2009, p. 5) How was this accomplished? Paul firstly "reached people for Christ" and secondly Paul "equipped them to reach others and they saturated… [END OF PREVIEW]

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