What Evangelism Isn’t
It was mentioned in an earlier post that personal evangelism is not primarily leading someone to make a decision for Christ or pray the sinner’s prayer, although decisions are made for Christ and prayers are prayed. In the same post one of the definitions of evangelism was:
“To evangelize is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.” – Alistair Begg, Crossing the Barriers
I was listening to a radio interview recently in which I heard about something called ‘The Carl Hatch Squeeze’. I gathered from the interview I listened to that in certain evangelical circles, the Squeeze is considered an approved method for increasing one’s ‘soul count’. Without further ado, here’s the ‘The Carl Hatch Squeeze’.
When, in an evangelistic encounter, it was time to ‘close’ the deal and obtain a decision for Christ’ by asking ‘Do you want to pray the sinner’s prayer?’, and the answer was ‘no’ (and it happens a lot), Carl would ask if he could just pray with the person for a minute. In many cases a NO answers to the sinner’s prayer question turned into YES to a general prayer. Carl, with a hand on the person’s shoulder and a gentle squeeze, would then pray and ask God if He would help the person be a better husband, friend, worker, or a number of other ways we all want ‘be’ better. He would also include material blessings we all yearn for. The ‘mark’ (can I say that?) would be in total agreement with the ‘general’ prayer. Carl would then ask the sinner’s prayer question again. Many an initial NO became YES, Carl could claim another soul for the Kingdom, and all was well.
Or was it? I’ll let you be the judge.
What are your thoughts?