Please note: the information below is based on our general assessment of Evangelism Explosion. As with any active ministry, current events may drastically change both perceptions and interpretations. GotQuestions.org is not associated with Evangelism Explosion, nor can we officially vouch for any particular aspect of their ministry. The information below is fair and accurate, to the best of our knowledge, at the time this article was written. We encourage all persons to carefully investigate any ministry prior to committing time or money to it, rather than relying on any one review by a third party.
Evangelism Explosion is a program designed to teach witnessing techniques to Christian believers. Its primary goal is to equip Christians to engage others in conversations about the Bible, morality, and salvation, with a goal of leading people to saving faith. The ministry provides direct training materials, tracts, and other resources.
Doctrinally, Evangelism Explosion is well within the bounds of conservative, evangelical Christianity. The organization promotes views of Scripture, God, sin, and salvation that are consistent with biblical principles. In particular, the ministry teaches that Christ was virgin-born, sinless, crucified for our sin, and resurrected, and it teaches that faith in Christ is the sole means of salvation. Evangelism Explosion also holds the Bible to be inspired, inerrant, and authoritative. While the ministry is exclusively focused on evangelism training, it seems to hold biblically sound positions on those social issues that intersect evangelistic efforts.
Evangelism Explosion was originally developed by D. James Kennedy in the early 1970s. Today, it claims to train tens of thousands of people each year, resulting in millions of decisions to trust in Christ. It is one of the more commonly used, frequently cited versions of evangelistic training. As with any structured program, there are benefits and drawbacks to the system, and individuals have varied opinions about how effective it is. The program has remained popular for more than thirty years, with many churches crediting their success to its influence.
In the past, some criticized Evangelism Explosion for being “confrontational evangelism” and encouraging Christians to be pushy or overly aggressive. Of course, a strident, impersonal message can harden people against further attempts at evangelism. To their credit, the leaders of Evangelism Explosion took such criticisms to heart, and in the late 1990s revised the training program for a simpler approach and to place more emphasis on relationship-building. At the same time, the ministry stated that diluting the gospel message was not an option, regardless of how it was perceived.
Every evangelistic encounter is different, because every person is different. Programs like Evangelism Explosion can be a great way to learn witnessing techniques, so long as one remembers the uniqueness of every situation. As training programs go, Evangelism Explosion seems to be a biblically sound approach. Training, practice, and knowledge are invaluable when spreading the gospel.