This is where people are brought into the church through a process or system defined by the church. This form has operated since the beginnings of Christianity.
The model is that Christians are introduced to the church by parents and are educated within the church about the Christian faith. At a certain point they are then asked to attend confirmation lessons which will, hopefully lead them into a deeper relationship with Christ. They are then confirmed within the church at a special service.
There can be little doubt that this has worked in the past in a more regular form of church. Of course going through a system doesn’t make you a Christian and can persuade someone who has no faith that because it all sounds nice and familiar they must have a faith.
Although the web doesn’t really have this form of evangelism on it the web can have a disruptive effect on this approach. As people explore what they believe it is possible to find all kinds of counter ideas on the web. This can disrupt what a church is teaching – especially where the person has not really had a personal encounter with Christ. The authority of the church is challenged and like all good post-modernists people start to question the churches authority to make a claim to absolute truth.
Churches that still want to use this form of evangelism must take account of what is happening in a world where people have instant access to the web. It is not enough to simply describe what is believed it is now important to give a good answer to why this is believed. But just having an answer to why it is believed is still not enough because now people also want to know if it works. In a society that defines itself by what it owns or possesses it is becoming important to show that the Christian faith is more than just an idea but it is an idea that has a positive effect on life.