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The 50% Rule for Evangelism Classes (and how to break it!)

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(This is an occasional series on conducting Evangelism Classes. Click here for part 1.)

The 50% rule is fairly standard for those who teach evangelism classes. Half of the students drop out before the class is done; in fact, most drop out before the fourth class starts. Why is this?

I have a theory: When you take a theology class, at the end, there won’t be much required of you unless you are asked a very difficult question on doctrine; but in the end, you will certainly be a little smarter.

If you take a course on prayer, by the time you graduate, you will know how to pray. And you aren’t necessarily required to pray out loud or in public. Most will do their duty alone.

But when you enroll in an evangelism training course, you will be required to share your faith at the end of the class. That’s too much to ask for many Christians. They’d rather let those who have  “the gift” of evangelism do that.

Hence, a 50% drop out rate!

But you don’t have to settle for that. Create an incentive that appeals to the lazy, the fearful, the type A and type Z person. Make it a competition where the individuals can win—and win big!

There is a valid reason for this: if a person stays the course and completes the classes, does the homework and tries for the prizes, it is likely that they will incorporate evangelism as a way of life.

Here are the incentives I offer. Feel free to adapt them to your classes:

GRADE YOURSELF SHEET

Earn a diploma by attending all 10 classes. (Miss a class? Make it up in a future semester.)

Win prizes by earning points:

THE POINT SYSTEM

1st evangelism outing w/team                      05 points

2nd evangelism outing w/team                     10 points

3rd evangelism outing w/team                      20 points

4th evangelism outing w/team                      40 points

5th evangelism outing w/team                   100 points

COURSE POINT TOTALS

Daily tracts handed out                                 50 points

Listen to 3 online teachings                        15 points

Verbal Evangelism homework                    40 points

Watch 3 online videos                                  15 points

“Spiritual Plan” Sheet                                   05 points

Bible study homework                                  09 points

BONUS POINTS

1 point each time you write a one paragraph E-vangie Tale and post it in the “comments” section of “What’s Your E-vangie Tale? Summer 2011” at www.StoneThePreacher.com There is no limit to these posts.

5 points every time you take someone through “The Good Person Test” using the “WDJD Method.”

1 point for each weekly bible study

18 points for reading “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life” by Ray Comfort

Grades and Prizes:

0-79                (Win nothing)

80-89      C    (Win nothing)

90-99      B    (Win 10 Commandments Poster)

100+       A    (Win 10 Commandments poster, “Rich Man and Lazarus” 2 CD set by Ray Comfort, “Militant Evangelism” CD by Ray Comfort, “The Greatest Gamble” DVD)

Top of the Class:

A Veg-O-Matic OR all of the above PLUS “The School of Biblical Evangelism Book (101 Lessons)” and a Sample Pack of Tracts, “What Hollywood Believes” Book, “The Greatest Gamble” DVD, “How to Win Your Children to Christ” CD (First time students only.)

EARN A THOUSAND POINTS!

Earn 1,000 points and get all of the above PLUS a hand-carved 10 Commandments Plaque. (First time students only.)

******
Now, read about the class winner who actually chose the Veg-O-Matic…and the remarkable event that happened after he won by clicking here!

If you’d like to be put on my waiting list to receive my 10 week class notes, email me at PastorSteveAtHope@yahoo.com and give me your mailing address. (I thought I would have these ready by now. Delay after delay….)

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: It’s 4:20 and I have the munchies….for bananas. « Confessions of a Former Conservative

  2. At first I was going to going to reply cynically IRT providing a stick&carrot to keep people in the class. After I thought about it, however, I realized that fun incentives are commonplace in education. In combination with sincerity and effort on the part of the teacher, they can be useful.

    The real issue rests with “why” the attrition rate is so high. Obviously, Steve has an opinion – but it’s a transparently self serving opinion; it allows Steve to imagine the problem lies not with the teacher, but with the student.

    That’s an assumption requiring a heaping helping of pride.

  3. You may be right except for the fact that most other evangelists who teach these classes experience this same rate—and worse. Of course, we could all be terrible teachers.

    By the way, and this is going to sound prideful, but I offer an evaluation form, an anonymous evaluation form, to students at the end of the class, and the responses are overwhelmingly positive. I can mail them to you if you’d like.

    You see, my pre-supposition, as explained in the post, is that people are too afraid to share their faith that’s why they drop out.

  4. You may be right except for the fact that most other evangelists who teach these classes experience this same rate—and worse.

    That’s a fair point, Steve.

    I offer an evaluation form, an anonymous evaluation form, to students at the end of the class, and the responses are overwhelmingly positive

    At the end of the class, you only have people who made it through the curriculum, correct? It would be interesting to get feedback from those who dropped out. But to be honest, evaluation forms aren’t prideful; they’re useful and productive for the teacher, regardless of the subject.

    One last comment:

    You see, my pre-supposition, as explained in the post, is that people are too afraid to share their faith that’s why they drop out.

    That’s not a presupposition, it’s an assumption (based on evidence?). There’s a big difference between the two, and you might honestly be interested in reading about it.

  5. “It would be interesting to get feedback from those who dropped out.”

    I was going to post that. But I imagine it would be hard for the people who dropped out to give an honest assessment about why they dropped out – even anonymously. (I’m not disparaging them – I just think that they may be too embarrassed to give their real reasons because they believe that they are called by God to do this. They may feel a little too much guilt to be able to answer that.)

    Then I thought, “Hey! Why am I helping Steve?” 🙂

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