About Evangelism - Interview with Matthew Turner

Former CCM Magazine Editor and Crosswalk talks of the essences of Evangelism and use of Christian media.
( [email protected] ) Jun 02, 2004 12:30 AM EDT

Matthew Turner, a veteran of the Christian music and outreach industry has been successfully spreading the Word of God as outreach to many youth. Being a former CCM Magazine editor and having worked for renown Christian outreach website crosswalk.com, Matthew Turner shares his views on evangelism:

What are your viewpoints on evangelism and its responsibilities towards Christians?

“I believe all are called to evangelism, some called to share their story with another, and some called to stand in front of crowds of people… Evangelism can be anywhere, it can be at Starbucks. [It] is talking to them about the passion of following Jesus, it makes my life make sense. Not just to go to church, not just reading your bible, but act of service that makes me a better person.

Was there anyone in your life that had a big impact upon you regarding evangelizing?

“Yes, in 1973, my Grandfather was put into a nursing home. And my grandmother went to visit him there for 3-4 times a week and she will visit all the old people in the nursing home, … it was never work to her, it was just out-pouring what God was doing in her life. I think we as a culture have gotten away from the natural way of evangelism. We are more motivated by tricks, loud music, and big pictures.

In evangelism, how is it important in presenting and balancing the ‘fearful’ God and also the ‘loving’ God to non-believers?

“[I believe that]… when I talk to youth of Jesus, I wish to display the same attributes of Jesus to them. God is a holy God, individual to be feared. I feel that with youth, it is important to display that Jesus wants to be their friend. There are many broken relationships in society today. We must capture them with the hope and love, showing them the human side of Christ is important to young people so that they can comprehend this all-powerful being, as a loving God… In the past, …[we] tend to skip building a relationship when evangelizing now people want to know him as a relationship.

What do you feel about Christian media, such as “Passion,” and its future necessity in outreaching to non-believers?

“We’re going to see Jesus presented to the secular level, more books, books and media that help people understand what it exactly means to be a Christ-follower, I think that in some cases we depend on that kind of stuff. I think we rely too heavily on books to see the ministry tool. I think Jesus would rather much look at us as telling our personal story. Jesus was not really a marketing tool, not a billboard, and now we have billboard. It’s great to go see Passion, it does allow thoughts and questions, but I certainly don’t think it replaces a relationship with Christ and God. [Aside from it] I think Passion is one of the better examples of Christian media out there.