Exponential 2014 Larry Osborne

** The following are my notes from Larry Osborne’s portion of the second breakout session at Exponential 2014. This session included 3 perspectives on rethinking evangelism. **


Larry Osborne


Years ago, Larry became harshly critical of those who were not wired like him.

His concept of evangelism perfectly fit who he is.

We call it gift projection.

We assume the gifts, calling, and personalities of others should be like ours.


Larry’s wife, Nancy,  will not confront anyone. She is not wired that way.

Tom was a born salesman.

He had tons of intentional relationships.

He was always ready to share the gospel.

Nancy had a greater impact in the church than did Tom.

She invited people to church, lived simply, and people came.

Often the most assertive people do not actually have the best results.


Larry is not opposed to come and see evangelism.

The primary way that people come to Jesus and grow to maturity throughout history has been come and see evangelism.

Come and see is not about special programs.

Come and see as we follow Jesus together.


Why it works.

It gives people time to consider what it will cost to follow Jesus.

People who make decisions on the spur of the moment seldom make decisions that stick.

In every case where Jesus called people to follow him, there was a background in place.

It takes 5 to 7 encounters to help someone decide.


It provides a system for instant follow up.

If people are bringing friends, they follow them up.

Friends follow up friends.


It is something everyone can do.

You can be any kind of person, and you can invite.


North coast church

No marketing or advertising or special programs Everything we do is aimed at Christians.

We never aim anything at the one not yet following Jesus.

We do make sure that everything is understandable.

Everything is about Christians, to Christians, but clear for all.

The retention rate at the 3 year mark is 75 %.

The people who come are given time to know what they are getting into.


3 assumptions about our people:

1.      Our people know non Christians

2.      They want their friends to know Jesus.

3.      So, if they are not bringing their friends to our churches, it is our fault, not theirs.


He illustrated with sushi.

If people do not like sushi, you do not invite them to a sushi restaurant.

If you think they will not like something about your church, you will not invite them to your church.


You cannot expect come and see evangelism to work for someone who drives over 20 minutes.

When we assume Bible knowledge on the part of all who listen, we have made the lost unwelcome.

We need to be very clear.


Sometimes our special events and special series scream out to our people that they should wait for the big event until people come and visit.

When you talk about inviting people to a special service, you train your people not to invite people to regular life.

It makes people very uncomfortable if they hear it.