Extraction Evangelism and Community Evangelism

Extraction Evangelism and Community Evangelism

This is a guest post by Paul D. Watson (www.pauldwatson.com)


Changing our evangelistic mindset isn’t easy.Extraction evangelism is ingrained in Western Christian culture.Yet extraction evangelism techniques create too many barriers to the Gospel to result in church planting movements.Period.They may even inoculate people against receiving the Gospel.There is not one single example, to my knowledge, of a group that uses extraction evangelism as their primary strategy ever catalyzing a church planting movement.Community evangelism, on the other hand, is part of catalyzing church planting movements around the world: even as you read this post!If church planting movements are our goal, we have to make the jump from extraction thinking to community thinking.


Extraction Thinking

Community Thinking

Focuses on reaching one person at a time.

Focuses reaching one family or community at a time.

Reaching one person is a success.

Reaching a family or community is a success.

Removes new believers from their existing community to
become part of a hybrid community (church).

Encourages discipleship with and within existing families
and communities.

Transfers Christian culture to the new believer.

Redeems local culture.

Viewed by outsiders as destructive to community.

Viewed by outsiders as something new, but not destructive.

Results in increased levels of persecution in Restricted
Access countries.

Results in normal levels of persecution in Restricted
Access countries.

Painful for the new believer and their family – leaving
one community for a new community.

Joyful process – the family discovers Christ together.

Encourages believers to go back to their old communities
to find people to bring to the new community.

Encourages believers to live like Christ within their
existing community and share the Gospel as part of their daily life.


A friend of mine says that we are community developers rather than church planters.There’s some truth in that.Do your evangelistic strategies develop communities or cobble them together?


David Watson talks more about Extraction Groups and Community Groups in a previous post.

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