“The Engel Scale” originates with James F Engel, from the book What’s gone wrong with the harvest?, published by Zondervan in 1975. The insight into evangelism that is generally drawn from the Engel scale is that all people go on a journey or process on their way to conversion and then on into discipleship.
There are multiple different phrases people have used to describe each stage or number in the process. In general, they follow this basic pattern:
A strength of the Engel scale is that it helps us to realise that our approach to evangelism can be informed by and adapted to how much understanding or interest a person has in the Christian faith. Consequently, if we can try to gauge where a person is on the scale it becomes possible to contextualise our conversation or message in a way that will hopefully be more effective.
In the Act section of our site, we signpost you to a host of different tools to help you as you witness to Jesus. The type of tool you’d like to use may depend on how open and/or aware of Christianity the people you’re working with are.
That’s why we’ve provided a way to filter all the tools on the Great Commission site through a numbering system related to the Engel scale.
The numbering system runs from 0 to 10 with:
- 0 – meaning the tool is suitable for engaging with someone who has no interest and/or knowledge of the Christian faith.
- 10 – meaning that the tool is suited to engaging with someone who is now making a decision to follow Jesus.
If you choose a low-range number (0-3), you’ll find tools that should be appropriate for all those at the early stage of their faith journey. The focus will be more on building relationships and helping people to start considering some of the questions posed by Jesus Christ.
A mid-range number (4-7) will bring up tools suitable for those who are further along in their faith journey. These tools will hopefully help people build a bridge from having relationships with Christians to starting to decide whether Christianity might be for them.
A high-range number (8-10) will bring up tools suitable for those who are close to making a commitment to follow Jesus. It is likely that these tools may involve an opportunity for someone to make a commitment of faith in Jesus.
As with any number system, this gauge is only a guide, but we hope it helps you explore the great range of tools on the Great Commission site.