Those who are familiar with my former rantings know that I personally don't approve too much of the vast bulk of organized religion and the way it's being practiced, which is why I'm such a fan of Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings and all the folks involved with their website "The GodJourney," which is encouraging people to establish a personal relationship with God, rather than placing their faith in any group of people or organization, which can often become a substitute for the Real Thing - that's what I refer to when I think about Jesus, and a real, personal relationship with Him, or also the Spirit, which Jesus said was the only thing that brings life, as opposed to the flesh, which profits nothing...(John 6:63).
Although in theory the ambition of encouraging folks to establish a personal and direct link with God might be shared by many a sincere preacher or pastor of an organized and established church, there is, nonetheless, often a difference when realistically assessing how this is playing out, compared to what one might hope for.
Generally, humans are social "animals," which has many pros, of course, but can also present some drawbacks such as our "copy cat" habits and "assimilating" each other's behavior, which is great when the behavior we follow is good, and detrimental when it isn't (a classic historical example of such negative peer pressure would be the Third Reich)...
In other words, we look at what everybody else is doing and tug along, figuring that if everybody does it, it must be okay, instead of trying to get ahold of God's consent and approval and a confirmation that what we are doing is really His will (classic historic examples of such exceptions would be, for example, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Oskar Schindler, Corrie ten Boom etc.)
Perhaps I will manage to illustrate graphically the difference between the two forms of evangelism I'm trying to show, but for now I'll have to try to make do with words:
In conventional evangelism, a number of people will flock to a building where they come to listen to one man speak. Some output goes directly to God via their prayers and songs of praise, etc., but the main exchange of information goes from the preacher's mouth to the ears of the congregation. According to the content of that information and each individual's readiness to use that information and put it into action, some later results (= fruit, such as in sharing the information with others) may or may not be achieved.
In the alternative, and in my opinion usually more effective version, an individual is learning via personal communication with God via His Word and direct revelation (as promised by God in His Word) to establish a living, two-way-communication relationship with Him, and thus becomes a living example of such a relationship, which he will inevitably pass on to others (as in "let your light so shine before men") practically anywhere they'll go, encouraging others to establish such a personal relationship with God, too. The results (fruits) are usually more obvious and inspiring, as well as often more real, since what is being shared and exchanged does not so much consist of ceremonies, rituals, or "something everybody does," but personal communication between two or three parties ("Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them"), often of such quality that a person will feel compelled to share this high-quality device with others.
Instead of referring someone to a building where they can hear someone talk for an hour a week, you're equipping them with the ability to communicate with the Creator 24/7.
It's not that this wouldn't be possible in the conventional model, but generally, it's not commonly practiced.
What if everybody would start hearing from God, and they might have a lot more exciting stuff to tell than the preacher's sermon? - This might happen, you know? - And it might be embarrassing! So, for the sake of preserving peace and order in the church, it is commonly not encouraged that people should engage much in prophecy. In Pentecostal Churches, the speaking of tongues may be a welcome alternative to prophecy, but as Paul said himself, the disadvantage with tongues is that unless what has been said is also being interpreted, none but the speaker will be edified by it, which is one reason why he advocated prophecy as the best gift, except for the gift of love or charity, of course, which he dedicates the entire 13th chapter of 1Corinthians to.
There we also find the information that one day, when that which is perfect - Jesus - will have come, our knowledge, speaking in tongues and prophecies will cease. We won't need them anymore. Other passages (such as Zechariah 13:1-5) seem to confirm this. Why? Because we'll have something better then. Who needs prophecy when you can avail yourself of telepathy?
Hearing from God is something that's going to be as natural as thinking to us someday. So, why not start now?
Listening to a preacher can be great. But it's nothing in comparison to the thrills one can experience when they tune in to what Jesus has to say.
"But what about fellowship?"
As Wayne and Brad from "The GodJourney" often bring out in their podcasts, once you get hooked up with the Source and have a personal relationship with God, you'll be ready and eager for a lot more fellowship with like-minded folks, seekers and believers, than the usual one or two hours a week.
It will come a lot closer to the original excitement that was present when this whole thing started, roughly 1980 years ago: "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42).
You'll know - either for the first time or once again - what it means what the old Sunday School song went on about, "It's bubbling, it's bubbling, it's bubbling in my soul..."