What’s Wrong with Kevin Dedmon’s Treasure Hunt Evangelism?

It looks like I struck a controversial nerve with some folks…not that it bothers me. Last year I wrote two articles describing the “Treasure Hunt” style of evangelism made popular by Kevin Dedmon’s book, The Ultimate Treasure HuntWhat's Wrong with Kevin Dedmon's Treasure Hunt Evangelism?. It started with my own testimony in an article titled “Treasure Hunt Evangelism — God’s Healing Power in Public.

On one hand, I’ve had great feedback–in fact, one young lady recently commented on my second article who was actually FOUND by Christian “treasure hunters.” In her comment, she testifies about how she had just been saved on Christmas Eve but didn’t have a church–that is, until God reached her on the way to a bar with friends. You can read her story in the comments of my article: Kevin Dedmon’s Treasure Hunt Evangelism.

On the other hand, I’ve had some concerned commenters wondering if God is really in this stuff. One anonymous writer warned, “Do you know Dedmon’s techniques are really Psychic Questing? Buddhists and Occultists have done this for thousands of years. And now the church has embraced them. Check it out yourself. Don’t be so open minded that your brain falls out.” And today, another gentleman wrote, “I am very worried about this. It sounds like ‘cold-reading’ to me. I honestly don’t see any warrant for it in the New Testament as what appear to be ‘words of knowledge’ in the way you describe them were certainly not ‘treasure-hunt’ style shots in the dark. I really have a problem with what you’re describing here.”

Personally, I’ve seen the results first-hand. I’ve seen Jesus Christ revealed and glorified. I’ve seen the people amazed by God’s love and His attention to the details of their lives. I’m not bothered by the nay-sayers.

But I do care very deeply about reaching the lost with every tool available to us! And I also want to be sure that we don’t scare people away from what I have seen to be a very valid and valuable tool in evangelism.

With this mindset, here is part of the answer I gave to the first anonymous writer:

The gifts of the spirit are not about being open-minded. I care very much about sound doctrine and what is true.

Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” So what is the “fruit” of Dedmon’s ministry? People are healed, set free from evil spirits, and forgiven as they give themselves to Christ.

The technique is simply this: There are billions of people on this planet who need to know about Jesus; but clearly, He knows better than any of us whose heart is ready to receive at this exact moment. So we ask Him: “Lord, please lead us to someone who you specifically want to target today.” And then He does.

I have a hard time believing it’s the work of demons, guiding us to people to pray for them and lead them to Christ. As Jesus said, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”

…I’m curious if you have read Dedmon’s book? I wonder which of us is jumping to conclusions?

Just a thought.

And to the second writer, I responded:

I completely understand your concern. Do notice, though, that the Apostle Paul led an entire missionary journey to Macedonia simply because he had a dream in which he saw a Macedonian man. Likewise, Ananias visited Paul to heal his blindness and facilitate his conversion–and it was all because he had a vision of where to go and what to expect. As it turns out, there actually are some New Testament precedents–they just have a different name and look a little different because Treasure Hunts are structured rather than random.

If you’re going to base things purely on New Testament precedent, consider this: The New Testament doesn’t say anything about handing out literature or Gospel tracts…that sounds a lot like what the Hare Krishnas and Jehovah’s Witnesses have been doing for years. Should we abandon these practices because of how similar they are to cults and false religions?

The devil doesn’t come up with anything new–he only perverts what God has created. The gifts of the Spirit are not New Age powers. Rather, New Age powers are cheap counterfeits of the supernatural abilities that God designed for the Church to use in reaching the lost and transforming culture.

I find it interesting that so many people have problems with the Treasure Hunt method given the statistical results of people being saved, healed, and set free on a regular basis in the name of Jesus. It doesn’t bother me–I just find it interesting.

I’m open for discussion on this, so feel free to raise more questions.

I’m curious if there are others among my readership who have either practiced “Treasure Hunt Evangelism” or been found by it. I’d love to hear your stories! And there are probably others who still have problems with this method. If that’s you, I’d be happy to discuss things further!

If you fit either of these categories, it would be great to read your thoughts. Feel free to comment on this post.

God bless!
–Art