In 1997, Evangelism Explosion published the results of a study which shows that the method was viewed as "confrontational evangelism". As a result of this, Evangelism Explosion announced that it was "changing its approach to emphasize relationship-building and discipling new believers."
Evangelism Explosion is best known for its two "diagnostic questions" that users can ask non-Christians as a means of determining a "person's spiritual health", and of stimulating an evangelistic conversation:
- Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you can say you know for certain that if you were to die today you would go to heaven?
- Suppose that you were to die today and stand before God and he were to say to you, "Why should I let you into my heaven?" what would you say?
Evangelism Explosion's materials have been translated into seventy languages. Jeff Noblit suggests that it is "probably the most used and copied soul-winning training course ever embraced by Southern Baptists," while Stan Guthrie suggests that it is "the best known and most widely used evangelistic training curriculum in church history." It is used by over 20,000 churches worldwide.
Evangelism Explosion officials claim that millions of people have come to Christ using the program. In 2011, 324,000 people worldwide were trained in the program, while over 7.25 million people reportedly made a profession of faith as a result of its use.
The spread of Evangelism Explosion materials have been remarkable as it has covered almost every continent and every island across the globe from the founding church in Florida to as far as the Fiji Islands.
David L. Larsen suggests that Evangelism Explosion has "brought a quickening of the evangelistic pulse", and has "provided a most helpful and practical vehicle for witness." Larsen notes, however, that "not everyone is comfortable" with "its more vigorous 'button-holing'."
In a study done among non-Christian Thai people, all of them spoke negatively about the witnessing approach of EE. One respondent said,
I would be upset. It is ridiculous and strange. I do not know who will die first, the interrogator or me. I would simply walk away. I do not want anyone to talk about death. It is a depressive issue.
- Guthrie, Stan. "A Passion for Souls: Remembering D. James Kennedy". Christianity Today. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "History". Evangelism Explosion. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- Lawton, Kim A. (3 March 1997). "Outreach: Evangelism Explosion Retools its Approach". Christianity Today. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Peel, William Carr (2003). Going Public With Your Faith: Becoming a Person of Spiritual Influence at Work. Zondervan. p. 153.
- Pockock, Michael; Van Rheenen, Gailyn; McConnell, Douglas (2005). The Changing Face of World Missions: Engaging Contemporary Issues and Trends. Baker Academic. p. 180.
- Noblit, Jeff (2008). "The Rise of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention: Reason for Rejoicing". Calvinism: A Southern Baptist Dialogue. B&H Publishing Group. p. 104.
- Davis, James D. (22 February 2012). "Evangelism Explosion marks 50 years". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "Evangelism Explosion Celebrates 50 Years, Looks to Next 50". National Religious Broadcasters. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Larsen, David L. (2002). The Evangelism Mandate: Recovering the Centrality of Gospel Preaching. Kregel Academic. p. 126.
- Mejudhon, Ubolwan (2004). "The Thai Way of Meekness". Peoples of the Buddhist World: A Christian Prayer Diary. William Carey Library. p. 282.