Watching Ellie’s and Hudson’s swim teacher work is fascinating. The first two levels are mostly just about getting comfortable in the water. Level three is actually about technique, but every action is broken down so far that kids who are scared don’t even realize they’re doing something they’d have been scarred by. Diving, for example, doesn’t start with standing I the diving board, but with sitting on the edge of the pool and launching with arms and head in the right position from there; then again while kneeling; eventually, a few days later, with standing; one day, from the diving board.
Evangelism in a post-Christian culture is similar. You don’t start with a propositional argument, or memorized presentation, but with small steps. Letting people get used to saying “hi,” then asking their names, then learning about them, then doing things with them, then having them over… in short, the slow steps of building a relationship; incarnating the gospel–as Christ did–in the lives of those who need it by our presence–which is, by our union with Christ, His incarnation into the lives of those He is using us to minister to.