Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
Richard F. Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 1979), 108.
Lovelace includes one of the best explanations of evangelism and regeneration I have read. Rooted in the sovereign work of God, he accurately depicts the role of the evangelist as a midwife.
Regeneration is the re-creation of spiritual life in those who are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). It occurs in the depths of the human heart, at the roots of consciousness, infusing new life which is capable of spiritual awareness, perception and response, and is no longer “alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18). The conscious effects of regeneration are summed up in conversion, the response of turning toward God in repentant faith which accompanies the hearing of the gospel. Our task as evangelists is therefore that of midwives, and not that of parents. It is not our responsibility to get people regenerated but simply to present a consistent witness in life and word, and to appeal for commitment to Christ secure in the inward recognition that his sheep will hear his voice and follow him because his Spirit will open their hearts to do so.