Thursday, January 27, 2011

Evangelism through Community

Tim Chester:

You’ve managed to talk to your friend about Jesus without much response. What should do you do next? How can we get disinterested people interested in the gospel? Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35; 17:21, 23). How will people believe that Jesus is the Son of God sent by God as the Savior and Lord of our world? Through the common life of God’s people (John 17:21, 23).

Proclamation must be central to mission because the gospel is a word to proclaim. But our message is understood best in the context of our lives and especially our life together and our love for one another. Time and again people are attracted by what they experience in the Christian community, and this creates interest in the Christian message. This means we need to introduce people to the Christian community, not just by inviting them to our meetings, but by including them in our shared life.

To reach the many people today who have rejected church we need to take church to them by doing mission in the context of ordinary life. As people hang out with us, eat meals with us, do chores with us they will encounter a disparate group of people who somehow are family together, a community that challenges their priorities and provokes their questions.

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