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Evangelism has become a dirty word. So dirty that some Christians dare not speak of the “e-word.”
Too often when we think of evangelism, we concur up images of standing on the street corner handing out tracts, street preaching, yelling at passer-bys, or aggressively converting people to our way of being Christian. Personal space and experiences are not typically respected. Unfortunately, these kinds of things do not always represent the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Yet, at the same time, mainline churches have been in a state of decline. We look out at the empty pews and wonder, “How will we fill these pews?” We know we should invite people to church. We know we should be engaging our community. We know we should be doing more. But what? How?
The following video presents a few ways not to.
From Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith:
Missional at its core means “sent.” It is the opposite of “come to us.” So many believers have selected their pet conecpt of the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” but neglect the prerequisite instruction: “Go.” Going is the noble history of the Trinity. God sent Jesus to dwell among fallen humanity – not to visit, not to remain separated, not to rescue. Upon Jesus’ resurrection, God sent the Spirit from the heights of heaven to the heart of every believer, an indwelling.
It’s not that Christian influence is bad (well, not all bad), but followed exclusively it distorts our perception of real life and our role in it. We turn a blind eye to the customs, cultures, communities, and contexts where people live their lives with different preferences and worldviews right next door to us. The problem with Christian segregation is the idea that God asked us to be on mission with Him, sent us to some group of people somewhere, and wants us to minister to them in a way that meets their needs by speaking their language.