Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Evangelism and Being Missional

More from Earl & the AG Pastors:

EVANGELISM - please do not have organized outreach events.
stop with your programs to attract the world to come to church.
the church is supposed to go into the world.
stop commissioning missionaries and parading them as special.
we are all special, and are all missionaries.
my entire life is evangelism, it’s not an event.

Read here for a great post by Tammy Jo about the confusion between church marketing and evangelism.

But true servanthood is truly serving namelessly, anonymously. Would churches be willing to "serve" or "give" if they didnt get recognized for it, if they didnt get the "credit" for it. If the "this really makes me look good" factor was removed would churches still spend the money? Would they still "give from their heart"? What if it was simply away to tell people about Jesus instead of a way to advertise your church?

Pam Hogeweide shares her personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences about evangelism. A wise conclusion from her:

I'm content to share Christ through the quiet corridors of friendship and happenstance. I've made my peace with the E word. For the most part. I still don't like the word, evangelism, it's too loaded for me, triggering scars of shame and memories of failure. But sharing my friendship with God through the ordinariness of my ordinary life, that's something I can do. That's something that I live.

This excerpt from an excellent post by Maurice Broaddus on the missional church addresses how missional living changes the way we evangelize.

As Christians, we have our identity in Christ. We find our mission in Christ. Missional people might not spend as much time at church because their whole lives are missions. We are all missionaries in the context of our social connections, called to love and serve the world. Some people may ask why we do what we do, and though we may share why, even if they don’t, our mission doesn’t change. Evangelism isn’t separated from social action. I’m going to serve because I’m called to serve, not in order to “trick” you into asking about my faith so that I can make my Jesus sales pitch.

You can read my thoughts about evangelism in this earlier post called How Can I Be Missional?

There are some good thoughts here from others as we consider how to love and serve people without leaving them feeling like our latest project and wondering "What's the catch?" I think it's good that we begin to examine the true state of our love for those around us and how we will express that love.


fr'nklin said...

I hate it when we talk about "outreach events" in staff meeting. We're going to have an "outreach Christmas Cantata"...I just sit there looking stupid. I can't even begin to tell them what I think...the more I talk...the worse it gets. So, I sit there, looking stupid, I'm from another planet and I no longer speak this language. So, I keep quiet...remembering what I read on a CHURCH SIGN (of all places) recently: "silence is never misquoted."

grace said...

fr'nklin, sometimes silence is a good choice. I hope at times you are able to give voice to another way of seeing things without being viewed as antagonistic or a rebel.

Pam Hogeweide said...

I think it was St Francis of Assissi who said "Preach the gospel often. When necessary use words."

There is a time to preach, we know Jesus preached. But really, most of the time we just live it out, don't we?

I like that quote Fr'nklin.........Silence is never misquoted. I will have to quote that myself, when I'm not being silent. I think I just created a riddle....!

Amber said...

Ya know, I think the first time I've ever really witnessed churches being able to work together and not care who got credit is just recently. I get SO fed up with all the competition I see between churches. But when the hurricanes hit Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas I saw the church begin to work together and they really DIDN'T care who got the credit! Amazing! I've never seen that happen before.

BTW, this is a great blog you've got. I've just discovered it but I can really relate to a lot of what I've read here so far. :)

grace said...

Hi Amber, it's nice to see you here. You hit the nail on the head. It is too bad that we don't see that understanding of shared mission except in the case of a disaster or emergency. I think that type of sharing mission should be the norm rather than the exception.