Archive for April 2010

Evangel-what?

April 22, 2010

If my mind gets shaken up much more with theology I think I might implode… but as yet it hasn’t killed me;  (it has however caused me to enter distress of another level in my life with tears and panic commonly in the mix which I think has scared Nelly;-) ).

Anyway the most recent ponderings are continuing from the earlier posts about God’s kingdom building

Evangelism has always felt kind of awkward to me… it is something that I as a Christian should do, it is something that I as a Christian should be delighted to do, but in reality it is something I don’t do very often and it is something I usually dread more than enjoy… why is this?  I tell myself it’s because I don’t see enough of God, or because I don’t love my family and friends enough, or because I don’t love God enough… while some of these things are always going to be true; deep down I think that really it’s because to me evangelism feels kind of rude…

Something within me kicks against relating to the world with the knowledge that I have something they need which then dominates our relationship by me trying to get them to see (in the most pleasant and gentle ways of course) that they need what I have… it’s like prising someones fingers around a gift that they’re reluctant to recieve.  God’s call for me to do the work of an evangelist makes me feel that at all times i’m trying to help people move from where they are to somewhere else rather than just being with them.  Everything becomes goal-orientated.  This makes me uncomfortable.

But something occurred to me yesterday which puts me at deep ease… ‘there is a difference between me wanting x to know Jesus and me wanting Jesus to be known by x’. I know they sound the same and even look the same…but they’re not the same.

As an evangelist I am therefore called to be a revealer and proclaimer of truth in and of itself not because I’m trying to persuade or convince people to accept Jesus.  When I desire that people know Jesus its about wanting Jesus to be known as much as what it will do for my friend (which is really the fruit of Jesus being known).

If evangelism is the proclaiming the heralding of the good news that ‘Jesus is Lord’ then that is what our focus should be.  Rather than thinking how can I get people to understand or see?, I should be thinking how do I or we corportatley live and proclaim that this world is not really real, that success and money is not life, that nothing is so dark that there is not hope… How do I/we live the story of Jesus is Lord in our friendships and communities?  Not because we’re trying to get people to reach a goal but because we are so aware of the truth that we want it to be known.

I know this doesn’t sound that different, but to me it feels entirely different and maybe I’m not alone.  Evangelism also feels different to me since I’ve come to understand the gospel more in terms of Jesus being Lord (thanks NT Wright) rather than being reduced to Jesus died for your sins so you can go to heaven…

To me it seems that the focus needs to be on the good news that we’re proclaiming rather than strategies that move people in their understanding (which is obviously what we desire but it is fruit and we cant produce fruit).

baahhh this probably doesn’t make any sense but it’s helping me process so I don’t really care!

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