It seemed that every session was preceded by the phrase "you've probably heard most of what I'm going to say before", which didn't do much for the atmosphere, but is probably a good thing. I mean, when it comes to things like the theology of evangelism, our motivation for doing so etc. it's good to see we haven't deviated much. However, the fact that we went to a conference to re-hear stuff we already knew about evangelism suggests one thing quite strongly; we aren't very good at it.
Paul says this to the Corinthians:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
If this is true, then why would living it out be such a struggle?
|Would you go to watch this?|
Well, I guess there are a lot of challenges. Getting the 'why?' of evangelism sorted is fairly straightforward, but when it comes to the 'how?' a lot of us get stuck. It doesn't help that there are numerous strategies advocated as being essential. It's no good just talking about Jesus, you have to also:
- Be culturally relevant
- Build a bridge of trust
- Be sensitive
- Pray a certain amount (not a specific amount, but at least a few hours more than you currently are)
Add in to the mix the minefield of political correctness, and top it off with the pressure of getting the message right first time or else it'll all go totally wrong and they will never come to faith ever ever ever aargh and you can see why some Christians baulk at the prospect of witnessing.
So I've decided that the next few posts will share the heading "things that encourage me about evangelism". Hopefully you'll be encouraged too.