As a church, we are part of a larger group of denominations often referred to as “evangelical.” The designation implies that a significant part of our understanding of the church’s mission is to evangelize, or share the good news with people around us. When the church has taken this identity seriously, and worked towards this goal, it has grown, multiplied, and then grown some more. When the church has ignored this facet of its identity, stagnation has often been the result.
Most Christians know this is their responsibility, and yet the concept of breaking into a deep, theological debate with someone over religion is not a comforting idea. Our understanding of what evangelism should look like not only leaves us uncomfortable, but also potentially leaves those to whom we are reaching also uncomfortable. And while the process can be challenging, and does benefit from practice, something that is so foundational to who we are as a church can’t be that difficult, can it?
More often than not, the most effective means of sharing with others who God is and what he is doing is not walking somebody through a tract or following a memorized, bullet-point speech (although those can be effective). The most effective means is simply sharing with others what God is doing in your life and in the life of your church, and then inviting them to come and be a part, both of your church and the God that gives us life and purpose as the church. And while we can’t always give you easy answers as to what God may be doing in your own life (but we do have WBS groups and H2U classes that can help), we can give you a neat, concise guide as to what the Lord has been doing in your church over the last several months. If you didn’t already know what things to share with others, let this Focus Book be an aid in helping you converse with people in an intentional manner about who our church is and what’s going on here. And then, invite them to come and be a part as we move into our Fall season of focusing on our neighbors. Let us carry on the tradition of being evangelical as we tell our stories to those who have not yet found the God who brings all our stories to life.
With Great Expectation,