April 6, 2014

Methods of Evangelism

Recently, I have been learning about the methods of evangelism.  It's crazy how one faith can be so divided about this. This became most evident when I was speaking with a local pastor about the opportunity to support a ministry.  This church asked many questions, all about the methods of salvation that were being used in this ministry.  They wanted to know how this ministry was going to "save" souls.  The answers given were awesome, and real.  But, however, they were not how this particular church does things.  After our presentation and answering questions, we were told that their church only supports missionaries that plant churches.  Initially, I got a little offended.  How narrow minded that was!  Then it got me thinking.

As Christians, we are all called to share the gospel of Jesus and the way we do it doesn't have to all look the same.  Thankfully, I am just accountable to Christ and not my fellow believers.  Man they can be brutal and judgmental if I let that in.  Jesus called us to be disciples, and He also called us to love.  Actually, love is the greatest command that Jesus gave.  It is the one thing that Jesus said is the most important and the key to everything!

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

What is love?  What does loving look like?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

So if Jesus tells us that loving God and that loving your neighbor as yourself are the two most important commandments of the Law, I feel like we, as Christians, need to check ourselves.  Are we doing that?  Is the method that we are using for reaching others doing so in love?

I do not pretend to have all of the answers.  I'm a work in progress.  Just because my method of reaching others and sharing the gospel doesn't look like yours, doesn't mean that I'm wrong or that you are.  That is the beauty of the way God made us.  He made us with different gifts.  He positioned us all in different environments and circles of friends and family.  We all have different experiences and backgrounds.  We all have different callings on our lives.  I'm learning that, still!

Without a doubt in my soul, I know that God has called me to lead short term mission trips.  He has called me to build relationships within my own community and to love my neighbors.  I don't know what He will lead me to next year or in the next ten years.  But for right now, I have a deep peace.  I am in His will and it feels good!  He has not called me to plant churches, to hold revivals, to scream from megaphones about the pits of hell! So if my method of reaching people, sharing the gospel and love of Christ doesn't look like yours, it's okay!  Because God gave it to me!  And I'm learning to be okay with that!

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