Friday, 29 February 2008
Acts 9:1-20 - Evangelism flowing from the cross
1 Peter - Mission is Crucifixion by Glen Scrivener
(where I nicked some of my Acts 9 stuff)
Mike Reeves on Mission
Some inspiring Jesus stuff:
John 1:1-18 - Who is Jesus?
My old essay:
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
A friend of mine recently posed this statement for discussion
“Five sessions of 5 pairs spending two hours door-knocking is better spent having 5 pairs having neighbours round five times in a season” Discuss.
- The personal investment involved in such hospitality is often far greater than the fear factor involved in door-to-door. In this sense door-knocking, though appearing to be the more impressive, can often be more of a cop-out.
- A deep sharing of life is surely a far superior context for sharing the faith!
But having said that
- The context for sharing my faith is, fundamentally, not my friendships down here (though clearly that is ideal). More fundamentally though, the context for sharing the faith is resurrection, pentecost and second coming. Christ is risen - this is my authority to speak of Christ. The Spirit has been poured out - this is the power to do so. He is coming - this is the urgency. I realise my friend would not wish to disagree with this but it’s still good to remember what is at root my authorisation for my speaking.
- There are millions in this country alone who don’t have Christian friends (at least Christian friends who are willing to share their faith). Friendship evangelism will not reach them. (Rory’s proposal linked above speaks to this - gospel intentionality seeks to reach a wider network of people than those we already know).
- If it’s a question of ‘effectiveness’ - stranger evangelism ‘works’. I will post figures from Bridge Builders when I have them confirmed. But I know also from personal experience that people are converted through these efforts - this is precisely what we expect given the point above regarding resurrection, pentecost and second coming.
- Think of the beginnings of the Salvation Army or David Wilkerson (Cross and Switchblade) - there was no bridge upon which they built their ministry apart from the declaration of the word. Now they committed themselves to those who responded and very meaningful relationships blossomed (along with ministries that often lost their confidence with the power of the word proclaimed plainly!). But the footing on which those relationships were placed was the proclamation of the gospel to strangers. (But again perhaps this is closer to the ‘gospel intentionality’ model than to ’stranger evangelism’)
- Jesus did both - He did blow into town and speak to strangers. And He also went to dinner parties and built into very significant relationships.
- We are to sow on all the soils (Mark 4).
In all I think I agree with the statement in terms of priorities. I’d want to make sure that those we invite are not simply our friends (Luke 14:12-14) and that we target those who are not only beyond the walls of the church but beyond our friendship groups and comfort zones. Door to door is never to be an end in itself but the basis on which a relationship will ensue. It should never be “Gospel apart from relationship.” But if it were ever a choice between “Gospel => relationship” or “Relationship => Gospel” then there should certainly be no theologically decisive preference for the latter!
Therefore I would certainly not want to abandon door-to-door but seek for all evangelism to involve relationship building. In short, let’s sow on all the soils.
What say you?
thought it would be fun to get all of us constantly thinking about Jesus..
especially during those 10 minute dull-times during work...
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