Evangelism Week 2
Our second week was entitled Why should we Evangelise?
We began our evening by thinking how many of the commands of Christ could we list. We actually managed to list a lot! J John in his book natural evangelism explained that the First why is because to evangelise is the command of Christ. Looking at Matthew CH2 8 vs19-20 a passage referred to as The Great Commission J John sees three things in this passage that we are told to do
1)To make disciples he believes this means people need to become committed to Jesus
2)To mark disciples -he believes this means baptising them
3)To mature disciples – he believes this means growing in wisdom and faith
J John points out that evangelism according to this is not just people coming to faith but also people growing in faith. As we evangelise so we evangelise ourselves. J John goes on to say the church should be about three things
1 Looking up or worship
Worship is celebrating the presence of God over his creation and among His people. It includes our response in adoration, confession and a desire to encounter his power truth and beauty. True worship is inwardly transforming and outward in focus as we share God’s compassion for a world in desperate need of him.
2 Looking in or well being
Well being is the closest we can get in English to the Hebrew word shalom – peace. It signifies a balances life that is blessed by God . It cannot be experienced in isolation but flows from relationships that are accepting affirming accountable and transforming. These relationships provide the context in which we can grow into our God given potential and contribute to the ministry of the whole church, both within the believing community and to the needs of the surrounding community and the world.
3 Looking out or witness
Witness is our first hand testimony in both words and actions. We are witnesses to what God has done for us in Christ through the sacrifice of his son on the cross , to what Christ continues to do in us through His spirit to make us more like himself as well as what he achieves through us to continue His ministry in the world . In our discussion about this we looked at whether any of our activities as a church fell outside these three definitions and we decided that they did not that even the most mundane task can be done to the glory of God.
The Second why we should evangelise according to J John is because of the compassion of Christ.
We began this by looking at words to describe the character of Jesus we looked at Galatians 5 the fruit of the spirit and thought that these were the characteristics of Jesus’s character. J John says that If we truly love God we will love other people. He notes that Jesus was deeply moved by human needs. In the original Greek of Matthew 9 vs 36-38 compassion is a strong word that is full of deep or gut level feeling and emotion . It is suffering with someone by entering into their despair and pain. All of us could identify people who annoy us or we avoid the challenge was to love people like Jesus did.
The Third why he identified why was the conviction of Christ.
We discussed what it means to be convicted of something our best answer was to be convinced. J John points out that Jesus was absolutely convinced that the church would grow. Jesus also said “I will build my church” in Matthew 16 vs 18 Jesus was convicted that the church would grow, so were the first disciples. The challenge is are we?
The Forth why we should evangelise is because of the Consummation of Christ Kingdom.
We discussed what we knew about the return of Christ . out best answer was that Jesus will return when the gospel has been preached to the whole world. The question was Do we look forward to the return of Christ? We decided in our discussion that we did not look forward to the return of Christ with the same enthusiasm as the early church did.
The second part of our evening was spent looking at how we could explain the good news we are called to share. J John suggested we use Ephesians Ch3 vs1-3 to Ch 2- vs 3 . In this passage he sees six sections
1 Creation – the relationship between God and humanity
2 Chaos – sin and separation
3 Covenant – covenant blessing and the promise Abraham
4 Christ the mediator
5 Christ the Conquerer (Jesus rose from the dead)
6 Certainty (new life by the spirit and a secure inheritance)
J John suggests that we should be prepared and able to talk a little bit about each of these areas. In our discussion we thought it was helpful to have thought and prepared things we might say about each of these areas. Our homework was to try and write a short paragraph in our words about these six areas.