by Captain Stephen
Is it too blunt to say that I am sick and tired of new
strategies for evangelism? I'm tired of the endless
brainstorming as to how we can "reach the next generation"
with the Gospel while many already in the church are failing
to live out the very Gospel we're attempting to peddle.
In my ten or so years of ministry this struggle has grown to a
fever pitch. And I must admit that it isn't just with others.
I see these flaws in my own faith and in my own ministry
leadership. And these flaws bring on exasperation with the
continued stream of new ideas.
The only new idea I believe we should focus on in the current
day is an old one. Rather than new creative ways to reach new
people with the Gospel, let’s find new creative ways to live
the Gospel amongst new people.
Let’s place an emphasis on teaching those already within the
church to love well. Helping them to recognize and seize the
organic opportunities to love which already fill the believers
Let me be clear here: I'm not preaching a "preach the Gospel
at all times..." theology often misattributed to St. Francis
of Assisi. I believe the sharing of the Gospel always requires
words to be completed.
But I think we need to drink the juice before we try to get
others to buy it...
Let's remember that the reality of the Gospel is immense. More
than a just a "personal savior from sin" Jesus brought a new
Kingdom to earth. A Kingdom which He now rules with unlimited
power and unending passion.
We Christians have been "rescued from the Kingdom of Darkness
and transferred" into this new Kingdom of Jesus (Colossians
And this Kingdom is radically different from the one left
behind (which also still exists and is the natural habitat of
those whom we hope to reach with the Gospel).
The single greatest difference in the Kingdom of Jesus is its
central truth and reality: Love.
It is the central truth of His Kingdom because it is the
central truth of Jesus himself.
God is love. This is evidenced by the perfect union we see
between the Father, Son and The Holy Spirit within the
This is the perfect love which people were created to
participate within. An option finally available in the newly
inaugurated Kingdom of Jesus.
In this new kingdom Love becomes the very essence of God's
people. Those whom he brings in are given new spiritual DNA.
They are now able to share the very essence of God: LOVE.
But yeah, I hear ya. "What does this have to do with
I respond with, "EVERYTHING!"
Much of current evangelism is nothing more than people
inviting others they know to a life they aren't currently
experiencing. Rather than inviting them into a new Kingdom,
most evangelism feels like an invitation to a new worldview or
But if we begin to teach and learn how to love well, how to
practically meet the needs of those around us, even when
requiring personal sacrifice we will accomplish two tasks at
one. We will live out life as it is meant to be lived in the
new Kingdom which we reside all while offering something
radically different to those outside the Kingdom whom we
encounter every day.
I believed it truly is this simple.
Around the world I don't hesitate to say that hundreds of
millions of non-believers encounter believers organically each
and every day. If we can learn to love well we will create
countless opportunities to share the reality of our new
This means willingly laying down our lives (wants, dreams,
desires, well being) for another (John 15:13). It means seeing
the needs of others as more important than our own needs
These are heavy things, but they are the way of things in the
Kingdom of Jesus and we will find them surprising possible as
we set out to be obedient.
Perhaps Burt Bacharach was right,
the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of".