Christian-ese: Redefining Evangelism

Last week Pastor John shared his insights on how Missions Shape Our Mission. He elaborated on how we inspire people to follow Christ. 

Today, we talk about evangelism. Before I go any further I believe it is necessary for us to see where we’ve been. 

Our efforts in producing mediums to communicate while staying ‘immaculate’ have had us producing the Chick comics, the Gospel tracts, and (ugh) Bibleman. 

If our approaches haven’t changed, we’ve made refinements to our secondary definitions. For example, the mission field has constantly been redefined over the years. There was a time we talked about prioritizing geographical areas: Here we mention unreached tribes in remote areas, and phenomena such as the 10/40 Window. 

If we didn’t talk about mission approaches by location, we looked into generations, placing emphasis on training a child the way he or she should go, and since the youth have a ways to go, we’ve had youth services – pizza nights, campouts, concerts, upper rooms, and the like. 

Recently we talked about the alpha, beta, millenial, metrosexuals, boomer, and gen-x people groups. These standards have reached us by means of apparent studies and pop culture references. 

And then, after seeing how diverse and how many approaches there are to reaching people by means of age groups and generational influence, we went back to redefining the mission field to include a return to the United States of America, and even considering the Internet as a whole new mission field on its own. 

And this is where we are now… with a whole lot of strategies, a whole lot of methods… a whole lot of approaches. We can continue down that road and innovate as the times change, but I think Pastor John had a point when he said that when we mean people, we mean ‘Everyone, everywhere’

Everyone, everywhere can be viewed as simplified, in the sense that we can let go of the specifics, and just share the message to whoever we can, where we can.

Everyone, everywhere can be equally intimidating: For once we defined a mission field as a particular group or location, and now we expand to all groups and all places. 

You can certainly be pumped up or stressed over these two words: Everyone, everywhere. But I suppose I’m here to remind you, however you see the prospect of evangelizing to everyone, everywhere, to stick to the Mission. Inspire people to follow Christ.

And again, this can be simplified, and this can be intimidating. But let me end by reminding you, that if you aren’t inspired yourself, then you won’t be inspiring. To that regard, whether you are a veteran missionary according to the old tenets of evangelism, or a new member of the body of Christ, may I suggest that you keep this in mind: 
Inspired by Christ, people follow. 

Before you evangelize to others, evangelize to yourself first. 

More on this in the following days.

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