Relational Evangelism

I was at our Missions Prayer meeting last night hearing about the great work that Fiona Christie and Latin Link are doing in Cambodia. We learnt last night of the work Fiona and her team do – producing well thought out Sunday school material for churches along the Atlantic coast. Fiona mentioned that they encourage all the Kids club and Sunday school leaders to have a relational aspect to their evangelism. Not just teaching the material, but actively getting to know the kids, praying for them, helping them when they need encouragement or practical help. When I heard this I was reminded of a quote from David Platt:

 

“Christianity does not begin with our pursuit of Christ, but with Christ’s pursuit of us. Christianity does not start with an invitation we offer to Jesus, but with an invitation Jesus offers to us.” 

 

What strikes me is that Jesus has sought and still seeks a relationship with us. He humbled himself to become a man, walk in this world and ultimately die on a cross all because he loved us. We are told in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This led me to another quote from David Platt:

 

“Disciple making is not a call for others to come to us to hear the gospel but a command for us to go to others to share the gospel.” 

 

It is interesting that as a church worldwide we have become very comfortable in our buildings, putting on events and services and inviting people along. It’s so lovely inside that we think people will flock to be a part of this warmth and love. However, did Jesus stay in heaven? While on earth did Jesus create fancy buildings and services? It struck me last night that Jesus went out of his comfort zone and into a cruel and harsh death for us. Meaning reaching people for Christ isn’t about being comfortable and building great services, but instead as we heard from Fiona, going out into the world, praying for people, helping them, encouraging them and ultimately sharing the Gospel with them.

 

I guess my question is – have we idolised the idea of church and its programmes when instead we should have been out sharing the Gospel with our neighbours and bringing them along to church?

 

Pastor Ross Ferguson