Reaching out or dragging in? - Hope 103.2

Reaching out or dragging in?

By David ReayTuesday 22 Apr 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Peter 2:11-12

11 Dear friends,I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbours. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong,they will see your honourable behaviour,and they will give honour to God when he judges the world. (NLT)

When we think of evangelism or outreach,we so often think of events. The church organises what it hopes to be an attractive event or series of events. Then the leaders urge members to invite contacts to these events-sometimes inducing unfortunate guilt. Which is not how the New Testament sees evangelism or outreach.

As Peter reminds us,living Jesus-like lives in our everyday sometimes hostile circumstances is the primary way we witness to the character of God. Not that events are wrong. It is just that unless they occur in the context of ongoing genuine relationships they will be fizzers. Many of our evangelistic events are rather ‘underwhelming’ in their results because they are about our pursuing our agenda to those we invite to them. It is a good agenda,but that is not the point.

We need to first listen to and get involved with those with whom we want to share the love of Jesus. If we are too busy constructing and organising events we may not have the time and energy to do just that. Our involvement in church may even prevent us forming relationships in the first place. If evangelism is seen as mostly about inviting people to a church event,then we have sadly missed the point of Christian witness.

We reach out to others where they are as our main theme. We focus on incarnating something of Jesus in the relationships we have. Then we may have the right and the responsibility to plan an event or two. Process precedes and shapes event.

David Reay