We live in such a rapidly changing world. What does it mean to do evangelism or witness now? People, their values, their morality, and what is commonly accepted as “right” and “wrong” has significantly changed in the past 10 years, never mind the past 50 year! Things are just different now.
While figuring out how to “do evangelism” today is definitely confusing (“How do I be a witness for Christ now?”), I do think it is getting, and will get, much simpler and clearer. But I do think we still have a way to go in adjusting to this new world and this new mission field. I think some part of our mind and soul has known for a while that the world has changed and that we (Christians & the church) haven’t quite adjusted. What I mean is, the experience of many/most Christians was that evangelism began to feel cheesy and forced. The things that had worked in the past began to feel awkward. I think we are now ready for a new approach to outreach – being priests in the world.
When the world began to change so quickly, I think we did something that’s natural. Something that God’s people have defaulted to doing when their circumstances, context, and the culture around them shifted: we withdrew. When you are not sure how to engage, withdrawing is natural. It’s okay, and maybe even healthy, to take some time to reconsider, reflect, and re-tool – to do that when you’re not sure how to engage and the methods/approach offered to you just feels wrong. Research show that 20% of non-Christians don’t personally know a Christian. So, if you put 100 non-Christians in a room, 20 of them don’t know a Christian. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? However, when you subtract those who came from a Christian family or grew up going to church, the percentage jumps to 60%! So, if you put 100 non-Christians in a room (folks who didn’t grow up in church), 60 of them don’t know a Christian. That’s staggering when 30-35% of people in the United States self-identify as being “evangelical Christians.” It’s a sign of how easy it is to live “in a bubble.”
Take some time to read and reflect on Philippians 2:5-18 and 1 Peter 3:15-16. Let’s pray together that God would show us what it means for us to live as his Missional Priests in such a rapidly changing world. And, let us pray with hope!
Outward Facing Core Value:
Because Jesus commands us to go out into all the world and make disciples, we value an outward facing posture. This means we seek to make God known, whatever sacrifice it may entail, and show thoughtful consideration for the lost and those seeking Christ among and around us.
Yours in Christ’s love,