Evangelism is NOT a Bad Word

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1 Samuel 24:1-22Acts 13:44-52Mark 4:1-20

It is easy to understand why God liked David so much.  Despite his many faults, David has a knack for leadership.  Today in 1 Samuel, we see how he is not persuaded by gossip and rumor.  He keeps his eye on the prize – his focus on God’s plan.

This is something the Church struggles with mightily on a daily basis.  Keeping focus on that which is important is difficult in our media-driven, visually bombarded culture.  Temptation is everywhere.

Sometimes gossip and rumor fills up the airwaves.  Sometimes gossip and rumor fills up our churches instead of the evangelical spirit of God’s Good News that brought us into being.

Despite having the enormous gifts of God at our hand – the fruits of the Spirit – we sometimes fail to focus on the poor and the afflicted.  Instead we have infighting and backbiting.  We spend our time moving forward then backward then forward then backward….instead of moving into the future God would have for us.  We let the media convince us that “taking care of the poor” is socialism, when it has nothing to do with politics.  It has to do with the core of our Christian being, and no matter our political affiliation, the core of who we are is a people who reach out to help neighbor.

Sometimes the same happens with gossip.  Instead of reaching out to others, we become complacent with insular chatter that amounts to nothing more than backbiting.

We have also failed as Christians in blazing a trail for a new evangelism.  How do we share GOOD news in a world full of hate and backbiting?  How do we share the Good News in a dimply lit world where our leaders want us to see the glass half full?  How do we share the Good News in the 21st Century in a positive and relevant way that will keep our neighbor engaged, not turned off?

Let’s start with that word: evangelism.  The progressive wing of the Church has allowed that term to be hijacked by nut cases that are barely Christian, when it is a term for all of us.  Think about its definition.

“Evangelism” simply means spreading the good news by personal witness or public sharing.  There is no one group that has a monopoly on sharing.  There are a lot of ways of sharing.  Pressing the SHARE or RETWEET button on this Morning Reflection could be seen as evangelical fervor.   Telling someone who is consumed by guilt and self-loathing that God loves them is a form of evangelism.  Tell a personal story of transformation and it is definitely evangelism.

Evangelism need not involve soap boxes and megaphones.  It can be as simple as inviting someone to the Wednesday Morning Bible Study or telling a story of God’s grace in the midst of crisis.

The community has been showered with grace abundant.  We must take hold of that grace, and be the leaders that David was, focused on God’s will, and not the selfish motives that can so often creep in and seduce our wills.

We must also take hold of that grace and TELL it.  Do we believe we have good news to share or not?  If so, press RETWEET now.  SHARE now.

God loves you – despite your failings.  God has a place for you, and a plan for you!  Believe it!

-Matt

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