Kia ora All Saints,
This week we have our now famous Trick and Treat Party. A non-scary alternative to Halloween. It is a fantastic event and one we are excited to host again. It is always well attended and we are so thankful for the people who have stuck their hand up to help. I am particularly excited by the ask the oldest people in our church a question booth - the wisdom there will be immense!
I have found myself over the past two weeks at three events:
2. Leading Your Church Into Growth (LYCIG) Conference
3. Laidlaw Leaders Day - talking about Te Rongopai.
In all of these there has been a distinct theme of sharing the good news with those around us. The church seems to have lost the art of sharing faith. Words that often people associate with it are: 'Manipulative', 'Scary', 'Judgy' or even 'Unneccesary'. What would your word be?
It however, is first and foremost a command of King Jesus in the Great Commission. Matthew 28:16-20 The greatest line I think here is in verse 17:
"When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted."
Despite their doubt Jesus commands them to go and make disciples.
Secondly, in Romans 13, which we studied last week, it talks about clothing yourself with Jesus Christ and our acts showing our love. Evangelism is an appropriate and expected response when you love something and think your friends should know about. You would be eager to say to your friends: "Did you see that game last week?", or "You have to go try that restaurant", or "have you seen that series on TV?"
Evangelism is key learning we are trying to install through our Go Sunday events. How do we do relationships with people in our community? Create connections and then the next step is to share the gospel with them. We realise that we have a long way to go in creating good steps for people to make once we have built relationships. In attending the recent three events this is what was helpful about some of these events.
One of the concepts we have been thinking through is showing a four step process from seeking Jesus to becoming a Disciple Maker. Where are you on this process? Where are your friends?
Some of the questions we are asking as a leadership team is where do people invite their friends to who might be interested? Where do we proclaim the gospel to non-Christians as a church? How is discipling happening and how are we providing opportunities for this to happen? Where can people move to servant? Are we being apostles (disciple makers)?
The first groups to kick this stuff around are our youth groups and young adults. We are hoping we can help make this a regular part of their rhythms and understandings. Most people become Christians before 18 anyway so it seems like a good place to start. But maybe you can think further - how is this happening for you?
A lot to consider there and as we go and do our light party - may more of these questions and wanderings lead us to pray for more people to join the kingdom of God!
See you Sunday, Go the All Blacks and may God bless you!