Evangelism: God is Active

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Here are some good words from Len Hjalmerson and Roger Helland in their book “Missional Spirituality: Embodying God’s Love from the Inside Out.”

A missional spirituality cannot thrive in atmospheres of disenchantment, dualism and secularism that fail to view our heavenly Father at work in our culture, in city hall, in our workplaces.  As did all the ancients, Jesus lived without this dualism.  He did not separate the world into sacred and secular.  He turned water into vintage wine at a wedding reception, had a noon-hour theological conversation with a Samaritan woman in public, touched and healed lepers, spent more time on the road than in the Jerusalem temple, announced that his own body was the temple of God, told lots of down-to-earth stories, came eating and drinking wine to the point that people said, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and ‘sinners'” (Luke 7:34).  Finally, Jesus scandalized religious leaders, who then executed him.

Intense, yet important to recognize that at the heart of evangelism, the heart of sharing a faith in either words and/or deed, is knowing that God is alive and active within our particular time and particular place.  It’s a back to the basics moment in any thinking about what healthy, non-judgmental or awkward evangelism looks like.

God is active.

I know of many people participating with God in many different places.  They inspire me and remind me that evangelism and sharing of something so beautiful is delicate, robust, tough, painful and grounded in relationship.

One guy I know sits in bars in his neighbourhood and has conversations with people who ask him about Jesus.

I know a girl in the middle east who relentlessly (I mean it in every sense of the word) pursues shalom in the midst of a seemingly endless war.  She stands beside the fallen and the weak.  It’s as if Jesus is standing right beside her.

A couple I know have been missionaries in a particular neighbourhood for years.  Things aren’t going super smoothly, but they continue to stick it out.  They continue to love and be loved in community.  They are doing life together.  They do life together in the name of Jesus.

Another guy I know seeks to empower people to break free from the cycle of poverty.  He started a non-profit that focused on 6 blocks.  I’ll tell ya, those six blocks look much different today than they did before he started.  It’s his old neighbourhood.  He grew up there.  He is there doing his thing because of Jesus.

The kicker is they are all very regular people simply trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  They are following Jesus into divine activity.  The kind of activity where heaven meets earth.  It’s blessed, it’s ordained, it inspires, it’s an act of sharing a divine beauty with a world that desperately needs to see this kind of beauty.  They equip people to ‘have ears to hear, and eye’s to see.’

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4 comments

  1. Greg · May 17, 2012

    Yes, God is already at work. I am seeing it on our community here amongst the Roma in Albania. Although God doesn’t need us, He wants us to be a part of it. God desires that all of His people will partake in the great work He is already doing all around the world.

    • chris lenshyn · May 17, 2012

      Very cool to hear what God is doing in your end of the world.

      Thanks Greg.

  2. len1919 · May 17, 2012

    Sadly, we as pastors and leaders have often promoted this dualism, if not theologically, then in practice, by placing Sunday meetings and the church building at the center of our efforts. I wonder what would happen if we routinely ordained people into vocational mission, as does Church of the Savior..

    • chris lenshyn · May 17, 2012

      Ugh. Len it is inspiring to think what if… but it is also a reality check when I see many institutional churches which began within modernity still operating within this dualism unintentional or not!

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