Mat’s November Letter

Rescuing the ‘e’ word—Evangelism

“The only purpose of the Church is to go out to tell the world the good news about Jesus Christ. … but the Church has got too wrapped up in itself. It has become self referential which has made it look sick.”

Pope Francis

“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed THE good news for our times. God is always good news; we are the ones who make ourselves irrelevant when we are not good news. And when we are good news, God’s people see growing churches.”

Archbishop Justin

Two church leaders. One agenda; growing churches.

Bishop Mike quoted these in his most recent Diocese news article. His purpose was to encourage a new emphasis on evangelism; telling people about the good news of Jesus Christ. In reality the only way the whole church grows is through new people coming to faith in Jesus.

And new people only come to faith in Jesus if someone tells them about Jesus. Romans 10:14Open Link in New Window says “How can they call on Jesus to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”

The simple truth is that people don’t hear unless we tell them, unless we witness and evangelise. Yes, it is true that some have a particular gift of evangelism but all of us are called to witness to Jesus in both speech and action.

So how confident do you or I feel about speaking about our faith in Jesus Christ? It is always scary and sometimes risky to be vulnerable enough to speak about our faith. I have to say that on the occasions when I have done it I’ve either been met by genuine interest or indifference rather than antagonism. So what do we lose by taking the step of speaking to people about our belief when the opportunity arises?

I’ve decided to pray for opportunities to speak to others about the faith I profess, and ask the Holy Spirit to give me ears to hear when those come. Will you join me?

If you’d like to read a helpful book about explaining your faith why not try ‘How to Explain your Faith’ by John Pritchard published by SPCK.

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