This blog is part of www.christianitytoday.com and is aimed at church leaders. The post is warning pastors about using Easter as a "bait and switch" approach to reaching lost people by putting on the biggest and most elaborate services of the year, setting up disappointments when people return for "regular" services.
What attracted my attention were these comments which reminded me of how we might best reach people for Christ as individuals living in the real world:
I would much prefer we both explicitly and implicitly communicate a model that includes
- befriending people
- enfolding them into the rhythms of our lives
- sharing the highs and lows (and how our faith informs those) with them
- and integrating them into home groups, dinner times, and the big and small events of our lives.
How natural would it be after all that love and enfolding that they become a part of our community, even before they believe? And when they believe, they believe because they've seen and tested the reality of a life of faith, as opposed to simply watching a special Sunday morning service where the band rocks extra hard and the pastor has a few more funny stories than normal.
I would put such an approach in line with the teachings of Paul in Colossians 4:2-6: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
This simply reminds us that God's preferred method of evangelism is not merely having special worship services, but to have His beloved children share His love and salvation with others