Contrary to popular American culture, to have beliefs and deep convictions about God is not weird, but actually wise. And if you share those beliefs with others, it is not an act of (1) arrogance, (2) aggression, or (3) ignorance. Holding a Biblical view of God and life is wise, and to share that with others is actually the greatest act of love.
Leaning Away from Each Other…
We live in a cultural period in the US where the vast majority of people without Christ are not just neutral to the local church and its messages, but they are actually leaning away from the church and away from Christians and increasingly negative in their views. Their leanings are usually based on misunderstandings of the church, poor dealings with Christians, little knowledge of the person of Christ, or concern about joining in with one particular religious group in the midst of the religious pluralism across the nation.
We also live in a cultural period in the church where it has become normative to not share one’s faith with others. Christians often know the commands and the mandates, but in the face of such significant cultural challenges, just choose to remain silent in hopes someone else will reach their family members, neighbors, co-workers and others around them. In a sense, the church collectively and its members individually are leaning away from lost people.
These postures and leanings are dangerous and are serious challenges for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in the US. The church and lost people are leaning away from each other. This has to change. If this trend does not change, Judges 2:10 may prevail again in the midst of the some 300,000 churches in North America. It is quite possible and statically we are seeing the trends, that a new generation is growing up not knowing the person or the ways of the Lord.
What then can cause the lost to be more open to hearing the gospel and lean in toward Christians, their churches, and their Savior. LOVE. What then can cause the Christians to push past their own fears and personal concerns and begin to lean in toward lost people. LOVE Love expressed toward people without Christ can create an open heart for the gospel and it is a universal language. Love acted on by Christians toward those without Christ will cause Christians to be emboldened, creative and energetic toward sharing Christ in the face of such growing resistance.
Greater Love is the Solution…
We may have church problems, we may have structural problems, we may have lots of problems, but the solution lies in correcting the LOVE problem. God so loved that He gave. So, must the church today. A self-centered and selfish church cannot grow. A self focused person will not effectively engage those without Christ. It will take loving people to open the hearts of people without Christ. It will taking loving people to move outside their comfort zones and walls of their buildings to do what Jesus did, LOVE and share Himself with people.
I have written and designed a model, “Love Your Neighbor Share Christ” to assist church leaders in developing a contextualized strategy to carry out significant parts of the Great Commission, with a focus toward the evangelism part of it. Often evangelism is done in parts and the whole of the church seems not to be connected. Churches may emphasize one part, what I call Expression, of evangelism and wonder why they are not seeing the results that they expect and hope for. The model is based on 6 biblical, transcultural principles that are applicable in any ministry context in any century.
If you are interested in developing a workable, contextualized strategy for your family, small group or church, contact me and the Ministry Enhancement Group. I and some guys working with me can assist you in getting a running start with the essential parts of any small group or church’s overall evangelism strategy. I have developed tools to assist you whether it is a single small group. The strategic model has been affirmed by small and very large church, regardless of their current approaches to evangelism. As well, the model is not bound a geographic or cultural context, and been taught in various people groups of the world.
The very nature of a church is to be missional, to be advancing God’s Kingdom for God’s glory by helping people to know Christ and grow in His likeness. I believe we can help your church to refocus and be more fruitful in your ministry to including helping people give their lives to the following of Christ. It really is a matter of love Him, that leads us to loving them which includes the greatest act of love, Sharing Christ.