Reaching the lost and the unchurched is a vital component to practicing our faith. Jesus commanded us to practice the Great Commandment of loving our neighbor, however He also charged us to practice the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. While we may be able to pursue evangelism on our own (within our individual sphere of influence), small groups can also be an effective vehicle to engage those that may not have yet heard the life transforming good news of Jesus Christ.
Staying in Touch With Unbelievers
It is generally understood that the longer that we are believers, the more out of touch we become with nonbelievers. This isn’t being critical, it’s just simply our nature. The more that Christ lives within us, the less likely we are to do worldly things that pull us away from our relationship with Christ. As a result, we spend more time with other believers and less time with nonbelievers who may still be pursuing less-than-holy everyday activities. And if we spend less time with nonbelievers, it’s likely that we encounter fewer opportunities to share the word of God with them. Indeed, some of the most effective evangelists are those who just recently gave their life to Christ. After all, they are oftentimes still in touch with their group of friends who may not be believers yet.
Rethinking the Idea of Evangelism
While we may be tempted to shy away from the idea of practicing evangelism, it helps us to remember that we too were tremendously blessed to receive the word of God through someone else’s evangelistic efforts. Instead of becoming anxious from the idea of practicing evangelism, let us rethink what it means to pursue evangelism today. While evangelism certainly can include going out to a public event and sharing the Gospel with a random individual, the concept of first engaging in relationship is much more effective in our modern world. Without relationship, there is no love, and without love, then our communication will merely be as useless as a noisy cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). We truly are returning to our 1st century roots on what it means to share the love of Christ, and we will be diving into this principle more throughout the year.
Intentional Effort to Reach Out and Love
For those who are married, we recall that it was effortless to focus on and dote over our girlfriend or boyfriend when dating them. Yet after 10+ years of marriage, we now find ourselves planning more and being more intentional about our efforts to continue developing the relationship that we have with our spouse. Similarly, as we mature in our faith, we must become more intentional about our efforts to pray over and interact with the lost and the unchurched, for our effortless tendency to speak with the lost may have faded away over the years. As we move forward through 2020, we’ll be unpacking this idea more of what it might look like to pursue evangelism as a small group. We’ll approach it biblically through Scripture, theologically through doctrine, and practically through examples. I am so excited for 2020; the Lord has incredible things in store for your small group! May the love of Christ shine bright through your ministry.
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