Gospel and Community in Practice: Evangelism

July 30, 2009

Ideally, evangelism is not something to be undertaken in isolation. Of course, if opportunity presents itself, the gospel word should be spoken clearly and sensitively in conscious dependence upon the Holy Spirit – whenever, wherever, and to whomever. But evangelism is best done out of the context of a gospel community whose corporate life demonstrates the reality of the word that God her life.

Christian community is a vital part of Christian mission. Mission takes place as people see our love for one another. We all know that the gospel is communicated both through the words we say and the lives we live. What Jesus says is that it is the life we live together that counts. Jesus prays that those who believe in the gospel “may be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:20-23). The world will know that Jesus is the Son of God sent by God to be the Savior of the world through the community of believers. “No one has ever seen God,” says John in his Gospel, “but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, had made him known” (John 1:18). The invisible God is made visible through the Son of God. “No one has ever seen God,” says John again in his first letter, “but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1John 4:12). The invisible God is made visible through the love of the people of God. The life of the Christian community is part of the way by which the gospel is communicated.”

(Total Church, Tim Chester & Steve Timmis, p. 58-59)

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