Together We Tell of Jesus Christ
How do we approach evangelism? Pastor Oliver presents a community approach to telling the good news of Jesus Christ to others.
We may have heard the often-quoted old proverb "it takes a whole village to raise a child". This is true for many cultures. Bringing up a child is a communal effort - the responsibility for raising a child is shared with the community. If this is true for raising a biological child, why do we think that raising a "spiritual child" is any different? We need to ask ourselves: how do we approach evangelism – telling others of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Do we approach it as solely an individual effort, or do we think of evangelism as a whole church approach?
G'Joe Joseph advocates a team (or whole church) approach to telling others the good news. He writes that both Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:27 refer to a community of disciples that have been given the responsibility of the Great Commission. It is a community who has been given the task to tell others of the gospel and to build them up in Jesus Christ. In fact, Joseph writes that,
"In a culture that's increasingly isolated and disconnected, communal evangelism has unprecedented potential to draw in the individual. Partnerships, not personality, produces effectiveness in the long run."
He encourages Christians to think of evangelism as from a whole church community rather than as an individual's task.
Also, Jamie Dunlop writes that "... evangelism wasn't merely personal – it was also corporate. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly who "led him to the Lord" since all sorts of people from the church were involved." He came to this conclusion from the beautiful story of Walter and how he came to faith through the involvement of the whole church. Perhaps for many of us, we need to rethink how we conceive evangelism to be. Yes, we have the individual responsibility for praying for our family and friends, and we need to take the step of initiating and cultivating friendships (because we love our friends). However, we need also to consider the partnership of the whole church. Remembering that as we invite our friends to come and hear the gospel, it is within the community that each will speak of the gospel. Thereby, helping our friends along the way to knowing Jesus. Our friends would also be able to experience the application of the gospel in the life of the church community as they see how we love and care for one another.
My friends, we have an opportunity to put this community approach to evangelism into practice this coming December. At Advent, Grace Baptist Church will look at the coming of Jesus in a special way. During December, you're encouraged to invite your non-Christian friends to church to hear six talks about Jesus Christ from the gospel of Luke. An e-poster invite is available at gracebaptistchurch.sg for you to share with your friends on social media. And after the services, you can invite your friends out for lunch. You can then continue the conversation, addressing through questions and answers any queries your friends may have about the message they have heard. Through dialogue over a meal, you can continue to talk about the good news of Jesus Christ.
On Christmas Day (25 December), we'll have a unique opportunity to host Christmas lunch for each other, guests and visitors in our homes after service. GBC members are encouraged to practice hospitality and welcome our friends by preparing a simple meal and sharing the love of Christ with our church guests. You can volunteer to host and sign up at this link so the church can help you coordinate, as God so leads you to host: http://tinyurl.com/GBCChristmasHost2019. This lunch can serve as another opportunity for your friends to see gospel hospitality in action, as we talk about Jesus Christ, who welcomes sinners like us.
Finally, if you are willing to join as guests at lunch with a GBC family host, please do sign up at the link below. International friends and members, those bereaved, and anyone willing to have Christmas lunch with the church community are all welcome. We want to encourage one another through the gift of our presence as a church this Christmas. Our privilege, guests and hosts alike, is to celebrate Jesus' birth together. If you are interested, please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/GBCChristmas2019.
Let us be telling others this Christmas season of our Lord Jesus Christ who welcomes us sinners, dying to rescue us from our sins so that we can be part of God's family. And we can adorn this message as a community by our welcome and hospitality extended to our friends!
What's happening in the life of the church in the coming weeks:
1. Our church EGM will be on next Sunday 24 November at 1.00 pm. Please pen it down in your schedule and make plans to attend. If you need lunch, please sign up on Sunday (17 November) at the table in the Fellowship Hall. Consider buying in lunch and spending the time between our EC service and the EGM fellowshipping!
2. Reminder: Our Christmas Service will be on Wednesday, 25 December, from 9.00 am to 10.30 am @ our church sanctuary (level 4). See you all there!