At our Parish Council Meeting on Tuesday evening the subject of Evangelism was raised. Now, according to the Etymology Dictionary, “Evangelism is the practice of trying
to persuade people to become Christians or revive their commitments to
Christianity. The word stems from the 12th century, with the term “evangelists” used
to describe the Bible’s New Testament apostles spreading the “good word” about
Christianity.” My own understanding is that it is more about sharing the good news
about Jesus Christ.
Anyway – one councillor (who shall remain nameless but who spoke as many were probably thinking) said something like “Evangelism is a great idea, as long as someone else does it!” Which begs the question, “Why do so many of us hesitate to share our faith with other people?”
If we believe the gospel is good news why don’t we share it with others? Or, if we believe Jesus is the greatest treasure the heart and soul can possess, why don’t we share our faith with others.
Our bible readings for this week are all about people sharing faith – sharing what they understand of God. And what is their motive? It is not about getting people into church to help raise funds – their motive is their desire to share something of what makes life meaningful, with others. Each has caught a glimpse of God and is so changed or moved by the experience that they want to share with others… “Come and see!” invites Phillip …
And we can do the same! Come and see the hungry and poor who receive help from Nils. Come and see the Rosie’s van distributing love, hope and hot food and drinks to the homeless. Come and see the welcome and fun offered by SAILS to refugees, youth at risk and so many others who may never enter into a church. Come and see the warm welcome and inclusion of all through baptism and in our various services at St Paul’s. And for each of us there is something intrinsically good, and wonderfully life giving, that keeps us coming back – not to a building but – to God in Christ
If you are asked why you bother with church and God is it so very hard to simply respond with an invitation to “Come and See?” There is love and hope and good news to share – so come and see!