Sunday, January 24, 2010

We All Could Use a Little Good News

I just finished teaching a week-long January term class on Evangelism at Pacific School of Religion. I love teaching this class and helping progressive Christian students, who can barely stammer out the "E" word, not only say "Evangelism" but embrace it as a fundamental emphasis of their future ministry.  It is exciting to see these students strip away assumptions and previous experiences of evangelism through a study of scripture and an articulation of a theology of evangelism which seeks to invite people to participate into the Good News of God's realm.

What is sobering for this instructor, however, is how many students see evangelism as primarily what we SAY versus what we DO.  Sadly, our words don't always mirror our actions.  How can our ministries of evangelism help people experience God's love?  How can this experiences instill in them a desire to know/experience more, and begin their journey as participants in the realm of God?  It's time we did less talking and more living out the Good News in our communities.

Perhaps the best evangelism lesson of all comes from St. Francis, who said, "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."

1 comment:

  1. Getting to DO through servant evangelism has been one of the best parts of my current appointment. You're exactly spot on, Karen. I'm so glad you're teaching!

    Amy Jo Bur
    St. Peter, MN