In 2008, I began the year at HillSong preaching about something very specific: evangelism. I challenged myself and everyone in the church to wrestle with this question. How many times have I shared the Gospel or developed a relationship with an unchurched person with the intention of sharing my faith in the past month? The answer will be one indicator of how we are living as Christ’s followers commissioned to share his love with a lost and hurting world (Matthew 28:16-20). We are each called to discipleship and to evangelism. Here’s a less ‘churchy’ way of saying it.
· Each one of us is called to follow Jesus.
· Each one of us is called by God to invite people we know who are not Christians to turn to Jesus and to give their lives to Him.
Of course in our church we have often emphasized evangelism since 2008. That’s not the last time we discussed it. I bring it up today simply because the approach we employed that year is the right one for now. Today it is again the time to ask am I living evangelistically. Are we, as a church family, actively sharing our faith and inviting people to church?
People in the world are hurting and they’re looking for hope and looking for answers in all the wrong places. As followers of Jesus, we know that faith in Him is what everyone needs. Our church needs to grow, and the world around us needs the gospel God has given us to share. So here are today’s questions.
· In the next six months with whom will I share Jesus?
· Who will I lift up in prayer?
· To whom will I reach out with the Gospel?
· Who is a non-Christian I intentionally befriend because I know God has called me to love that person?
· What is my personal evangelism strategy for the next six months?
At the Ash Wednesday worship service, we were invited to look and see all that God is doing to make things right in the world. Our church spiritual discipline for Lent will be to notice, write down, and celebrate the ways God is at work around us.
In addition, this, another Lenten practice for HillSong Church for 2017 must be invitation. Invite people who aren’t in a church family right now to come be a part of HillSong. And note how you do this. Be intentional about finding an evangelism approach that fits your personality, your skills, your spiritual gifting, and your situation in life. That’s our assignment for Lent 2017. Know your personal evangelism strategy. Write it down. Spend time this week prayerfully thinking about how Jesus will speak through your life from now until Easter Sunday (4-16-17). Begin writing your own personal evangelism strategy, and begin this week putting that strategy into practice.
That’s two spiritual practices for Lent 2017: Celebrating God’s good works and sharing the Gospel with people outside God’s church. Spend the next two months engaged in this practices, celebration and evangelism. And pray for our church. Pray that all who worship at HillSong embrace these spiritual practices. Through our efforts to partner with God, we will get to be a part of the wonderful ways He is bringing the Kingdom to fruition. We’ll see God at work right in our church’s daily and weekly life.
Here are some previous posts I have written about evangelism. Check these out for approaches to evangelism and theology of evangelism. Or just type ‘evangelism’ into the search bar on my blog.