On Being a Terrible Evangelist

Jesus Christ rose from the dead, defeating death and having been crowned firstborn over all creation he met his disciples. Back where it all began, Jesus meets his friends again to give them a new mission. The first time around, Jesus was the missionary in the world. After the resurrection, the Spirit falls on his followers and they are sent, as he was, into all the world.

Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore, so the idea goes, the disciples must go and make disciples. (Matthew 28:16:20)

And that is what they did. Acts of the Apostles, penned by Luke, chronicles the first generation of the Church. It records the spreading of the message from Jerusalem, through all Judea and into the whole world.

Fast forward almost 2000 years and meet me, today, who absolutely failed to even engage the homeless man who sits on the street as I went to get some lunch yesterday.

Or, sitting in a coffee shop I saw a guy who was recovering from surgery. I helped him to his seat, but I didn’t take the time to listen to his life and I did not share my own.

Even when I am asked what I do, I am hesitant to mention that I am on staff at a church.

I’m pretty much the Annapolis area Paul of Tarsus, I know.

In Christ’s great commission, the impetus stems from his announcement that he has all authority on heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18)

As much as I might prefer to say that I am sharing the Gospel through my actions and character, the simple fact remains.

I simply do not believe that Jesus really is who he says he is.

I wonder if it’s just me.

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5 Comments

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  1. Ricky Salinas May 2, 2011 — 7:35 pm

    Do you believe we are all equally equipped to serve and evangelize, are these one of the few spiritual gifts that we should all be equal on?

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  2. I simply do not believe that Jesus really is who he says he is. … is that where you are? really??

    or is your point that your life doesn’t live out the reality of who Jesus really is.

    There’s a huge difference in that!

    It’s good to reflect how God is asking YOU to respond to His presence in your life.
    What is NOT good is putting yourself under the yoke of condemnation. That’s not from God. Nothing and no-one can separate us from HIs love. And HIs love is His spirit at work IN US – transforming us – and making us more like him

    as for not saying you are on staff. What you do is NOT your identity (or shouldn’t be). I know many many ministers who do not say upfront that they are priests or pastors. Why? Because of people’s preconceptions of what that means. (See the BBC series Rev to get an idea ofwhat I’m prattling on about!) … i’ve heard also pastor’s wives (or husbands) say their spouce is a community worker – because it allows people to engage first rathe than frighten them off.

    Our lives are our testimony. That speaks louder than any words. The question as to why you did not share time with that man is an important one. You did help him to his seat. Maybe that was all you were to do in that instance? And if not, even if you did fluff it – what is God saying to you now about it? Can you sense where and how He is nudging you now. That’s THE issue.

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    • If I don’t live in the reality of Christ’s Lordship, do I really believe it?

      I’ve clearly read too much Kierkegaard!

      For me, that becomes the heart of the issue. I do not truly believe because I do not experience. I do not step into faith.

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      • Are we talking shades of grey here Ian? White is acting like Jesus did on earth, and black is deliberately disobeying each and every command of God.

        I’d think we are all some shade of grey, eg inbetween the white and black poles apart. Many might not like to even consider themselves this way, or try to ignore their position.

        A long time ago I was a fired up student convert……lots of fire in my belly and desire for dramatic actions for God. Nothing wrong with that. A book came out called ‘Out of the Saltshaker’ which was pointing out that evangelism was best done in a steady stream of goodness, rather than lumps of extreme saltiness. I was quite challenged to ‘level out’ my talking of God….kind of do it every day rather than stand on a chair and shout it out every now and then.

        Still working on it 30 years later……

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      • Never too much Kierkegaard. 😉

        I’m Glad I waited for you to clarify, rather than taking you completely literally on the ‘not believing’ bit (it did seem a LITTLE out of the blue).

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