September 24, 2017
As I speak with church leaders, I notice that there is frustration and anxiety around the rapid change in our culture. Since some people are no longer showing up in our churches, I hear the need expressed for evangelism training. Even though I believe training is important, I don’t believe evangelism training will solve the problems the church faces in the winds of change.
What we need is discipleship training. Just as churches start new churches, disciples make new disciples. What if the training we received was how to be more intentional with the corporate and personal practices that take us deeper in our love of God and one another? Disciples know we have good news to share and understand the call to justice. We cannot be trained to share what is not already good news inside of us. Think about it: Do we need training to share the beauty and glory of the sun setting over the ocean?
Our hope is that we will move into the community with love this Evangelism Sunday. Notice what God is already doing in the lives of the people around us. Clean up the park next door. Share a meal with homeless men and women in our community. Invite our neighbors over for lunch or dinner. Be kind to a stranger. Be open to the conversations that happen because we are being the church in our community. And when prompted, we share how we are a little more courageous, hopeful or forgiving because of this journey in Christ.
In other words, allow the formation inside your walls to become the fuel for mission in your community. What you will experience is that evangelism was never meant to grow our churches. It is simply the ministry of sharing with the people around us the news that has changed our lives.
Ray Jones, Associate Director for Evangelism
Today’s Focus: Evangelism Sunday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Sterling Morse, PMA
Deborah Murphy, OGA
Let us pray:
Gracious God, give us eyes to see others the way that you do. Prompt us to join with what you are doing in people’s lives and in our communities. Empower us, by your Holy Spirit, to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 24, 2017, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
First Reading Exodus 16:2-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Second Reading Philippians 1:21-30
Gospel Matthew 20:1-16