May 7 2017

 

Acts 2:42-47

 

There is no doubt about it, the Church’s task is to evangelise; that is, to present the Gospel message to those who have not yet heard it. The Church does not convert; that is the action of God’s Spirit at work in people’s lives. But the Church is to present Christ to the world, it’s hope and salvation. It’s a sacred commission we must not avoid. We sometimes use evangelists, programs, missions, and literature. Individual Christians, through their faithful and compassionate lives become evangelists to their family, friends and acquaintances. Christian parents become evangelists to their children as they simply live their Christian faith out in the family circle. But another powerful force for evangelism is a congregation alive with the love of Christ. In the cameo of life in the very early Church we see this. We see a congregation where the members were keen to learn from those who knew Jesus most intimately, to live by their teaching, enjoying their fellowship and worshiping together.  Could that be our congregation?  Do we see signs of God’s presence and activity in our midst? Signs in wonders or in the ordinary? When we read about the early Church having all things in common we may not be called to literally form a commune, but we are, I think, being called to that fellowship that cares for and encourages each other. A congregation that interacts with glad and generous hearts, praising God in everything is a congregation that will attract the attention of the community. The quality of a congregation’s life is an important part of its evangelism. After all, the world will not hear what we say if we do not show the devotion to God and concern for each other that we talk about. There’s nothing like a congregation alive with joy in Christ, respect for each other, accepting each other with all their strengths, weaknesses and foibles, focused not on the maintenance of the church organization, nor on its size and status in the community, but overwhelmingly on their love-filled relationship with Christ, with each other and with the world around them.

  • What do you think about this, “The quality of a congregation’s life is an important part of its evangelism” ?
  • We say of people that quality of life is important. What does this mean for a congregation?
  • How important do you rate evangelism in the life of the Church?
  • Speaking out of your own experience, what would say in witness to Christ to someone who had been attracted by the quality of life in your congregation?