Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Missional, Evangelism, and the Kingdom of Heaven

Here is a pretty decent post, Missional & Evangelism by Richard Dahlstrom. In this post, Dahlstrom quotes The Message, which is a paraphrase of the NT:

“Don’t begin by traveling to some far off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. God to the lost, confused people rigfht here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.”
(Matthew 9:5-7).

I'm preaching on the "Limited Commission" on Sunday (Mt. 10), which covers similar themes that are found in this passage--being missional (sent), evangelism, and the kingdom of heaven/kingdom of God.

From looking at Jesus' life and mission, I have often held up three primary things as being central to the missional concept: seeking the lost, serving the community, and sharing the good news of Jesus and the kingdom of God. Without an active seeking, there is no missional thrust that compels us into the world. Without service and acts of healing, we fail to demonstrate the kingdom of God--that God's kingdom is filled with love, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. And in today's world, sharing without serving often places us in the same category as telemarketers and pushy salesmen. Without service, our sincerity is questioned and we may never get a hearing.

At the same time, if we serve without sharing the good news, or evangelism, we fail to give people the hope of their ultimate salvation. The gospel, or good news, is fundamentally about two things: 1) Jesus' life, death, burial, and resurrection; and 2) the kingdom of God. The first might be called the gospel about Jesus, while the second might be called the gospel of Jesus, or Jesus' gospel.

Sadly, the message of the kingdom is often neglected or absent today. But where it is preached and taught, it has a powerful effect. People begin to get a glimpse of a God who is powerful and able to infinitely more than them. They begin to get a taste of a life free of worry, stress, and anxiety, where cares are cast upon the Lord. They begin to find fulfillment in self-sacrifice and serving others.

Let us not forget all three of these aspects of mission--seeking, serving, and sharing.
What do you see is the link between "missional" and evangelism?


James Nored said...

I can't read Chinese, so I don't know if you are making great comments or are a spammer . . .