world Changers July 17 , 2011
What is it like to speak the gospel to people who live in another culture and speak a language and think quite differently from the way we do? Is it appropriate and meaningful to ask the two diagnostic questions for which Evangelism Explosion is famous? Could these people be wondering why we’re suggesting they might die tonight? What if they have never heard of Jesus? What do you say then?
Those are some of the things that the adult Sunday school class has been thinking about these last six weeks – not so much about what to say in another culture, but more about the biblical message and how it will best fit with those to whom we speak. In the next five weeks, Pastor Mick will cover the EE Gospel outline and say something about the postmodern world we live in.
Nelly Vos, one of our Missionary Associates who lives and ministers in Marseille, France, tells about how she speaks the gospel with friends and neighbors. She owns a 2007 Peugeot. That’s a French car for those unfamiliar with foreign-made autos. “Counseling ministry develops in this car I own,” she writes. She spends lots of hours in her car picking up people for church meetings, cultural events and even sports activities. She estimates that she drives about 30,000 kilometers a year. “I have found it easy,” she writes, “to talk about the Lord and personal issues while driving with people. ‘Face to face’ becomes ‘side by side’ which helps them to open up.” Isn’t this a creative way to think about sharing the gospel? Aren’t most of us tempted to think that unless it is “face to face” we aren’t really getting through to people?
She continues, “Hiking is also a new ministry opportunity.” Nelly walks regularly with several ladies and enjoys different kinds of spiritual conversations with each of them. She describes them: Agnes, a young convert who continues to walk (no pun intended) with the Lord; Sylvie, who describes herself as a 200% atheist, and Ewa, a Lebanese woman who is at the door step, but not quite ready to believe, though, as Nelly says, she loves how Protestants care.
Good ideas aren’t they? The first two Sundays of this summer’s class were spent on different styles of approach, or what might be called pre-evangelism. Nothing was said about driving with a friend, with a purpose of sharing the gospel. Nor do many of us have much to do with hiking. And of course, no one else does either, so that might not be such a good idea.
Whether we drive and talk, or whether we find time to walk and talk about Jesus, or a thousand other ways, it’s important to be creative, to think deeply about ways to sow the seed of the gospel and become a World Changer.
By Addison Soltau, pastor of Teaching and Missions