What’s really going on in the church? What are the subterranean happenings of the ekklesia?
Well, if you really want to know …we are harboring an insurrectionist. He is an extremely powerful and subversive person operating in enemy occupied territory. He has won us to His cause, and made us members of His militia. He has taken up residence inside of us and He compels us to believe (Jn. 6:63; Jn. 6:29; Rom. 4:3; Heb. 11:7; Rom. 14:23; Heb. 11:6), and thus believing we are compelled to speak (1 Cor. 9:16; 2 Cor. 4:13) – and subsequently others are called and compelled to believe, and thus they also are called and compelled to speak (2 Cor. 4:13). I know what you will say …”This is reckless! Militia work is dangerous! Joining the rebel force is hazardous, unpredictable, fraught with uncertainty, and downright unsafe!” We know all of this, but the powerful and subversive person has promised to lead us in triumphal procession, and through us spread the fragrance of the gospel/the True Kingdom and the True King! (2 Cor. 2:14). We know that this will smell like a fragrance of death to many, and of course they will hate and seek to kill us (2 Cor. 4:16; Jn. 7:19), but the One inhabiting us will raise us up even after we’ve been killed. We have been commissioned (Matt. 28:18-20) so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God (2 Cor. 4:15).
If you want to get in on this rebellion, and invite others in on it to, here are some tips:
1. Let people around you know you are a Christian (in a natural, unforced way)
2. Ask friends about their faith – and just listen!
3. Listen to your friends problems – maybe offer to pray for them
4. Share your problems with others – testify to how your faith helps you
5. Give them a book to read
6. Share your story
7. Answer objections and questions
8. Invite them to a church event
9. Offer to read the Bible with them
10. Take them to an explore course
It is advised that you (generally) start with 1-4. If people are interested and want to talk more you can move them to stages 5-7. If they’re still interested go on to stages 8-10. Sometimes people will want to go straight to 10, but often people start from way back and need some time to think and discuss things in a non-pressured way. We often think that only stages 8-10 count and invest all our energy there, but to get people at stages 8,9,10 you have to put the work in at 1-4. Sometimes you’ll have to keep going round the loop multiple times.
Most of our work happens subversively – taking place when ordinary people do ordinary things with new world order/gospel intentionality.
Do you have a hard time leveraging everyday opportunities for gospel proclamation? What do you think are the biggest hindrances to being a faithful witness? Anyone willing to share methods, rhythms, or daily practices of intentionally seeking to evangelize those in your community?
[Thank you to Tim Keller for these tips].