Posted by Anne Witton on Monday, October 5, 2015 Under: Ministry
I recently did a seminar at the annual TfT conference on the topic of sharing our faith with our gay friends. One of the things that I'm particularly excited about is sharing my faith in community, so here are some thoughts on that.
Evangelism is a team sport. There are three key reasons why sharing our faith together is important:
- In the body of Christ, we all have different and complementary roles.
“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Cor 12: 17 - 18)
Witnessing in community takes the pressure off - we don’t have to be brilliant at everything. For example, I’m ok at sharing my testimony with people and talking about spiritual issues but I’m less good at spotting physical needs and serving people in practical ways. Fortunately, I have friends who are really good at this and so we can work together to serve our non-Christian friends.
To stick with the analogy of the body of Christ, if I’m an elbow then I don’t need to worry about non being able to hear or digest food, because my job is to bend and flex.
My non-Christian friends will learn something about the character of God from me, and they will learn other things about God from my other Christian friends.
- Authentic Christian living can only happen in community - when we are in relationship with each other. Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13 34 - 35)
Christianity is about relationship with God and one another. For people to fully understand the gospel, they need to experience Christians living out the gospel together.
I recently read this in ‘Incomparable’ by Andrew Wilson “Human beings to God are like blobs of paint to Michelangelo: They only reach their true beauty and potential when combined with others to form his Sistine Chapel, the people of God.”
- Being the only Christian contact for our non-Christian friend can create an undesirable amount of intensity in the friendship and can sometimes lead to sexual temptations. It’s far healthier to be generous with our friends and share them with others so that we have accountability and so that our friendships don’t run the risk of being too insular.
So let's work on building vibrant gospel communities where all our friends can mix and those of us who are Christians can live out our faith with honesty and integrity alongside our friends.
In : Ministry
Tags: evangelism "sharing faith" witnessing community mission
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