This is an excerpt from a recent article by Gary Millar. To read the article in it’s entirety please go to The Gospel Coalition Australia.
13 years ago, I made my first trip to Sydney. I came at the invitation of John Chapman and David Mansfield to spend a month working with the Dept. of Evangelism in the Sydney Diocese. It was a real eye-opener for me. Everywhere I went, it seemed like people were doing evangelism. Guest events in church. Dialogue dinners, evangelistic barbecues, men’s events, women’s events. You name it, it was happening. Everyone was learning Two Ways to Live, and new courses were coming out regularly. I went back to Dublin humbled, challenged and refocused on getting the gospel out more courageously and effectively. But 13 years on?
It could just be me, but I’m pretty sure that evangelism has slipped down our agenda. Church planting has, it seems, taken up the headspace that was once occupied by evangelism. And much as I love church planting (it’s what we did in Ireland), it does provide more places for people to hide who don’t want to talk about Jesus to their friends. Similarly, I don’t hear of many churches who are doing evangelism training these days. So what are we to do? We need to get evangelism right back on the agenda. We really do.
Of course, church planting and evangelism aren’t opposites – or at least they shouldn’t be. Any church planting worth its salt is based on getting the gospel out to new people in new areas or new demographics. The church planting we all long to see is about seeing new people added to the kingdom, not transfer growth. But I wonder if there is something we need to face up to here?
This is an excerpt from Gary Millar’s recent article on The Gospel Coalition Australia site. To finish reading the article please go to The Gospel Coalition Australia.