Monday, September 28, 2009

Show and Tell: Show

This "Show and Tell" series is all about evangelism and junior high ministry.

"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."

The above quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi is often expressed about the importance of a Gospel-centered life in evangelism. It doesn't make much sense to invite someone into a relationship with Christ when Christ cannot even be seen in one's lifestyle. First John says, "let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth."

This is applicable to both individual and community levels. As an individual, I have to be living in such a way that Jesus' transforming work is apparent in my life. If I'm living exactly like everyone else around me--or perhaps even worse than everyone else--why would anyone want to follow the Jesus I'm following? My life has to reflect the difference He's made in everything I do. Would someone be able to see the values of Jesus in my everyday life?

As a community--a youth group or church--there has to be a culture of love, grace, justice, peace, truth, and other values that reflect Jesus' character. Inviting one's friend to a culture of judgment, isolation, or awkwardness likely won't lead to a healthy response to the good news of Jesus. The early church in Acts 2 enjoyed the favor of all the people because they had a reputation for lovingly caring for each others' needs. Would a new person to youth group feel a sense of Christlike love? Would they feel welcome or safe?

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