What is evangelism to you and your congregation?
Rev. Dr. Ray Jones, director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Theology, Formation, & Evangelism, says “the very word that means to declare good news and glad tidings” has been twisted by contemporary culture into something different, even ugly.
Many see evangelism as a tool to bring more people into church, so churches create committees to carry out the effort. In more extreme uses, evangelism represents “militant or crusading zeal” as defined by Merriam-Webster.
Instead, Jones urges us to look at evangelism in a new light: living life in such a way that others see Jesus in you, and because of that, they want to follow Christ. He says this is not the job of a committee, but of all Christians.
“It’s about how we show up in our neighborhoods with love and justice and hope,” Jones told Presbyterians Today magazine. “It’s truly going to be in meeting the needs of people around us that we will find ourselves living into what it means to be the body of Christ.”
Jones is one of the creators and authors of 8 Habits of Evangelism, the first evangelism resource produced for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in more than a decade.
Through the titular habits, the resource invites readers on a journey into the love of God, the lives of our neighbors, and the transformation of creation.
The habits are:
- Radical Welcome
8 Habits of Evangelism is available online and as an ebook. Each habit includes an opening prayer, scriptural reference, and discussion questions. The materials are available in English, Korean, and Spanish.
Individuals and groups both will benefit from studying and living the resource.