Once the Christendom social consensus is gone, I believe the character of evangelism changes dramatically. Now it must takes place in the actual presence of someone. By “presence of someone,” I mean a space must be cultivated between myself and someone or a group of someones. In this space I must tend to that other person’s presence. I must submit myself to him or her. And I, as a Christian, must tend to the presence of Christ Himself here in this space at work among us. I must submit to that. Cooperate with Christ. And out of this space, comes the moment in which I must proclaim the gospel in response to the situation demanding it. But this is never coercive. It is from the posture of ownership. It is a posture of pointing to a another reality not yet seen by the other person. It is a witness to an alternative Story, another world, the world as it is under Jesus Christ as Lord. This is the space of evangelism ion post Christendom. Cultivating this kind of “faithful presence” takes time.If you want to explore this more, join us for the event referred to in the video below! Blessings!
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.