Evangelism, or proclaiming the gospel in context, is the subject for this years Missional Learning Commons. In my opening presentation on Saturday morning, I hope to exposit in three easy P.’s what I have experienced are the issues we face in a world which largely ignores or discredits the packaged evangelism of our Christendom past. Instead, we must enter into a space with another person where we become present to him or her and the presence of Christ among (and bteween us). So, there is more happening than an exchange between two persons. There is a space of His presence established between me and the other person, if I will just be attentive and submitted to Him. I call this P. Presence. Then, over the course of time, as the Spirit prompts, and is working among us, there will come a time when a situation presents itself, that the gospel must be proclaimed. By “proclamation” I do not mean a Billy Graham like preaching from behind a pulpit. I mean a declaration of the new reality in Christ at work in us that is owned and testified out of my own life. To me thisis an gargantuan epistemological shift that moves evangelism from information to trasnformation. This is my second P. called “proclamation.” My last P. is what happens when the gospel is proclaimed in this space. I believe the Kingdom breaks in, becomes visible, and the reign and authority of Christ takes visible shape in our lives, through the trust and reception of the new believer. I call this last P. “power.” Each one of these”P.’s” is part of a way of life lived in and among our neighborhoods. It moves evangelism out of the cognitive, pre-scripted, Christendom power mode that some of us grew up with, and takes us into the mode of being missionaries in the newly secularized post Christendom West. This is what I’ll be discussing/dialoguing about. There will be lots and lots of dialogue (not just talking heads PLEASE!!). I think we have a host of seasoned evangelism thinker/practicioners speaking to the same issues next weekend Nov 7,8. Join us? The web site with all the information is HERE!! . We have a big group coming (about 100 so far). Join in and meet some great comrades in mission. See you then!!
Looking to study these things in depth? With McKnight and other scholar practicioners? Check out the newM.A. in Theology and Missionat Northern Seminary.