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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Non-evangelistic Evangelicals

This is not the way to win the lost.

And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.

   - Acts 16.32, 33

At the time when Saint Columba passed some days in the province of the Picts, a certain layman with his whole household heard and believed the word of life, through an interpreter, at the preaching of the holy man; and believing, was baptized, the husband, with his wife and children, and his servants.

   - Adomnán, Vita Columbae, Irish, 7th century

The contemporary evangelical Church spares no cost to attract people to it.

Changes in liturgy, lighting, music, programming, staffing, and even facilities are undertaken, often at great expense, to attract “seekers” to the morning service, in the hope they’ll find something they like and come back.

The competition among local churches to be the most attractive to the community has taken on the atmosphere of an ecclesiastical beauty contest. But as long as the beholder is the tainted eye of the unbelieving world, the form we insist on presenting will, I believe, look less and less like the Psalm 45 Bride of the Lord and more and more like the bride of Hosea.

This is not how the Lord expects us to win the lost for His Kingdom. We have become a generation of non-evangelistic evangelicals, and we have a lot to learn from our forebears concerning how people come to Christ. After all, Jesus did not command the world to go to church.

The “all things to all people” mentality of the modern Church represents a wresting of Paul’s 1 Corinthians 9 philosophy of evangelism that compromises worship and leaves the responsibility for getting saved on those who don’t even know they need it.

Rather than working so hard to attract people to our churches, we should be looking for ways into their lives and homes, insinuating ourselves through loving service and genuine concern into the circles of neighbors, friends, and associates. And once we have become established as caring friends and companions, we will spare no effort to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God by every means in every season.

Pray, brethren, that God will renew our burden for the mission of making all the nations disciples, as we are going, not when – or if – they find their way to us.

Psalm 107.1-3 (Faithfulness: “Great is Thy Faithfulness”)
Lord, You are good, we give thanks and we praise You!
Your steadfast love will forever endure.
Let the redeemed who from trouble You rescue,
Gather and say that Your mercy is sure!
   Lord for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love,
   We give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
   We who from east and west, north and south gather,
   Boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

Lord, with Jesus’ help, let me be bold to speak of the salvation I have in Him, because of Your grace. Adapted from Columbanus, Sermon I

T. M. Moore, Principal
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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