Evangelism

The Year of Evangelism
The Year of Evangelism

Convergence Worship is Evangelical, Charismatic, and
Sacramental/Liturgical.  It means that
from the very start of a worship service to the words of dismissal all three
elements should be evident.  There is not
a charismatic moment, a sacramental moment, or an evangelical moment.  Yet we can discuss each of these three
elements of worship individually.

When we talk about being evangelical in worship it is not the
same as saying we are an Evangelical Church. 
Being evangelical in worship is corporate worship that still calls
individuals to a personal encounter and relationship with the present
Christ.  It is preaching sermons that are
grounded and rooted in Holy Scripture read within the community faith.  Yet believing God is still speaking to each
person calling for an individual response. 
Evangelical worship is participatory and not passive.  Convergence worship is where I can bring my
personal relationship with Christ Jesus and join in the corporate worship of
the Church as handed down throughout the ages in the historic liturgies, and
that finds its source in the eternal worship of the one voice before the King
on the throne. 

Christianity is about relationships.  First and foremost it is the relationship
that God has with us.   We have a God who
love us, who seeks us, and draws us, by grace, into an relationship with Christ
Jesus that redeems us, restores us, and forms in us the perfect image of His
Son.  That relationship is lived out in
the life of the Church.  We come
together, and through the Word and Sacrament, we become the visible reality of
Christ’s Kingdom.  We are participating
in the life of the One, Jesus, in whom we live, move, and have our being.  We also are directed by our Lord to go into
the world and make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the
Trinity, and teaching them to obey everything the Lord commanded us.  Worship is always missionary and
evangelistic.  (Matthew 28.19-20)

Evangelism is not an option for the Church.  Every congregation should have a plan or a
program to reach its community with the Good News.  Does your church have a plan?  It is both preaching, because faith comes by
what is heard, and doing ministries that make visible the love of God.  It is always faith that is on the side of
justice for every person, because every person bears the image of God   And, as every congregation should have a
plan, so should every individual.  Do you
have a plan for reaching your community for Christ?  What can I do to bring the message of God’s
love to my own family, my neighbors, my fellow workers in the market place, or
to the poor?

So we are a sent people. 
The Bishops of the CEC in North America have heard the Lord Holy Spirit
tell us to focus on evangelism.  Not that
we ignore being Charismatic and Sacramental/Liturgical, but that we take a
period of time and assess ourselves in light of the Great Commission of the
Church.  Our Bishops are meeting on line
once a month to reflect on every aspect of evangelism, and they will be working
with our clergy to assess the work in every diocese and every
congregation.  

We do it without condemnation. Certainly we do it without
discouragement.  We do it because the
Holy Spirit told us to do it.  I believe
that together, as we pray and listen to the Lord Holy Spirit through each other
and the Holy Scriptures, we will be given wisdom about how to proceed. 

In the months to come I will use this forum to write about some
thoughts that the Lord Jesus is giving the Bishops and myself.  You are all in my prayers.

Under His mercy,

+Craig

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