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Evangelism is a Community Project

• Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

Posted in Evangelism, Every-Member Ministry, Life in the Church, Mission

"Not all of us are eloquent or engaging. Not everyone can think on their feet. Some people are simply not good at speaking to strangers and forming new friendships. One of the practical benefits of the three-strand model of evangelism [building relationships, sharing the gospel, introducing people to community] is that it gives a role to all of God's people. By making evangelism a community project, it also takes seriously the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in distributing a variety of gifts among his people. Everyone has a part to play--the new Christian, the introvert, the extrovert, the eloquent, the stuttering, the intelligent, the awkward. I may be the one who has begun to build a relationship with my neighbor, but in introducing him to community, it is someone else who shares the gospel with him. That is not only legitimate--it is positively thrilling! Pete may never share the gospel verbally with Duncan, but his welcome and love are an integral part of the evangelistic process and should be honored as such. Meanwhile Susan can make friends and introduce them to the community, confident that others will present them--at an appropriate point in an appropriate way--with the challenges of the gospel. It is lovely to think of us making up for one another's deficiencies with our collective community strengths."

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel Community (p. 62)

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