As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to share our faith in Jesus with all people. In fact, our Lord and Savior Jesus said the following: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19). And, of course, there is the Lord Jesus’ famous fishing statement:
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
However, all of this can sound like such a colossal thing to do. It can sound too grandiose for an individual Christian or a neighborhood Christian congregation to accomplish. But we also know that “for God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
So, what can we do with all these teachings and commandments from our Lord about “fishing” and discipling and evangelizing in his name?
Well, it has been said that Christian evangelism is one beggar telling another where they have found bread. And if we think of it like this, then the call to evangelize doesn’t seem so daunting. All of us, like all of humanity, are spiritual beggars that are in need of the spiritual bread that God so graciously has made available to us in Christ. Simply put, we are beggars who have found The Living Bread of Heaven (John 6:47-51) and who wish to share with others (as best we can) where they can get this bread for themselves.
Beggars telling other beggars where we have found bread — this is the heart of Christian evangelism and it is something we can all do, both individually and congregationally. We can give gifts to people that reflect Christian faith and spirituality. We can regularly “check-in” at our Church congregation on Facebook for all of our social media contacts to see. We can invite our friends, neighbors, family members and coworkers to Church services and activities. If you are a grandparent whose children have not followed through with their baptismal vows to bring their own children to the services of the Church, then you can evangelize your grandchildren by bringing them to worship, Sunday school and youth group.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, there are a variety of important things we must engage in. For instance, charitable service is very important. However, while we continue to do charitable service (both domestically and globally), we must also remember to do evangelism by sharing with our fellow sinners and spiritual beggars where to find The Bread of Life, Christ the Lord. Basically, it is inviting people to learn about Jesus, telling them about Jesus, and bringing Jesus to everyone, everywhere, and every single day.
Of course, this is something we can do naturally and relationally, without any formal training. Nevertheless, I have learned about a major FREE evangelism/mission seminar to be held in our area. It will be held at Hales Corners Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) on June 13-15, 2016, but it is offered ecumenically for Christians of all Church branches.
It will be called “J2e3” which means “Jesus to everyone, everywhere, everyday.”
I was looking into continuing education opportunities for myself, and when I learned that this was being offered free-of-charge, I wanted to share it with others. They are currently finalizing their website, and free online registration begins on January 11th. It is not complete yet, but here is the link to their J2e3 website… http://www.j2e3.com/
I will be attending for sure, and my hope is that many of you can also attend this too! It is a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but they have not yet posted the schedule. It could be in the evenings in order to meet the needs of those who work, but we don’t know yet. At the very least we could have some of our congregation members attend this who are stay-at-home spouses, or retired, or have a flexible work schedule. In any case, I highly encourage your participation.
It is dedicated to the following:
+ CELEBRATE what God is doing through Jesus’ followers both locally and globally.
+ ENCOURAGE a passion to bring Jesus to everyone, everywhere, everyday.
+ CONNECT with fellow Christians to share evangelism/mission best practices.
+ INSPIRE strategic ministry work to effectively reach unchurched people.
Please give this serious consideration, and let’s plan to have a good solid group from Adoration Lutheran Church to go to this exciting event in nearby Hales Corners, WI.
Together in Christ’s Mission, Pastor Tim