12 July 2006

Postevangelism

Thanks to J. Derek Harbin, priest at Church of the Beloved in Charlotte, NC, for this quote from Karen Ward, the church planter for Church of the Apostles in Seattle, Washington. (That's Karen on the right.) Derek says, "Believing that the word 'evangelism' is forever colored by the negative cultural images associated with it, she encourages her church community to live as postevangelists." Here's Karen:

I no longer believe in evangelism. To be postevangelism is to live our lives in Christ without a strategy but with the compassion and the servant posture of Jesus Christ. We do not do evangelism or have a mission. The Holy Spirit is the evangelist, and the mission belongs to God. What we do is simply live our lives publicly as a community in the way of Jesus Christ, and when people inquire as to why we live this way, we share with them an account of the hope within us. We are to love one another, and that creates its own attraction.

What do y'all think of that? I think it's spot-on, but to my mainline (and emerging?) friends who may be reluctant to ever be overt about their faith, I would draw attention to the phrases "live our lives publicly as a community in the way of Jesus Christ" and "when people inquire...we share with them an account of the hope within us." We still need to be witnesses of the gospel, even if we are "postevangelism."

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