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Dear brothers and sisters

What does the new year hold for us and what will we do with it? In the following lines, I encourage you to follow the advice given to us by the author of these evangelical extracts. I wish you well as you consider these texts!

Evangelism ... according to the New Testament model it is not so much related to the methods that are used or programs that we develop, as a way of life.

Jesus sent his disciples to intersections and along the roads (see Matthew 22:9). When he sent the seventy to prepare cities and villages to visit, he asked them to stay in homes where they were welcomed. "Stay in that house, he told them. Do not go from house to house ... He who listens to you listens to me "(cf. Luke 10: 5-16).

If people do not come to church, is the church ready to go to them? It is a necessity if she wants to have an impact on this generation. The Lord made his disciples "fishers of men." "Fishers" of men implies living in contact with them, often under their own roof. What should we teach in order to generate "fishers of men" equipped to evangelize their contemporaries?

There is no impact without contact. Our strategy is one on one. Jesus could have invited us to heaven to proclaim the Gospel. Instead, he came into this world as a servant. He walked our streets, ate our food, healed our sick, visited our home, wept over our misery, shared the Good News with us and gave his life so that there is Good News for us to share.

When his critics did not recognize his divinity, he defied them to believe in him on the basis of his miracles.

For many churches, evangelism boils down to catching fish in a stained glass aquarium. The Pastor prepares the message. The congregation helps to gather the fish. The pastor says, "Tell them to come to church, and I will invite them to come to Christ". Certainly, there are results, but in most cases, we catch little fish, and you may need to wait a long time.

EVANGELISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

The early church had no stained glass aquarium or organ or worship group or radio programs. Yet "the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved", I've often wondered if it was because "they got the favor of all the people." They lived out the Good News.

Evangelism in the New Testament was not about the methods used or the programs adopted but rather about a way of life. The communication strategy of God is to use men and women as "packaging" of his message so that they are 'living epistles known and read by all. "We must be read by the world. In the most basic sense, evangelism uses the gifts that have been given to us by the Lord and uses them for serving our neighbors and our community. All our abilities come from God and become spiritual gifts when they are placed under the authority and lordship of Christ, producing spiritual results. Evangelism is accomplished through our spiritual gifts.

Paul put it this way: "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, to save the greatest number" (1 Cor 9: 19). You cannot win without serving. Effective evangelists are those who know how to take a towel and basin to wash the feet of others. This spirit of service is Gospel music to the ears of the unbeliever. Our evangelistic strategy should consist in part to equip Christians so they can live a life filled with hope, and they are ready to give reasons for the hope they have to those who ask them. Many have heard the words of the Gospel; much rarer are those who have heard the music.

Yours, on behalf of the One who is coming soon, Emmanuel.

 

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