Author: Graham Power
Category: Proclamation Evangelism
To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.
A response to our lead articles this month:
Nothing Rhymes with Orange. False. Nothing and Orange do not Rhyme - Rev Richards Gibbons
Preach The Gospel Wherever You Go - Use Words if You Have to - Rev Derek Simpson
Toward a Biblical Approach to Understanding Proclamation Evangelism - Thomas Johnston
The proclamation of the Gospel is a central aspect of our Christian faith. We read in Paul’s letter to the Romans, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10.14 NIV).
I was struck by the story in Rev Simpson’s article that told of Churches cancelling evangelistic events in the hope of getting the congregation to engage in personal evangelistic work. Of course it would be wonderful if every member was willing to share his or her faith with family, friends and colleagues. But in reality most members of Churches don’t do so. I recently heard that only 4% of Christians share their faith with the intention of bringing someone to faith. This is so sad! Of course we must inspire, equip and train our Church members to evangelise. However, we also cannot deny that there are some women and men who have a great gift for proclamation evangelism! They have the skill and anointing that allows God to use them in an extraordinary way to convincingly and clearly tell of God’s saving love. Rev Gibbons summed this process up so nicely when he wrote, “Explanation, revelation, transformation, and propositional truth takes place in addition to conversation, companionship, and invitation” - indeed, there is something wonderful that happens when people have the space, and intention, to engage in sharing the Gospel of Christ.
That being said, I also found Dr Johnston’s to be deeply challenging. To my mind it is impossible to preach the truth without ‘being true’. He makes the wonderful point that our proclamation must be strengthened, and matched, by our very lives. What we speak of should be evidenced in our loving action, our selfless service, in the structures of society and especially in the life of the Church.
As a result I would conclude that we should not shy away from boldly and lovingly proclaiming the good news of Jesus’ love for the world! Together with this we also cannot shy away from living the good news that Jesus preached.
Graham Power is the Founder and chairman of the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical movements, Chairman of the Power Group of Companies.