Pursuing a Culture of Ministry

We are surrounded by friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who have no faith in Christ. Many may have a general belief in God or even be Church goers but if pressed, they would not be able to affirm that they have truly trusted in what Jesus has done for them nor have they understood repentance. Many would say ours is an increasingly secular culture in which faith is being pushed to the margins. I’d say they’re right.

Should we despair? Throw up our hands in resignation? No. We need to look at our community and our world with fresh eyes. We need to see that we are surrounded by two kinds of people. There are those in Christ and those in need of Christ. To borrow from Jesus’ words, we live in fields white unto harvest.

I’ve been encouraged and challenged by a book I’ve been reading this week entitled, Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus. The premise of this book written by J. Mack Stiles and published by Crossway is that evangelism- defined as “teaching the gospel with the aim to persuade” (p.26)- is the task of the church as a body and not merely the task of individuals per se. Often we get intimidated about talking to others of Christ for fear we will face a question we can’t answer or ruin a relationship.

Stiles says we need a “culture of evangelism” in our churches. Evangelism is best understood as a corporate effort not merely an individual one. He gives his “top ten yearnings for a culture of evangelism”. Would you join me in praying that these things become a reality at HLPC?

  1. 1. A culture motivated by love for Jesus and His gospel.
  2. 2. A culture that is confident in the power of the gospel.
  3. 3. A culture that understands the danger of entertainment as the strategy to reach others.
  4. 4. A culture that sees people clearly as image bearers who need the gospel.
  5. 5. A culture that pulls together as one.
  6. 6. A culture in which people teach and learn from each other and their gifts.
  7. 7. A culture that models evangelism.
  8. 8. A culture in which people who share their faith are encouraged.
  9. 9. A culture that knows how to affirm and encourage growth as a Christian.
  10. 10. A culture doing ministry that requires faith and even risk.

    I realize that a lot could and should be said about each of those points but I wanted to lay them out. Let’s pray God would use HLPC to both reach and equip and that we would begin to see a “culture of evangelism” take root and grow. It’s easy to talk about reaching out but a lot harder to do. May God graciously move and use us for His own purposes! We realize that ultimately He, and only He, can bring the lost to Himself!