13 February 2011

Missions vs. Evangelism

The title of this post isn’t actually accurate, but it seemed the closest I could come to my point.  Seeing as I am the Missions Coordinator for our church I tend to spend a little bit of time thinking on the subject.  I consider all Christians to be missionaries, but it seems that our ‘named’ missionaries seem to be doing ‘missions’ better than those who do not own the title.

Trying to understand it in my own head, I have long thought that missions on the home front looks a lot like evangelism.  In third world countries, missionaries can feed the poor, give medicine to the sick, build houses for the homeless, but in first world countries we just don’t have the same sort of needs (after all, our neighbours live in houses and buy their own food), so we do evangelism (tell people about Jesus and invite them to church)…then it suddenly dawned on me.  The difference between what ‘they’ (the missionaries) are doing and what ‘we’ (at home) are doing, is that they are showing the love of Jesus and we are just telling people about it.  The truth is, there is a lot of need everywhere around us.  It may not be as obvious, but it is most certainly EVERYWHERE and goes beyond food and shelter. 

Now, I’m not saying stop doing evangelism, but we really need to mix the two together.  Everyone knows there is a big difference between telling someone you love them and showing them.  I just want to put it out there that if we are going to make the name of Jesus famous (some of us will know the song), then lets get out there and show people why He’s a God worth knowing.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I think you're capturing the difference between "blessed are the poor" and "blessed are the poor in spirit" ... both are in scripture, and for many it begs the question "why?"

Really it's about context, and a lot of times these days, sharing the gospel through tangible acts of service to the third world citizens is a better evangelism to first world citizens ... although again, let's ask about context - when a cyclone hits and your neighbor is without a house, what's a better witness, the romans road or offering them a room and meals? Ultimately both are necessary, but where we start depends on context ...