“We don’t need evangelists, just Jesus-people who live and act in a way that brings about change, that lifts the hopeless, that cares for the tired, that releases the oppressed and that simply says—“this is Jesus at work.” “Follow Him!”
Someone challenged my statement, rightly so, that we “don’t need evangelists.” From a strictly Biblical use of this work, he was correct. I was trying to challenge the non-Biblical use of that word (converting people to the religion of Christianity) and re-define it as the Bible intends. I don’t know that I accomplished that in those few words that I wrote. But the following article, by Carl Medearis, should help add to this conversation:
Here is an excerpt from his post entitled “Why Evangelicals Should Stop Evangelizing”
What if evangelicals today, instead of focusing on “evangelizing” and “converting” people, were to begin to think of Jesus not as starting a new religion, but as the central figure of a movement that transcends religious distinctions and identities?
Jesus the uniter of humanity, not Jesus the divider. How might that change the way we look at others?
This is more than just a semantic difference.
When I used to think of myself as a missionary, I was obsessed with converting Muslims (or anybody for that matter) to what I thought of as “Christianity.” I had a set of doctrinal litmus tests that the potential convert had to pass before I would consider them “in” or one of “us.”
Funny thing is, Jesus never said, “Go into the world and convert people to Christianity.” What he said was, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Encouraging anyone and everyone to become an apprentice of Jesus, without manipulation, is a more open, dynamic and relational way of helping people who want to become more like Jesus — regardless of their religious identity.
Just because I believe that evangelicals should stop evangelizing doesn’t mean that they should to stop speaking of Jesus.
I speak of Jesus everywhere I go and with everyone I meet.
You will enjoy reading the full article here.