Tuesday, May 18, 2004

emerging "evangelism"

"Relationship is our mantra. Out of relationship equity can be built in a persons life, and out of that equity we can speak life, and awaken the need for an experience with the maker of the universe. "

Levi Fuson

Levi explores the intersection of emerging church and evangelism.

This is a conversation that needs to happen. Lots of questions; here's one: Is the word "evangelism" so hopelessly bound with the pre-modern and the modern that we need to craft a new term that captures its transcultural signficance?


Anonymous said...

I've got a word for it: EMERGELISM.

OK seriously: I think "evangelism" is often thought of as separate from "discipleship." However, most of the rethinking of "evangelism" within the emerging church seems to conclude that evangelism and discipleship are not two separate things, but rather two sides of the "spiritual formation" coin -- or possibly not even two different things at all.

I'll just offer this thought: What if "evangelism" is when we invite others to become followers of Jesus Christ, and "discipleship" is what happens along the way, after someone has chosen to follow Him? We know that spiritual transactions (like "justification") are between the person and God. Still we are driven personally (and by our "constituents") to quantify the "impact" of our evangelistic ministry (with "decision," "baptisms," etc.) What if we just focused on conversations (not "conversions," as Jim Henderson would say) and inviting others to join us as we live out our lives "in the way of Jesus" (as Doug Pagitt would put it)? That sounds like the direction we are headed, and I'd say it's the right direction.

--Steve K.

Stephen said...

good stuff Steve! (though I think it was McLaren who coined the bit ab counting conversations and not conversions though I might be wrong). I'm still thinking we may need to craft a new term though!