Posted by Tom French |

Thinking Big

I ate breakfast with Mil today. That was fun. I was walking home today after visiting the bank and reading in the Library, wondering what the big thoughts are that I'm thinking at the moment.

Incarnational Evangelism

I've been thinking about Evangelism and how best to do it. I've been listening to a series of talks that Mike Frost gave at Cooma 2002. He's talking about the need to do incarnational evangelism. That means doing evangelism where you go and join people in their lives and culture rather than inviting them into yours.

Which is in many ways the opposite of what we do in my youth ministry. We get people to invite their friends into the culture/community that we have created. When people are immersed in a loving community they'll want to hang around. That's the idea. Frost says that we should go out into the communities of non-Christians and live like Christ there.

Which is also part of our strategy. We designed a ministry that tried to free people up so they can participate in the social lives of their peers. We don't have small group go too late on a Friday so people can go to parties. We don't provide a full calendar of social activities so our young people are building social lives with their non-Christian peers, we hope.

Then again, Frost also says we should be building our own social "nets" outside the church to "catch" people in. I guess in some ways to a degree we also do that.

Anyway, it's been challenging to keep thinking about how to best to do evangelism. It's a challenge to work out how best to connect. I think probably we need to find a combination of both being "out" and inviting "in". Because without both we probably don't have the ability to meet all types of people and all types of needs.

What has interested me is the challenge to make sure I'm not living in a Christian bubble. To be living with people who aren't Christians, joining their clubs, drinking where they drink, eating where they eat. We should not just be where they are, but building relationships with them so that we can love them as Christ would have us love them. That is definitely something I am up for. I need to be making space for it. I wonder if there is a movie watching club in Sydney I could join. I love movies and then I might meet people who also like movies. And we could be friends that'd be fun.

It's always interesting thinking about evangelism and how when you talk about it often feels like you have relationships with people who aren't Christians purely because you want to convert them. That shouldn't be the case and more huge amounts of Christians it's not the case. I want to meet more people who aren't Christians because they have all the same potential to be my friends as Christians do. In fact in many ways I'm more interested in being their friends because Christians are a little boring. We have too much in common. I know too many of them already. Although I love them all.

Oh well.

Images of Salvation

I'm also thinking about images of salvation, themes of redemption, stories to invoke a yearning for wholeness.

We're working on the story for new Breakthru' Artz major project. I've been having images, scenes and scrapes of stories floating around my head. I want to figure out how to create a theatre/film/dance piece that creates a space for the Gospel to be told. I want to find a way to tell a story that will stand alone, but will create a resonance in people when they hear about Jesus. It's a hard task to do. At the moment I have things I want to do, but I'm waiting for the magic that brings it all together or creates something new.

But then, my idea may not be used. Matt and I are both coming up with ideas so we could use Matt's.

Boxing

I'm also thinking about how I might be able to go see the Anthony Mundine and Danny Green fight that's on during Soul Survivor. It's looking difficult at the moment.

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