If your leaders are not indigenous to the community in which you reside, and if they were not far from God before your church got there, you aren’t Missional.” Some church leaders grapple with which is more important: Evangelism vs. Discipleship? Truth is, the answer is both!
11. For a culture of evangelism, have a heart for your City.
Evangelism is no longer about just growing your church; it’s about impacting your city. Crossroads Church in Cincinnati put $10 million into a unified nonprofit center called CityLink.
Bob Lupton, author of “What Is Evangelism? It’s More Than Words…Right?” is an entrepreneur who brings together communities of resource with communities of need. He writes, “Four decades of living among marginalized people has expanded my early understanding of the Gospel. The Good News, I have come to believe, is about more than individual salvation. It includes personal salvation, to be sure, but it also involves the transformation of fragmented communities, of unjust institutions, of oppressive systems. The Gospel is Good News for the whole of creation. Even the environment. It is about Shalom, well-being, a prevailing peace.”
“We are getting more and more rooted in our city, culture and faith—but at the same time, doing whatever it takes to see that the message of the gospel is carried all over the world,” says Red Rocks Church Staff Pastor Scott Bruegman. “Simply put, the more rooted we seem to become, the more doors open for us in other communities, contexts and even countries. We now have campuses in prisons, in Europe and more cities on the way.”
12. For a culture of evangelism, know and believe that the GOSPEL Is the Only Hope.
“We’re excited that God’s Word is still true: The harvest is great,” says Tome. “Our American pop culture can’t give people true hope. It isn’t giving people timeless truth nor a peace that passes understanding. The message of grace and second chances is only found in the person of Jesus, and his primary delivery method is still the local church. We could feel beaten down as we notice we’re becoming aliens in a culture that seemingly wants nothing to do with God’s ways. Or, we can see that we’re actually offering a way to peace in a world that’s grinding people down to a nub.”
Rutherford agrees. Despite the vast number of entertainment options Southern California offers, Rutherford believes people still yearn for spiritual fulfillment.
“We are a city where people have seen it all, done it all and heard it all,” he says. “They are looking for a place that meets and fulfills their deepest need. A life away from God leaves people empty, broken and scarred within. Our church believes that there is hope for all and that hope and contentment come from knowing God’s one and only Son.”
“I’m excited about what God is doing through Shepherd Church on a daily basis,” says Rutherford. “Not a day goes by that I don’t meet somebody whose life has been changed by God’s amazing grace.”