“Our call is not simply to make converts, Christians, Anglicans, or church-goers with at ticket to heaven… our call is to form disciples – people who live in the transforming way of Jesus on earth.” – Brian McLaren
From Brian McLaren’s presentation at Lambeth Conference, 2008:
So many of our forms, structures, and assumptions about evangelism are not Biblical – or even traditional in the ancient sense. They are simply conventional in the modern colonial era of recent memory. For example: evangelism is not revivalism. Evangelism is not colonialism. Nor is it sales and marketing. Nor is it argument.
Evangelism is the gentle and respectful relational process … Of understanding and responding to people’s questions… So they can find the hope that flows from the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord… not Caesar not Capitalism, and not even the Christian religion.
A new mission field is emerging… Calling us to creative new exploration wherever we live.
Wherever we call home…
… All around us are people who would be better off as true disciples of Jesus Christ. And our world would be better off if it was filled with more people who are learning to live and love in the way of Jesus Christ.
Most people don’t want to be far from God… without peace and without hope in the world… disconnected from others… part of the problem and not part of the solution.
But they don’t want to be Religious fanatics either… Or the religiously lukewarm… sowing judgment and fear… afraid to think… dividing the world into “us” versus “them.”
But how will they find faith… if nobody understands? If nobody listens? If everybody is too busy with “church business”? If everyone complains about the problem but doesn’t become part of the solution?
Who will create safe spaces for people to explore God’s call to become vibrant disciples of Jesus Christ?
Will our churches be those spaces? Will our homes be those spaces? Will restaurants and gardens and offices and hallways be those spaces? What would happen if we risked everything to get this one thing right?
When they do come to see and listen, which gospel will they hear?
Will they hear a gospel of evacuation, escape, and evasion?
Or will they hear Jesus’ gospel – the gospel of the kingdom of God – that brings reconciliation, transformation, and engagement?