There is something about “outreach” or evangelism or whatever you wish to call it that seems to frighten many church goers. If you ask some of these people to describe this thing they are afraid of you frequently find yourself frightened of it too. Outreach is not “shoving” God down anyone’s throat; it is not being preachy; it is not painstakingly interpreting scripture to show people how wrong and hell-bound they are. One of the things I tried to address today is what outreach can actually be, not what we are afraid it might be.
The second thing I was looking at today was the double nature of the gift of outreach. We can easily see one aspect, namely, giving someone good news – sharing the Gospel with them – is an obvious gift and/or good thing. The other aspect is how outreach is a gift to us. Some of you reading this may find that very notion impossible, or at least peculiar, but I assure you it is true. Once you get past the feeling that you are supposed to be obnoxious in your outreach you can see that any act of outreach, defined as any act or action that brings someone closer to God and helps them become the most they can be, is something that is enjoyable . . . even fun. Part of the joy of gifts is being the giver. Who hasn’t enjoyed giving something to someone? No one, that’s who. We all enjoy giving people gifts. So when outreach happens both sides are happy, both sides enjoy the gift of outreach.
Knox Presbyterian The gifts of Acts: outreach
St. Mark’s Presbyterian The gifts of Acts: outreach