Thursday, July 16, 2015

Equipped for Evangelism and Generosity

I remember a conversation when deciding on our denomination’s new name.  People wanted the word Evangelical in the name so that people would be reminded that we are called to reach out beyond our walls.   Lutheran churches were not started in America to reach new people and make them Christians.  They were started so that all the Lutherans from Europe would have a good Lutheran church to attend.  For the longest time our main method of Evangelism was simply to have lots of children and raise them Lutheran.  That strategy no longer works.   Evangelism is quite simple.   Start with our friends and as the relationship goes, invite them to church.  If they have a church home celebrate with them.   What happens over time is that we stop inviting people.   So to be an inviting church means that the church people invite others to join.   If being a Lutheran Christian is the best thing in the world, don’t we want others to enjoy and embrace the grace of Jesus Christ?
Generosity doesn’t just happen by itself.  Generosity grows out of an understanding that we are all blessed by God.  It grows out of a commitment to not only God but the mission of God in the world.   Most of us hold onto our stuff, our time, and often give out of our surplus.   Yet to be a generous person will require us to take a leap and trust that God will honor our generosity.  Yes, it is better to give than to receive.  You can begin with small steps and decide to up your giving to God’s work in the world.  This might be time or money but whatever the case, do it joyfully.  You will not be disappointed.

Questions:  Have you ever invited someone to church, if not, why not?  What was that experience like?
Why do you give and what happens to you and others when you do?

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