“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
Traditional models of evangelism have been something akin to a group of people going out into the community and telling the people in need to come to church building. “All you need is Jesus.” We went, we told them the answer and we pointed them to the house of God. As well intended as this may have been, there seems to be a slightly different model portrayed in Scripture. It was a model that intersected culture in deep ways. It’s a model that looked at the real problem surrounding that culture and then extended a hand with practical solutions. The motivation was simply, loving their neighbors as themselves.
What would it look like, if rather than pointing people to the church building to go get help and answers, followers of Christ decentralized from the church building, engaged the communities surrounding and became an incarnational reality of Christ in their midst?
What would it look like for these areas of need to become areas of commonality, where little communities emerged full of people learning what it truly means to follow Christ?
In the context of this paradigm, each of us becomes ministers for the cause of Christ. Our platform may be more like Stephen and Philip’s than Peter and Paul’s, but the end result is nonetheless the same and equally as important.
Serving precedes anointing.