I’ve been thinking, writing, reading, and even preaching about evangelism recently. I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. I hope the Holy Spirit! But I feel convicted about it. I feel convicted that I’m not doing enough in the area of faith-sharing. I feel convicted that I’m not providing enough leadership in the area of evangelism for my parishioners.
One impetus for this conviction, I’m sure, is some demographic information that Larisa, my fellow associate pastor, shared in staff meeting recently. The data showed that fully 75 percent of people living within a 10-mile radius of our church do not attend any religious services. So without even needing to get into difficult questions about proselytizing people of other religions (like, for example, how do we reach the relatively large Hindu population surrounding our church?), the fields are “white already to harvest.”
So our work is cut out for us. What will we do about it? And will we do it with a sense of urgency, eagerness, and enthusiasm?
I’m preaching this week on Matthew 22:1-14, the Parable of the Wedding Banquet. This is another discomforting parable about the expansiveness of God’s grace, to be sure, but also the judgment that we all face for our efforts on behalf of God’s kingdom. Consider the urgency with which the servants in this parable went about their task of inviting. How do we measure up?
With all this in mind, consider this Facebook post from a United Methodist pastor friend of mine. What do you make of it? Do you agree with it? Does it bother you? Why or why not?