Towards the end of October I spent 10 days as part of Cape Town 2010, the Third Lausanne Congress. The main theme of the congress was the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world, it was a conference on the evangelisation of the world. One of the main points that jumped out to me was both the urgency and importance of the proclamation of the gospel and the need for more creativity in our proclamation.
Reminded of the urgency and importance of the gospel
In the West we seem to have forgotten the urgency of the gospel (in its broadest sense) people need hope now. I was struck by the passion and the evident effect that some of the evangelistic projects are having around the world. For example, a youth minister from Germany shared how they’re doing an evangelistic project called ‘House’, which is literally reaching thousands of young people with the gospel through one-off evenings around the country. Whilst I’m not convinced that their model would work in the UK, I was challenged by the need to find new creative ways to proclaim the gospel and to do so urgently.
Reminded of the size of the need
The need of the world is huge. In the local estate on which our church is placed it’s estimated that nearly 500 young people don’t have a relationship with Jesus, that’s my mission field. The mission field of the world includes 2 billion children, millions of people who can’t access scripture in their language and so on – it is huge – it’s the kind of thing that only God can help us to resolve – we need to trust in Him more in our evangelism.
Out of this flows a need to rethink evangelism into our UK culture, and then for each of us as individual youth workers to reflect on how evangelism is best done in our community, with our unique blend of young people, volunteer leaders and resources.
Let me tell you about a couple of examples that excite me in my ministry:
- Lydia, one of my team, has a passion for young people to express their faith creatively so she’s recently co-ordinated, with a couple of young people, an art exhibition in our town leisure centre displaying over 30 pieces of art from young people expressing their faith and emotions.
- One of the stand out statistics from the Congress was that 25% of people coming to faith do so through media, often media on their phone. Whilst I find the statistic hard to believe, it is clear that the role of the media, technology and specifically social networking needs to increase in our evangelism. Questions like how we use facebook, youtube, and twitter not just to share information or attract young people to specific events, but how we seem them as a mission field in their own right are increasingly important. This is leading us to look to use a flip camera to record the testimony of some of our young people and then upload onto facebook and youtube.
What thoughts do you have on how we could be more creative in our evangelism?