Living In The Community
A network of Navigators is emerging, seeking new pathways for the gospel in the UK. Going overseas on mission requires an understanding of the different culture and re-understanding the gospel in light of it. In mission-speak this is ‘contextualising the gospel’. In recent years in the UK our culture has changed so significantly that our gospel approach needs re-contextualising.
The heart of this is expressed in a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:
“In seeking to give others a meaningful opportunity to respond to the gospel I will try every way I can; I will do whatever it takes; I do this in order that some might become followers of Jesus. And so that I can have the privilege of being a part of what God is doing, of being used by God; I don’t want to miss out. I don’t have to operate out of self-interest or prejudice or narrowness or fear, because I am free!”
One strand of the change in our culture has been a move from ‘searching for what is true’ to ‘sharing what brings resonance to one’s own life’. This requires participation with people, sharing experiences where situations or stories draw out deeper aspects of life. Kingdom moments are celebrated alongside spiritual conversations, where the resonances of Jesus in life are shared.
Story From Inside The Community
It can be easy for those who have been Christians for a while to take for granted the power of the Gospel and the obvious difference it makes in our lives. Ironically, this can lead to loss of confidence in its transformational power.
I have been surprised by a chap who, a month ago, had never been to church. He turned up one week and then returned the next. Last week he agreed to come to a Bible study we had started. The fact he had never read the Bible did not put him off, and he said it was the warmth of the group that meant he felt accepted. Whilst not yet a Christian, I am confident that this will only be a matter of time…
We can forget that those who aren’t Christians can find the gospel inherently appealing and be attracted by the love and community Christians offer. The gospel is life-changing and this is obvious to those who are searching. Telling people about God and helping them become Christians is the best antidote to loss of confidence!
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