This week we begin an unusual Lenten study series. Normally during Lenten season the church studies and practices prayer, fasting, & alms giving. These are the basic practices of Christianity and because of that we give them closer attention during the Lenten season. Those that practice these important disciplines will grow in their faith and will want to share with others the reason for their transformed life. This conversation, the sharing, is evangelism.
I have had difficulties with evangelism. I’ve felt manipulated, harrased, and judged by people who claimed to be doing evangelism. I am sure that you could share similar stories of times when you had a difficult encounter with those doing evangelism. Because of this reason many mainline churches have not placed much emphasis on this important spiritual practice.
I grew up in a tradition where evangelism was pivotal. Part of the reason for its importance was a concern that if it was not done then people would go to hell. That explained the passion in this tradition for the practice of evangelism.
What drives our tradition? What is the place of evangelism in the UMC? What is the place of evangelism at Squyres UMC?
These are some of the questions that we will be asking as we study together. Join us in the journey!