We had an activity where teams had to cross a crocodile-infested swamp using only 3 stepping stones. Most of one team fell in the swamp and were presumably eaten… The activity showed us many things about effective communication, including:
the value of preparation
the importance of listening to each other
the value of clarification and explanation
the need to compromise and be agreeable, rather than being dogmatic and domineering
the importance of trusting each other
Communication is important not only within churches but when we attempt to communicate the Gospel to those who do not yet know God. Avoiding jargon and adapting to culture is important, because we need to be effective in our communication. There were some great 30 second Gospel presentations using everyday objects: a newspaper, a torch, a bottle of vitamin tablets, a pen and so on. It can be hard to think of what to say in these situations, but everyday evangelism means being ready to respond to situations with good news, not simply waiting for the ‘perfect opportunity.’
As a church, we have to be ready, willing and able to take the Gospel to the specific culture and community of Goldthorpe. What this looks like in our particular context will be determined by the people God has sent here (His Lego bricks, as it were) and by the gifts and talents He has given us. We may need to think outside the box and try new methods to reach our community, but one thing is sure. We need to be a church which looks to those who are without hope and without Christ in the world and which seeks to bring the good news of the Gospel to these people, whether that is through personal evangelism or through the outreaches we as a church can offer or which we can support (e.g. the charity B:friend, which meets every Monday afternoon in our building, needs people to literally be friends to those who are isolated and lonely.) Every one of us is important. What can YOU do?