Why is the church the only organisation which exists primarily for non-members! Is it to get a higher income for the church? No! Is it to ensure a future for our church, after all, we’re all getting older and won’t be here for ever? Not even that is the top priority.
No, it’s because we believe in a Missionary God. He reaches out to the whole of humanity – every human being, to tell them about, and enable them to experience, salvation. Christianity is essentially a Missionary Religion. Mission, including Evangelism, is essential to Christianity. Without Mission and Evangelism Christianity is emasculated: a pale reflection of the real thing.
The first thing about our missionary God is that he is:
1. A God Who Communicates
A God who is love will communicate. If we love someone we want to communicate with them. God, who is love, is no exception.
We Christians believe in a God who is not one solitary person but rather a God who is a family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit –Trinity. Even before anything, including humanity, was created God loved and communicated.
It is logical to expect that a God who created humanity with such amazing powers of communication will himself be a master communicator.
We know he has communicated through his Son – the living “Word” and through his Scriptures – the written Word.
So Amos says (4:13) “He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth— the LORD God Almighty is his name.” He also says (3:7) “Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.”
The Psalmist writes (98:2) “The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.”
Isaiah writes about how God longs to communicate with humanity but is often ignored (65:1-2) “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations.”
Isaiah records that God calls us his witnesses (43:10-12): “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no saviour. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.”
It follows from the above that to be godly means to communicate our faith to others outside the congregation. Put another way, to be Christ-like we should communicate our faith in Jesus to people who do not yet attend church.
© Tony Higton: see conditions for reproduction