The Biblical notion of giving thanks digs deeper than merely making a list. It is worth reflecting on the Hebrew word yadah, often translated “give thanks,” to see all that God has in mind for us. There’s more to it than we might think.
What if “keeping it complicated” really did justice to the subject matter and “making it simple” misrepresents it? What if we can’t “keep” it simple because it never was simple to begin with? What if we’re not “making” it complicated but reflecting the truth as it really is?
One area where compartmentalizing (the opposite of integration) has hurt the church is the isolation of evangelism. Outreach has often been seen as a separate or unusual “program” in the church rather than a core component of its existence.
When Jesus was asked by his disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray,” he did not say, “Well, for one thing, don’t use words. Just listen.” Instead, he told them (and us) to use words and, in one instance, he even gave us the exact words to say.
The task of evangelism often includes telling our individual story along with the larger gospel story. Weaving the two together makes for a powerful articulation of God’s gracious work through all times and his specific salvific work in an individual heart – namely, yours.
As part of a research project I’m conducting, I have just completed listening to 40 college students who say they have become Christians within the past two years. Here are ten initial thoughts by way of observation and concerns.
The lofty notion of revival has taken center stage in my prayer life as of late. I’m sure I’m motivated in part by the disturbing stories that dominate our news. And God has guided me to some books that have underlined the need for such prayer.
How do you go about resolving the tension between, on the one hand, having a “dialogue” approach to evangelism and viewing it as a process, and, on the other hand, wanting to get the whole gospel into the conversation?
Becoming fluent in positive, healthy, truthful, Scripture-saturated internal dialogue should be a high priority for all of us. Talking to yourself is an important life-skill that requires practice, careful consideration, and perseverance.